Confession: I am not really one to get super-excited about cake. Cakes are very pretty, but I tend to crave more savory morsels, and dense, chocolatey desserts. So, I was surprised to find that I’ve been suddenly thinking a lot about cake. I keep recalling in my mind all of the signs in restaurant windows in Germany alerting one to the availability of Kaffee und Kuchen. Since it’s gotten chilly and gray over here, Kaffee und Kuchen has sounded just amazing. And in particular, coffee and Carrot Cake have been calling my name for weeks. I usually nurse a craving for weeks before I attempt to satisfy it. (I know, I really should give in much sooner.) Then, after I have built it up so long that whatever it is I’ve been imagining myself eating is amazing I usually feel bitter disappointment as soon as I take a bite. I remember one time going to a doughnut shop, buying an apple fritter, taking a bite and then dropping it into the trash can. Nothing can live up to the fantasy of my long-held cravings. Well, almost nothing. Today I want to share a cake that went above and beyond to deliver the bliss I had imagined –but, skeptically– not fully expected. Carrot and Parsnip Cake is where it’s at for me right now.
This cake is more aromatic than your classic carrot cake because of the parsnips and ginger. Both add extra warmth and spice, and the lemon cream cheese frosting goes so well with these bright flavors.
Carrot & Parsnip Cake
What You’ll Need:
3 cups finely ground almond flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
½ cup honey (maple syrup would work, too)
¼ cup coconut oil, melted
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger (or 1 t dried ginger, optional)
2 cups grated carrots
1 cup grated parsnips
3/4 cup chopped dates
1 cup walnuts, roughly chopped (toasting them in the oven for a few minutes first is highly recommended, but not obligatory)
1. Combine the first five dry ingredients in a large bowl.
2. In another, smaller bowl, mix the eggs, honey, oil, and ginger together.
3. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ones and stir only until combined.
4. Add the grated vegetables, dates and walnuts to the batter, and fold them in evenly– don’t over-mix.
5. Pour the batter into a greased round 9-inch cake pan.
6. Bake the cake at 325º F or 165º C for about 55 minutes, or until the edges are brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
7. Let cool, and make your frosting (if using) and then frost it.
8. Serve with a good cup of coffee (or tea.)
Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting
8 ounces (1 cup) cream cheese at room temperature
1 stick (or 8 tablespoons) unsalted butter at room temperature
1/3 cup of honey
1 tablespoon of lemon zest
1. Put the cream cheese in a medium-sized bowl, and begin working to soften it with a wooden spoon or spatula. Add the butter to it gradually and mix, until they are well combined.
2. Add the honey lemon zest and whip with a whisk until blended and light.
3. Taste and adjust the sweetness and lemon to taste, and frost your cake.