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Parsnip Cake with Rosemary and Olive Oil

parsnip cake with rosemary and olive oil

Parsnips are sweet, earthy, and nutritious, the perfect food for the colder season. I love using vegetables in unexpected ways, like making sweet treats, so here is one of my favorite cakes ever: parsnip cake with rosemary and olive oil. This cake is sugar-free, lectin-free, gluten-free, and dairy-free. It’s a treat that is not overly sweet, a beautiful and flavorful cross between savory and sweet, and so grounding during the colder and shorter days.

Why a parsnip cake?

Parsnips are everywhere for the most part of the year, and I’m always thinking of new ways of using them. I got inspired to make this cake from a recipe in the Six Seasons, A New Way with Vegetables cookbook, by Joshua McFaden. The challenge is that conventional cakes always have sugar and wheat flour, but I learned my way around those little annoyances. In fact, parsnips are already so sweet this cake didn’t even need sweetener.

In a way, parsnips will work a little bit like carrots. While you can certainly grate them like carrots, I mince the parsnips in a food processor until resembling the texture of rice.

I buy organic parsnips and don’t peel them, as a lot of the flavor is in the peel. Before using, scrub them well with a vegetable brush and wash them.

Parsnips have a sweet, deep, and earthy flavor, and it’s quite a dominant flavor when cooked. The touch of sweetness and tartness brought in by the apple will counteract its earthiness and brighten up this cake.

Ingredients for the parsnip cake with rosemary and olive oil

For a cake, it can’t get healthier and more nutritious than this. Use the best extra virgin olive oil you can get and fresh rosemary for the best results. You have to chop the rosemary before adding it to the food processor.

Make sure the apple is cut in small pieces, or you can even grate it. I love to see the small cubes of apples in the cake.

For extra sweetness, I use 2-3 big Medjool dates. Since dates can vary in size, the weight is about 70 grams.

For the dry ingredients, I use cassava flour, psyllium husk flakes, coarsely ground hazelnuts or pecans, and some shredded coconut.

Use warming spices for this parsnip cake. I use my Holiday Warming Spice Blend and vanilla, but you can use a mix of cinnamon, allspice, and a touch of black pepper. A pumpkin pie spice mix will also work.

This is the complete ingredient list:

  • 2/3 cup ground hazelnuts or pecans
  • 2 cups riced parsnip
  • 2 pasture-raised eggs
  • 2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
  • 70 grams chopped dates (about four small dates)
  • 2 tablespoons psyllium husk
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • Warming spices: 1 tsp cinnamon + 1/2 tsp allspice + 1 tsp vanilla extract (or use the warming spice blend)
  • 2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • zest of one organic lemon
  • 1/3 cup shredded coconut
  • 1/2 cup cassava flour
  • 1 small organic apple (for baking), cut into small cubes

How to make parsnip cake with rosemary and olive oil

  • Preheat the oven to 325F.
  • Coarsely grind the hazelnuts or pecans in a food processor. You want a little texture, so don’t process them all the way to becoming flour. Take the hazelnuts out and measure 2/3 cup. Don’t clean the food processor, you will use it again.
  • Add the chopped parsnip to the food processor and process until resembling the texture of rice. Take it out and measure two cups.
  • Add the eggs, chopped dates, olive oil, rosemary, spices, salt and pepper, baking soda, lemon juice, lemon zest, and psyllium husk to the food processor and process until creamy.
  • If your food processor is big enough, add the parsnip and the coconut to the wet ingredients and pulse a few times to combine. If not, just mix them in a bowl.
  • Transfer the parsnip, coconut, and wet mix to a big mixing bowl, and add the cassava flour, bit by bit, and combine. Stop adding flour if the mixture is getting too dry or thick.
  • Add the ground nuts and apples, and gently combine them into the batter. The final batter is pretty thick, not one that you can pour.
  • Transfer the batter to a lined loaf pan, level and make sure there are no air pockets left, and bake for about 55 minutes.
  • Take it out on a cooling rack and let it rest for about 30 minutes before slicing.
  • Store in a glass container in the refrigerator, or slice and freeze.

How to serve the parsnip cake with rosemary and olive oil

This is a perfect slice for breakfast or a coffee break. You can dust it with inulin powder or drizzle with raw, local honey.

Enjoy!

*This post contains affiliated links, which means I get a small commission if you choose to purchase something via one of my links, at no extra cost to you.

Parsnip Cake with Rosemary and Olive Oil

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By Claudia Curici Serves: 6
Prep Time: 15 minutes Cooking Time: 55 minutes

Lectin-free, low histamine and almost sweetener-free cake.

Ingredients

  • 2/3 cup ground hazelnuts or pecans
  • 2 cups riced parsnip
  • 2 pasture-raised eggs
  • 2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
  • 70 grams chopped dates (about four small dates)
  • 2 tablespoons psyllium husk
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • Warming spices: 1 teaspoon cinnamon + 1/2 teaspoon allspice + 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (or check post for alternatives)
  • 2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • zest of one organic lemon
  • 1/3 cup shredded coconut
  • 1/2 cup cassava flour
  • 1 small organic apple (for baking), cut into small cubes

Instructions

1

Preheat the oven to 325F.

2

Coarsely grind the hazelnuts or pecans in a food processor. You want a little texture, so don't process them all the way to becoming flour. Take the hazelnuts out and measure 2/3 cup. Don't clean the food processor, you will use it again.

3

Add the chopped parsnip to the food processor and process until resembling the texture of rice. Take it out and measure two cups.

4

Add the eggs, chopped dates, olive oil, rosemary, spices, salt and pepper, baking powder, lemon juice, lemon zest, and psyllium husk to the food processor and process until creamy.

5

If your food processor is big enough, add the parsnip and the coconut to the wet ingredients and pulse a few times to combine. If not, just mix them in a bowl.

6

Transfer the parsnip, coconut, and wet mix to a big mixing bowl, and add the cassava flour, bit by bit, and combine. Stop adding flour if the mixture is getting too dry or thick.

7

Add the ground nuts and apples, and gently combine them into the batter. The final batter is pretty thick, not one that you can pour.

8

Transfer the batter to a lined loaf pan, level and make sure there are no air pockets left, and bake for about 55 minutes.

9

Take it out on a cooling rack and let it rest for about 30 minutes before slicing.

10

Store in a glass container in the refrigerator, or slice and freeze.

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9 Comments

  • Reply
    Rita
    October 10, 2019 at 8:13 am

    Sounds great Claudia. I am on a very low carb diet as I have insulin resistance. Can I swap the cassava flour for a mix of nut flour and cononut flour? And would it work with any veg other than parsnip? Thank you so much. I m really after a loaf cake that is low carb and could be eaten for breakfast. Thank you xx

    • Reply
      Claudia
      October 11, 2019 at 9:50 am

      Hi Rita, I think we already discussed this on my Instagram, but I’ll answer this so other readers can see. You can try to replace cassava with almond flour but I can’t say you will get the same result. I don’t see any other veggies fitting in here. All veggies are carbs. It’s only 1/4 cup of riced parsnip for one serving (a thick slice), would that worry you?

    • Reply
      Cathy Owens
      December 18, 2019 at 2:29 pm

      Rita I’m also a big fan of Claudia and her recipes and have a couple of thought. One would be to just abandon the idea of any breakfast bread or baked goods for 6 months until your IR is improved. That’s what I did. The other idea would be to just do this as a special treat maybe once a month. Otherwise just have bulletproof coffee or poached egg with some olive oil or pastured ghee for bkfst. You could also decrease the yacon syrup and/or add some ground flax.

  • Reply
    Claudia
    February 14, 2020 at 5:13 pm

    Hi Claudia,
    Can I use flax eggs instead of the eggs?
    Thanks!

    • Reply
      Claudia
      February 16, 2020 at 3:34 pm

      I wish I knew the answer. I’ll have to try it because I’d like to be able to make an egg free version of this recipe, as it is one of my favorite recipes on the website. I feel like it would work, but it would need more liquid added, like maybe more olive oil plus a little bit of coconut cream? If you do try before I do please post your result. I hope this helps. xx

  • Reply
    Natalie Greco
    March 8, 2021 at 12:20 am

    Love your site!!! I am allergic to hazelnuts, any chance you think ground almond would work as well? Thanks!!

    • Reply
      Claudia
      March 8, 2021 at 1:07 am

      Hi Natalie, thank you so much! Yes, any ground nuts will work. I would choose walnuts to replace hazelnuts but blanched almonds will work too.

  • Reply
    Mrs Grace Miller
    April 5, 2021 at 9:08 am

    Hi Claudia,

    Thank you for your very helpful website and information. What substitutions would you recommend for your recipes for nut allergy sufferers?

    • Reply
      Claudia
      April 6, 2021 at 4:13 am

      Hi Grace, thank you so much for the kind words. I just published a guide with all the lectin-free and gluten-free flours. I also talk about substitutions there. In your case though, use all the other flours that are not coming from nuts, but there is not a specific rule for substitution. You will have to try. For this specific recipe, maybe you can try a mix of tigernut (not a nut), cassava, tapioca, add some ground hemp seeds to the mix. But, unless I try it myself, I can’t promise the same result. I hope this helps. xx

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