For those of you who have followed my blog for a while, 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 parsnips, 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. Dorie has graciously permitted me to share the parsnip cranberry cake recipe with you. You can also watch me make it in my Instagram stories!
Thank you to Dorie Greenspan and the folks at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt for allowing me to share the recipe.
- 2 cups (272g) all-purpose flour
- 2 tsp ground coriander
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp fine sea salt
- 1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
- 1 tbsp 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 tsp pure vanilla extract homemade vanilla
- 1 pound (454g) parsnips trimmed, peeled and grated (3 cups)
- 1 cup (120g) chopped pecans or other nuts toasted or not
- 1/2 cup (50g) chopped fresh cranberries
- 1 12 oz (340g) bag cranberries if frozen, don't defrost
- 3/4 cup (150g) sugar
- 1/2 cup (120g) freshly squeezed orange juice or water
- 1 tsp minced and peeled fresh ginger
- 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 tsp fine sea salt
- 4 tsp pure vanilla extract homemade vanilla
- 1 tsp pasteurized egg whites
- 1 cup fresh cranberries
- 1 cup sugar
- Preheat oven to 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 pulls 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.
- 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.
- Beat together the cream cheese, butter, confectioners' sugar and salt together with a paddle attachment until smooth. Scraping the bowl often. Add the vanilla.
- 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 cranberry filling and spread evenly. Lay another layer of cake, frosting and cranberry filling. Finish with a layer of cake and then use the remaining frosting to decorate the cake.
- 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.