Parsnip Cupcakes

Photo Credit: Romulo Yanes, 2012


It can be a challenge to get both kids and adults to get a few more vegetables in their diets. Whereas most people love carrots, these rich, moist cupcakes take everything you love about carrot cake to the next level, thanks to the sweet spiciness of parsnips and warm, fragrant cardamom. We took a page from the carrot cake playbook and paired these cupcakes with a classic cream-cheese frosting.


Makes 1 Dozen Cupcakes

For the cupcakes:
1 cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon fine salt
3/4 cup packed light-brown sugar
2 large eggs
2/3 cup vegetable oil
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract, divided
1 large  parsnip, peeled and grated (yields about 2 cups)

For the frosting:
8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar

Preheat oven to 350 ° F.

Line 12 standard muffin cups with paper liners. Set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, cardamom, baking powder, and salt. In another large bowl, whisk together brown sugar, eggs, oil, 2 teaspoons vanilla, and parsnip. Stir in flour mixture.

Divide batter among cups. Bake until a toothpick inserted in center of a cake comes out with a few moist crumbs attached, 18 to 20 minutes. Let cool completely in pan on a wire rack.

To make the frosting, in a large bowl, with a mixer, beat cream cheese, butter, confectioners’ sugar, and remaining teaspoon vanilla until combined. Spread frosting onto cooled cupcakes.

Cook’s Notes:
To store, refrigerate cupcakes in an airtight container, up to 2 days.