Triple-Layer Parsnip Cranberry Cake

Triple-Layer Parsnip Cranberry Cake | ZoeBakes photo by Zoë François

For those of you who have followed my blog since 2007, you’ll know I am a tremendous fan of Dorie Greenspan. I’ve considered her a mentor in my own career as a chef and cookbook writer. She is the absolute top of the game and I look forward to every book she puts out with bated breath. Everyday Dorie is her brand new book and I dove in the second I clawed it out of the packaging. As is my way, I flipped straight to the Desserts section and was instantly seduced by the opening image of this Triple-Layer Parsnip Cranberry Cake with cream cheese frosting. I’ve never made a cake with parsnip, but imagined it would be the sophisticated cousin to Carrot Cake, which is one of my go-to cakes. I was not wrong, it is just as satisfying and comforting as the carrot version, but it is all its own flavor and delicious. It is perfect with the tangy-sweet cream cheese frosting and tart candied cranberry garnish. You can watch me make Dorie’s cake in my instagram videos and she has graciously permitted me to share the recipe with you.

Triple-Layer Parsnip Cranberry Cake | ZoeBakes photo by Zoë FrançoisTriple-Layer Parsnip Cranberry Cake | ZoeBakes photo by Zoë François

Triple-Layer Parsnip Cranberry Cake

from EVERYDAY DORIE: The Way I Cook by Dorie Greenspan

For the Cake

2 cups (272g) all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons ground coriander

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon fine sea salt

1 cup (200g) granulated sugar

1 tablespoon minced peeled fresh ginger (I used 1 teaspoon finely grated ginger)

Finely grated zest of 1 small orange

1 cup (240ml) neutral oil, such as canola

1/2 cup (100g) packed light brown sugar

4 large eggs, at room temperature

1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

1 pound (454g) parsnip, trimmed peeled and grated (3 cups) – Carrots will do in a pinch, although it will not be the same.

1 cup (120g) chopped pecans or other nuts, toasted or not

1/2 cup (50g) chopped fresh cranberries

For Cranberry Filling

One 12-ounce (340g) bag cranberries (if frozen, don’t defrost)

3/4 cup (150g) sugar

1/2 cup (120g) freshly squeezed orange juice (or water)

1 teaspoon minced peeled fresh ginger

For the Frosting

3/4 pound (340g) cream cheese, cut into chunks, at room temperature

1 1/2 sticks (170g) unsalted butter, cut into chunks, at room temperature

6 1/4 cups (750g) confectioners’ sugar

1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt

4 teaspoons pure vanilla extract (to make homemade vanilla)

To make the cake: (you can watch me make the cake in my instagram video)

Preheat 325°F

Butter and line three 8×3″ cake pans (or three 9-inch cake pans) with parchment paper.

Whisk the flour, coriander, baking powder, baking soda and salt together.

Beat the oil, sugar and brown sugar together with a hand mixer or stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment. Add the eggs, one at a time, combining well after each. Beat in the vanilla, ginger, orange zest.

Add the flour and mix just until combined. Add the parsnips and nuts. Gently fold in the chopped cranberries.

Divide the batter evenly among the three pans and smooth the top. Bake for about 30 to 35 minutes or until the cake is golden on top and pull away from the sides of the pans; the tops will be set and a tester will come out clean. Cool for 5 minutes, then remove the cakes from the pan and allow to cool completely.

To make the cranberries:

In a saucepan, cook the cranberries, sugar, orange juice and ginger until the cranberries start to thicken, about 10 minutes. Cool before using in the cake.

To make the frosting: 

Beat together the cream cheese, butter, confectioners’ sugar and salt together with a paddle attachment until smooth. Scraping the bowl often. Add the vanilla.

To assemble the cake:

Place one layer on the serving plate. Evenly spread a 1/2 inch layer of frosting over the cake. Add a 1/4 cup of the cranberries and spread evenly. Lay another layer of cake, frosting and cranberries. Finish with a layer of cake and then use the remaining frosting to decorate the cake. Watch me make and decorate the cake in my instagram video. 

Triple-Layer Parsnip Cranberry Cake | ZoeBakes photo by Zoë FrançoisCandied Cranberries

1 teaspoon pasteurized egg whites

1 cup fresh cranberries

1 cup sugar

Coat the cranberries in the egg whites and then dredge in the sugar to lightly coat them. Allow them to dry for about 30+ minutes.

Triple-Layer Parsnip Cranberry Cake | ZoeBakes photo by Zoë FrançoisTriple-Layer Parsnip Cranberry Cake | ZoeBakes photo by Zoë François

Triple-Layer Parsnip Cranberry Cake
Author: 
Recipe type: Dessert
 
Recipe from EVERYDAY DORIE: The Way I Cook by Dorie Greenspan.
Ingredients
  • Cake:
  • 2 cups (272g) all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon minced peeled fresh ginger (I used 1 teaspoon finely grated ginger)
  • Finely grated zest of 1 small orange
  • 1 cup (240ml) neutral oil, such as canola
  • ½ cup (100g) packed light brown sugar
  • 4 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 pound (454g) parsnip, trimmed peeled and grated (3 cups) - Carrots will do in a pinch, although it will not be the same.
  • 1 cup (120g) chopped pecans or other nuts, toasted or not
  • ½ cup (50g) chopped fresh cranberries
  • Cranberry Filling:
  • One 12-ounce (340g) bag cranberries (if frozen, don't defrost)
  • ¾ cup (150g) sugar
  • ½ cup (120g) freshly squeezed orange juice (or water)
  • 1 teaspoon minced peeled fresh ginger
  • Frosting:
  • ¾ pound (340g) cream cheese, cut into chunks, at room temperature
  • 1½ sticks (170g) unsalted butter, cut into chunks, at room temperature
  • 6¼ cups (750g) confectioners' sugar
  • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 4 teaspoons pure vanilla extract (to make homemade vanilla)
  • Candied Cranberries:
  • 1 teaspoon pasteurized egg whites
  • 1 cup fresh cranberries
  • 1 cup sugar
Instructions
  1. Preheat 325°F.
  2. Butter and line three 8x3" cake pans (or three 9-inch cake pans) with parchment paper.
  3. Whisk the flour, coriander, baking powder, baking soda and salt together.
  4. Beat the oil, sugar and brown sugar together with a hand mixer or stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment. Add the eggs, one at a time, combining well after each. Beat in the vanilla, ginger, orange zest.
  5. Add the flour and mix just until combined. Add the parsnips and nuts. Gently fold in the chopped cranberries.
  6. Divide the batter evenly among the three pans and smooth the top. Bake for about 30 to 35 minutes or until the cake is golden on top and pull away from the sides of the pans; the tops will be set and a tester will come out clean. Cool for 5 minutes, then remove the cakes from the pan and allow to cool completely.
  7. To make the cranberries: In a saucepan, cook the cranberries, sugar, orange juice and ginger until the cranberries start to thicken, about 10 minutes. Cool before using in the cake.
  8. To make the frosting: Beat together the cream cheese, butter, confectioners' sugar and salt together with a paddle attachment until smooth. Scraping the bowl often. Add the vanilla.
  9. To assemble the cake: Place one layer on the serving plate. Evenly spread a ½ inch layer of frosting over the cake. Add a ¼ cup of the cranberries and spread evenly. Lay another layer of cake, frosting and cranberries. Finish with a layer of cake and then use the remaining frosting to decorate the cake.
  10. Candied Cranberries: Coat the cranberries in the egg whites and then dredge in the sugar to lightly coat them. Allow them to dry for about 30+ minutes.

 

Thank you to Dorie Greenspan and the folks at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt for allowing me to share the recipe.