Winter, Sweet, Snacks

Spiced parsnip loaf cake

This satisfying cake was first created using pantry staples and some leftover parsnips from Christmas, in early January.

Often over the Christmas period I find myself buying way more than needed. This is because I am often entertaining and never quite sure how many people for. My fear of not having enough food translates into having way too much food.

This year one of my New Year's resolutions is to limit food waste to an absolute minimum. Buying only what I need and using everything I have before I buy more.

This is actual quite a fun and creative way to cook. It often results in some of my most-loved recipes, it challenges me to create a tasty meal or dish with minimal fresh ingredients.

I keep a well-stocked store cupboard, this always includes tinned foods, such as organic, chopped tomatoes, coconut milk, beans and pulses. Along with tons of dried pulses, beans, grains, nuts, seeds, nut butters and pasta. It is also essential to keep your spice cupboard well stocked.

I am never without garlic, onions and potatoes, in fact I buy ready-chopped frozen onions and have a good supply in my freezer, this not only saves time and tears, but onions form the basis of so many wonderful dishes.

The fridge also has an important role and should be stocked with long life ingredients such as, pickles, fermented foods, miso pastes, mustards, plain yogurts, nut milks, ginger, chilli‘s and plant butters are always on hand. I also grow my own herbs, although not all are available all year long.

So back to this scrumptious loaf cake. It's gluten-free, refined-sugar free, and of course vegan. It is made in two bowls and has a cashew and yogurt frosting, topped with salted maple parsnip crisps and a little fresh rosemary. It's moist and hugely satisfying with a cup a tea or coffee.

Something to consider when serving this cake is that the parsnip crisps will quickly go soft on top of the frosting. This is not much of a problem if serving immediately and your planning on consuming the lot. If you're planning on eating this cake over several days, I would keep the frosting in an airtight container in the fridge and the parsnip crisps also in an airtight container (not in the fridge). That way you can cut a nice slice, add a dollop of frosting, a sprinkle of parsnip crisps and a little extra drizzle of maple if you like.

It's worth pointing out that the crisps aren't essential, and a sprinkle of extra pumpkin seeds on top is also a lovely option too.




2 ½ cups ground almond

1 full cup of grated parsnip, about 2

¾ cup oats blitzed to a flour or just ready-made oat flour

¼ cup roughly chopped walnuts

¼ cup pumpkin seeds

1 ½ tsp baking powder

½ tsp sea salt

1 ½ tsp ground ginger

1 ½ tsp ground Ceylon cinnamon

1 ½ tsp mixed spice

A good grating of fresh nutmeg


¼ cup oat milk

¼ cup groundnut oil or coconut oil melted

½ cup maple syrup

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 ½ tsp apple cider vinegar or lemon juice


1 cup of cashew nuts soaked in boiling water for 30 minutes min

2 tbs maple syrup

Juice of ½ lemon

Pinch of sea salt

Approx. ¼ cup oat milk

½ cup plain coconut or another vegan yogurt

1 tsp vanilla bean paste

For the parsnip crisps

1 parsnip or 2 baby

2 tsp maple syrup

2 tsp groundnut or melted coconut oil

Pinch of sea salt

To serve

A few springs of fresh rosemary

Extra pumpkin seeds


  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C fan.
  2. Grease a loaf tin and line.
  3. In a small bowl combine all the wet ingredients and set aside.
  4. In a large bowl combine all the dry and incorporate the wet. Fold together but do not beat or over mix.
  5. When just combined, pour the batter into your prepared tin and place in the oven for about 40 minutes. Test with a skewer after 35 minutes, if it comes out clean its done. It could take up to 45 or so.
  6. When the cake is ready, remove from the oven and allow to cool completely before frosting, if your doing so. Other wise serve warm with dollops of frosting and toppings.
  7. While the cake is cooking add drained and rinsed soaked cashews to a high-speed blender with the, maple, lemon juice and salt. Blitz and add the oat milk bit by bit until you have a smooth but thick consistency. Remove from the blender and fold in the yogurt and vanilla bean paste. Cover with cling film and place in the fridge until needed.
  8. Using a mandolin or a very sharp knife, slice the parsnips for the crisps and thinly as possible and add to a small bowl with the oil, maple and salt, mix to combine ensuring all the wafers of parsnip are well covered. Lay them out evenly and in one layer on a lined baking tray. Place in the oven for about 10 minutes, but please keep a good eye on them as they can catch easily and may not need that long. Remove from the oven and allow to cool and crisp up further.
  9. When the cake has cooled place on a serving dish and top with the frosting, followed by a little extra pumpkin seeds, the parsnip crisps, rosemary sprigs and a little drizzle of maple syrup. Serve immediately.

See notes above (in the intro) regarding serving options.

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