This Parsnip Loaf Cake is a tasty, easy vegetable cake recipe. The parsnip gives it a subtly nutty sweetness and moisture and it's very simple to make in 1 bowl. It's like a moist parsnip pound cake.
I know, you’re thinking parsnip? In a loaf cake? Trust me, you’ll love it. Adding parsnip to a cake should be as common as adding carrot.
This Parsnip Loaf Cake is super quick and easy to make, and tastes absolutely incredible. The texture of the parsnip fades in the moist and fluffy cake, leaving behind a wonderful moisture and deep, sweet flavor.
I adore parsnip in cakes as it brings a beautifully sweet nutty flavour. It also means the cake is moist and lasts for ages without drying out.
I love using it in cakes, so I added parsnip to this Madeira-style cake. With delicious results. I hope you’ll love it too.
This parsnip loaf recipe was originally posted on 29 April 2013 and republished on 26 Feb 2021 with new images and text. The recipe remains the same.
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
This parsnip bread is moist, rich and utterly divine.
The flavor of the parsnip fades way, but really does make it moist.
It’s a simple no-fuss recipe.
It’s a budget-friendly cake with simple ingredients.
A 1-bowl cake recipe.
It’s a fun hidden vegetable cake. Nobody will guess that there’s parsnip in it!
This recipe is a great way to use up leftover parsnips.
The parsnip makes it last for ages. We were quite restrained and didn’t finish it for four days, but it still tasted perfectly fresh and didn’t dry out.
Ingredients and Tools
Parsnip - You know, those root vegetables that look a bit like white carrots. They add a lovely moisture and nutty sweet flavor to this cake.
Butter - butter adds a lovely richness to the parsnip bread. You could use margarine, but butter really shines through in this recipe.
Sugar - to sweeten the cake and add to the structure. I use regular granulated white sugar.
Eggs - to help bind the cake. To make it eggless, use a flax egg (for each egg, dissolve 1 tablespoon flax meal in 2 tablespoons of water and leave to sit for 5 minutes).
Flour - use all-purpose (aka plain flour).
Baking powder - to help the cake rise and get beautifully fluffy.
Milk - to add extra moisture to the batter.
Grater (I use a regular cheese grater to grate the parsnips)
Electric mixer (or beat/whisk vigorously by hand)
Loaf pan (450g/1 ½ lb)
This recipe is great for using up older parsnips that are a bit bendy and old. They’re a bit harder to grate, but it’s still totally possible.
If your parsnips are organic, you don’t need to peel them, but be sure to clean them really well. Parsnips sometimes get dirt stuck in little crevices. I like to dunk them under water and use a vegetable brush to clean them thoroughly.
As with most cakes, you can beat the wet ingredients really well (and should, to get loads of air into the ingredients), but when you add the dry ingredients you should mix by hand so that air doesn’t get beaten out.
This parsnip loaf cake is delicious served on its own, or you can slice it and serve with a little butter.
Enjoy it at Afternoon Tea for a celebration. Check out my Best Afternoon Tea Recipes.
Try it served drizzled with vanilla custard.
Serve with a big scoop of vanilla ice cream.
Enjoy with a cup of tea or mug of coffee for a tasty snack.
This cake has a dense pound cake-style texture, so you could even cut slices and grill them on the barbecue! Sound crazy, but it’s sooo good when the sugars char and it gets grill marks. Top with ice cream that will melt into it and it’s utterly delicious.
Serve the parsnip loaf topped with fruit compote and a little whipped cream. It would be incredible with pomegranate compote or blueberry compote.
Enjoy it for breakfast: serve a slice topped with plain yogurt and fresh berries.
Vegetable Cake Recipes
I hope that you'll be inspired by this Parsnip Bread to explore more vegetable desserts.
My blog is full of them, so give some of these a try and I'm sure you'll love veg cakes!
Apple Kale Cake
Lemon and Cucumber Cake
Chocolate Beetroot Cake
Sweet Vanilla Pea Cake with Lemon Frosting
Check out all my other vegetable desserts.
Carrot cake is so popular. And rightly so!
You can't ever taste the carrot, but we all know that it makes carrot cake so beautifully moist!
Parsnip works in a very similar way in this parsnip loaf. It's a root vegetable that's naturally sweet.
Parsnips have a very mild nutty flavor, so they really do work incredibly well in cakes and bakes.
Try some of these other parsnip cake recipes!
Maple Parsnip Cake with Sweet Potato Frosting
Winter-Spiced Parsnip Cake with Mulled Wine Drizzle
Vegetable Peeling Cake (carrot, parsnip)
Lemon, Poppy Seed and Parsnip Muffins
Carrot, Parsnip and Coconut Flapjacks
Apple and Parsnip Crumble
Did you make this Parsnip Loaf recipe? Please let me know how it turned out for you!
Leave a comment and star rating below and share a picture with the hashtag #veggiedesserts. I love seeing your recreations of my vegetarian and vegan recipes.
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Parsnip Loaf Cake
- 6 oz (125g) parsnip (approximately two)
- ¾ cup (170g) unsalted butter at room temperature
- ¾ cup (170g) sugar
- 3 eggs
- 1 ⅔ cups all-purpose flour (plain flour)
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 3 tablespoons milk
- Preheat the oven to 340°F / 170°C. Grease a loaf pan and line with baking parchment.
- Peel and grate the raw parsnip and set aside.
- In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar together with an electric mixer (or vigorously by hand) until light and fluffy.
- And the eggs one at a time and beat each one in well.
- Mix in the parsnip and then sift in the flour and baking powder and combine. Add the milk and gently stir to combine.
- Pour the mixture into the prepared loaf pan and bake for 60 minutes or until an inserted skewer comes out clean. If the cake is browning too quickly, cover it with foil loosely.
- Cool the cake in the pan for 15 minutes and then remove from the tin and allow to cool completely.
- This cake lasts well, covered, for up to four days.
The nutritional information provided is approximate and can vary depending on several factors, so is not guaranteed to be accurate. Please see a registered dietician for special diet advice.
Have made this cake twice. It is absolutely lovely and very moist. I used margarine and self raising flour and got excellent results. It doesn't last very long though as its so delicious.
Decided to have a go at Parsnip Loaf Cake having been given some parsnips. Turned out well, lovely and moist. Will definitely be making it again.
I love that this bread is made in one bowl! So easy!
Absolutely delicious. Very light and moist
Will be making again.
Very unique recipe! I've had heard of Parsnip cake! It's totally different. My Father in Law loves parsnip so I made this for him and to see if he could guess the secret ingredient. nope!
This Parsnip Loaf Cake is really delicious and fluffy! My kids loved it as well!
Okay, I think you found a way to get me to eat parsnips! This was really good and everyone in my family loved it too.
This is the absolute best my husband turned his nose up when I said parsnip cake but I grew too many parsnips this year and I’m definitely thrilled because now I’m enjoying this amazing cake and his now decided it’s actually the best cake his ever had!!!!!
Easy, simple and absolutely delicious. I've never used parsnip in a cake before - what a revelation!
What a Lovely cake. Thank You.
Just made this for the second time in three days - my husband and boys absolutely LOVED the first one, and it was gone in less than 24 hours. Thanks for the recipe - I’m sure it will be made over and over! 🙂
The recipe doesn't say when to add the milk, or what to do with it. Also, do i have to use self raising flour? I wouldn't mind trying this recipe (googled veggie desserts after a delicious zucchini cake experiment), but i normally have just all purpose flour on hand.
I really like the idea of this cake but would you suggest if I could add anything like blackberries or other fruits. Also randomly do you have any recipes for an inventive take on jam tarts?
Hi Sarah, I quite like a madeira cake plain and would maybe add the fruit as a compote sauce? But I don't see why you can't whack some berries right in. Maybe roll them in flour first so they don't sink. I don't have a jam tart recipe, but you could try my carrot jam and one of my flavoured pastries. I like the thought of carrot jam tarts with spinach pastry. It would be sweet but very bright!
I'm curious about the taste. I love to make veggie cake/breads out of carrots and zucchini and squash. Parsnips might definitely be the next one to try. Thanks for sharing!
Hi Stephanie, I really love this cake. You can't taste the parsnip any more than you can taste carrot in carrot cake. It gives a lovely texture.
Debi @ Life Currents
This looks and sounds amazing! I love the idea. And, that trifle with beet custard sounds lovely! I'm really interested in that one!
Thanks Debi. I'm still working on the trifle!