Parsnip, Apple & Hazelnut Cake


Preparation info

    • Difficulty


Appears in

Bad Girl Bakery

Bad Girl Bakery

By Jeni Iannetta

Published 2021

  • About

This cake is the result of playing around with a carrot cake recipe. We wanted something that would appeal to carrot cake lovers but that was autumnal in flavour and this fits the bill. It’s much lighter than it sounds and to be honest you would have no idea it has parsnips in it. It just tastes nutty and cinnamony with sweetness, moisture and texture from the apples and parsnips. Delicious.


  • 23 cm springform cake tin, greased and lined
  • 275 g soft light brown sugar
  • 250 g unsalted butter, softened
  • 5 medium eggs
  • 280 g self-raising flour
  • tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 125 g peeled parsnip, grated (around 1 medium-sized parsnip)
  • 125 g apples, skin on, grated (around 2 small apples)
  • 100 g hazelnuts, roasted and blitzed or very finely chopped


Preheat the oven to 180°C (160°C fan).

Weigh the sugar and butter into a large bowl and crack the eggs into a jug (don’t whisk them). Weigh the flour, cinnamon and baking powder into another bowl and whisk to combine.

Beat the butter and sugar together until they look paler in colour, then scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl with a spatula and mix again (on medium if you’re using a stand mixer). Pour in an egg along with a generous spoonful of the flour and beat (on low if you’re using a mixer) until it’s all combined. Repeat with each of the remaining eggs, then scrape the bowl down again and gently mix in the remaining flour.

Fold in the grated parsnips, apples and blitzed nuts until they are just combined and no more. Spoon the batter into the lined tin and flatten it off using a palette knife or the back of a spoon.

Bake on the middle shelf for around 70 to 75 minutes and then check with a skewer: the cake is ready when the skewer comes out clean and dry and the middle is firm to the touch. If there’s any give at all, bake for another five minutes and check again.

Leave to cool in the tin until it’s just slightly warm and cool enough to handle. Then, take the cake out of the tin and gently turn it upside down on a cooling rack, take off the base of the tin and the greaseproof paper, then turn it the right way up again. It may feel very slightly damp on the bottom (just because it’s been cooling in the tin), but this will go once it’s cooled completely.

If you’re icing the cake, make the Basic Buttercream, and when it’s very soft and smooth beat in the hazelnut or maple syrup. Ice the cake using a piping bag and palette knife or, for a more rustic look, simply use a spatula to spread a thick layer on the top of the cake. Finish with a scattering of chopped roasted hazelnuts.