Carrot & Parsnip Cake (Grain-Free!)

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Let’s talk about Carrot and Parsnip cake.

But first, a confession: I am not really one to get super-excited about cake. (Crazy, I know!) 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 when we lived in Germany, alerting one to the availability of Kaffee und Kuchen. When autumn arrives and it gets chilly and gray over here, Kaffee und Kuchen sounds just amazing. Before I made this, coffee and Carrot Cake had been calling my name for weeks.

I usually nurse a craving for a while 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, and 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 just where it’s at for me right now.


Carrot & Parsnip Cake (Grain-Free!)

Parsnip and Carrot Cake from And Here We Are...

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.

  • Author: Ariana
  • Prep Time: 20
  • Cook Time: 55 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Baking


3 cups finely ground almond flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
5 eggs
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.

(One more confession:  This was my breakfast this morning.)
I hope you enjoy it. What do you crave in autumn? What is your favorite cake?Grain-Free Carrot & Parnsip Cake


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17 Responses to Carrot & Parsnip Cake (Grain-Free!)

  1. Lisa Bertolini November 9, 2013 at 4:14 pm #

    Now that looks like an interesting combination of ingredients. I love lemon zest, it always makes thing taste yummy. Thanks for sharing…and the photos look great!

  2. Elizabeth November 11, 2013 at 6:34 pm #

    I made this last night, using the exact ingredients (no subs), but the center turned out sadly underdone. I kept it in the oven until the edges were nearing being burnt. It seems like maybe a moisture content issue (does moisture content vary between organic carrots and parsnips?)… any suggestions? The taste was DELICIOUS – especially the crunch of toasted walnuts amidst the sweet density. I’d love to get the chemistry kinks worked out so that my texture can look like your picture!

    • Ariana Mullins November 14, 2013 at 11:41 am #

      Hi Elizabeth,
      I think there *could* be some variation in moisture content, but the first thing I would try to tweak is the heat. Different ovens perform differently, and I would try baking it at a slightly lower heat, for longer– that should help the center to firm up without burning the edges. I’ll test it again, just to see if there’s anything else it could be– I’m sure my family won’t mind having to eat another one! (Oh, who are we kidding? I’ll be thrilled.)

  3. Téa April 15, 2014 at 10:20 am #

    This cake was absolutely delicious – thanks for the recipe! The cake was even better – more moist and with a richer flavour – the next day after it had “rested” overnight in the fridge.

    The temperatures worked for me. I substituted toasted pecans for the walnuts (allergies -sigh-), but otherwise did everything as suggested. Will definitely be making this again!

    • ariana April 15, 2014 at 10:39 am #

      Hi Téa, thank you so much for taking the time to let me know how your cake turned out! I am so glad you loved it. Pecans actually sound so heavenly in this cake– great idea!

  4. RonB April 29, 2016 at 3:16 pm #

    Ok – I am DUMB – where is the “print button”?

  5. Laura October 29, 2016 at 5:43 pm #

    Love this cake!! And the frosting is just the best. Not overly sweet! Creamy dreamy and is delish on your banana muffins!!

  6. kathygpilgrim January 21, 2017 at 1:59 am #

    I’m excited to try this cake after a friend made one last night (she didn’t give the recipe) but it didn’t have walnuts…what would you substitute, or not…does it need the walnuts?

    • ariana January 29, 2017 at 5:46 pm #

      Hi Kathy,
      I have had great results using hazelnuts instead, and although I haven’t made it without the added nuts, I think it would come out just fine!


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