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19 May 2020 Bake Sweet

Carrot & parsnip tray bake cake with cream cheese & maple frosting

Carrot & parsnip tray bake cake with cream cheese & maple frosting

This deliciously moist cake is quick and easy to make, yet ideal as an impressive crowd pleaser. While parsnip may seem like an unappealing vegetable to add to a cake, it will be relatively unnoticed, but like the carrot, add a natural sweetness. This cake is refined sugar free, using maple syrup for additional sweetness.

Serves 12

Preheat the oven to 180C (fan 160C), 350F, Gas Mark 4. Grease the base of a 8” x 10” baking tray or roasting tin (at least 2 inch in height) and line with parchment paper.

Roughly chop the walnuts, reserve 25g of them for decorating and pop the rest into a large bowl. Add the flour, sultanas, baking powder and mixed spice. Toss together well, make a well in the centre and set aside.

Measure the maple syrup into a large jug, followed by the olive oil. Beat in the eggs. Peel and roughly grate the carrot and parsnip and stir these through.

Pour the wet mixture into the dry ingredients and mix until well blended. Pour into the tin and spread with the back of a spoon. Bake for 35 minutes.

Meanwhile, to prepare the frosting, finely grate the orange zest and reserve for decorating. Squeeze the juice into a bowl and add the cream cheese and maple syrup. Mix until well blended. Cover and refrigerate until needed.

The tray bake is cooked when a skewer, which has been pierced into the centre, comes out clean. Remove and leave to cool a little in the tin before lifting out and allowing to cool completely.

Spread the frosting evenly all over the top. Scatter the reserved walnuts and orange zest over. Cut into 12 and serve.


Use all parsnip without carrot if preferred (or vice versa!).

Grated beetroot would work really well in this also.


You will need...

100g walnuts
250g wholemeal flour
75g sultanas
2 tsp baking powder
4 tsp mixed spice
225ml maple syrup
200ml light olive oil
4 large eggs
2 medium carrots (about 250g)
1 large parsnip (about 250g)

1 large orange
280g tub low-fat cream cheese
2 tbsp maple syrup

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