Parsnip Pear Spice Cake (Vegan)
A warm wintry spice cake made healthier with parsnip and pear with no dairy or animal products and a vegan swiss meringue buttercream from aquafaba.
- 2 cups grated parsnip
- 1 1/2 cups chopped pear
- 2 sticks vegan butter room temp
- 4 chia eggs
- 1 1/2 cups light brown sugar
- 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 tsp cardamom
- 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
- 1 pinch salt
- 2 tsp baking soda
Preheat the oven to 325F degrees and lightly grease two 8" baking tins
In a medium bowl beat together the butter, sugar, cardamom, pumpkin pie spice, and chia eggs until combined.
In another medium bowl, combine the flour, baking soda and salt and pour into the bowl with the wet ingredients, stirring with a wooden spoon to incorporate being careful not to overmix.
Stir in the parsnip and pear gently to evenly distribute throughout the batter.
Divide batter evenly between both pans (I use a kitchen scale to be precise) and put in the oven for 40-45 minutes or until a knife comes out of the middle clean.
Let the cakes cool for at least an hour before frosting.
It’s the moooost wonderful timeeee of the year! Or so they say…
I think that it’s the most…busy/hectic/stressful time of the year! Not to imply that I focus on the negative at all, in fact I would say I am usually quite the optimist.
Something about this year just felt so crazy, December flew by so quickly I feel like I barely had time to enjoy the festiveness of it all. I suppose it comes down to the fact that I moved this fall and also managed to catch the worst cold ever that lasted for weeks! Add that on top of all the holiday parties, gift buying (while trying to avoid the masses of people also doing their gift buying), busy days at work – it all really wore me down.
I took what I realized was the longest number of days off since college and I’m so glad I did. The much needed respite was really appreciated and deserved! It also allowed for plenty of time in the kitchen baking up a storm!
Parsnip – not just for dinner
While I was home I made something preeeeeeeety tasty. Parsnips seems to always appear on the menu in my parents house exclusively around the holidays. I suppose winter is the time to eat root vegetables seasonally, but this winter I realized I’d only ever had roasted or mashed parsnip and felt I needed to branch out.
Parsnip has a funny spongy texture which makes it quite absorbent meaning it takes on the flavor of the seasonings and spices you cook it with quite well. Why not add some sweet flavors and make it into a dessert!
Carrot cake has been done time and time again but why was its cousin the parsnip always left out of the dessert fun?
Parsnip and pear – the ultimate combo
The addition of pears to the cake was largely due to the fact that my parents had received a gift basket in the mail that included a lot of pears. I figured pears would add a lovely moisture to the cake but was concerned that they were also a little mild on the flavor side, hence the addition of a healthy dose of warming wintry spices! Cardamom makes a guest appearance in the spice mixture, I’m quite partial to cardamom and I think it pairs really well with the pears (pairs with pears ha).
This cake is made vegan by using chia (or flax) eggs in the batter and by using aquafaba in the frosting which is a vegan swiss meringue buttercream. I am a HUGE fan of swiss meringue buttercream and I love that aquafaba yields an amazing vegan version! If you haven’t already tried aquafaba you can check out my other posts featuring it to make vegan fluff and vegan pavlova!
This is the perfect cake for these cold winter days and a great way to use seasonal parsnip and pears! It comes together pretty quickly and adorned with some dried orange slices is the perfect centerpiece for a winter feast!
For the Swiss Meringue Buttercream I use this vegan version made with aquafaba found over on the blog Gretchen’s Bakery