Gluten Free Maple Parsnip Cake


Move over carrot cake! This maple parsnip cake uses this underrated winter vegetable in a beautiful way. The combination with toasted hazelnuts and the orange notes from the Cointreau liquor is intoxicating. Bring this to your next gathering! You’ll be a star. Besides, we need a little bit of enjoyment until summer fruit arrives.


If you’re wondering why I use weights in the recipe, trust me, this is the way of making you a better gluten free baker. Small digital scales are easily found on sale at hardware stores for around $15 CAD. It removes so much room for error plus you don’t need to wash a bunch of measuring cups after.

If you’re wondering where to get these flours, head to your favourite health food store and buy the flours in bulk, especially if you don’t normally eat gluten free and want to make this to treat a friend. If you happen to buy entire bags of these flours, here are some other uses:


rice flour: use instead of regular wheat flour to thicken gravies
tapioca starch: add to marinades or toss proteins that will be added to stir fries, this creates a coating that acts like a flavour magnet
arrowroot starch: use anywhere you would use corn starch. as you may now, corn is one of the biggest pesticide and GMO crops, this is one way to avoid having it in your diet


I hope you enjoy making one of my favourite cakes using one of my favourite winter vegetables!


Parsnip Maple Cake
gluten free, diary free if using dairy free ‘buttercream’
makes 1, 2-tiered 8” cake, serves 8
Inspired by The Ballymaloe Cookery School

3/4 cup coconut oil
175 g light brown sugar
100 ml maple syrup
3 large eggs

Dry Ingredients
165g rice flour
55g tapioca starch
37.5g arrowroot flour
2 tsp xanthan gum
1/2 tsp salt
4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp ground clove
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground cardamom
1/4 tsp ground black pepper

250g grated peeled parsnips
200g grated peeled and cored apple
50g peeled and chopped toasted hazelnuts
2oz Cointreau

For assembly
2 cups buttercream
12 ground cherries for garnish, optional"

Special Equiptment
2, 8” cake pans
piping bag with star tip to make rosettes

Grease both cake pans and line the sides and bottom with parchment paper. Set aside
Preheat oven to 350F.
Melt coconut oil and pour into a bowl. Whisk in sugar, maple syrup and eggs until thoroughly combined.
In a separate bowl, whisk together all dry ingredients. Slowly pour in the melted butter mixture and stir with a wooden spoon to combine wet and dry ingredients. Fold in additional ingredients, grated parsnip, grated apple, hazelnuts and Cointreau.
Divide this batter between the two prepared cake pans and place into the oven.
Bake for 30 min.
Remove from oven when the cake is ready. You can test it by inserting a toothpick and removing it. If it is clean, the cake is done. Allow cakes to cool in their pans on a wire rack.
To assemble, remove cakes from cake pans and discard parchment paper. Place one cake on a plate and spread half of the buttercream on top of it. Place the second cake on top and pipe rosettes with the remaining buttercream that’s been placed in a piping bag. Top rosettes with optional ground cherries.