I have to say that I wasn't thrilled about parsnips as an IOTM. I've mostly had them roasted and they just don't grab me in that guise. Then Jenise posted a parsnip cake recipe. That sounded a little more up my alley. I was going to make the one she posted but then I happened across a spiced version on Epicurious, which I ended up going with. It's a good one for those who aren't keen on parsnips.
The spice character is what really comes through on this cake, with the parsnips adding a bit of texture and not much more (as far as I can tell). The only problem is that the frosting they suggest overwhelms the cake a bit. It's a great frosting, but the cake is pretty good without it.
So all in all, a little of a cop-out for IOTM given the minor role the parsnips play in this. Still, it's a pretty darn tasty cake.
Parsnip Spice Cake with Ginger Cream Cheese Frosting (from the March 2006 issue of Bon Appetit by way of Epicurious.com
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon ground ginger
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon plus 1/8 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
3/4 teaspoon ground allspice
3/4 teaspoon ground cloves
3 large eggs
1/2 cup canola oil or vegetable oil
1/2 cup whole milk
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract, divided
2 cups (packed) shredded peeled parsnips (about 3 large)
1/2 cup walnuts, toasted, chopped
4 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
2 tablespoons butter, room temperature
2 teaspoons grated peeled fresh ginger
3 cups (about 12 ounces) powdered sugar
Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter and flour 13x9x2-inch baking pan. Combine flour, sugar, ground ginger, baking powder, cinnamon, 3/4 teaspoon salt, nutmeg, allspice, and cloves in large bowl; whisk to combine. Whisk eggs, oil, milk, and 1 teaspoon vanilla in medium bowl to combine. Pour egg mixture over dry ingredients; stir until just combined. Stir in parsnips and walnuts. Transfer batter to prepared pan. Bake until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 25 minutes. Cool cake completely in pan on rack.
Beat cream cheese and butter in large bowl until smooth. Beat in fresh ginger and remaining 1/8 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla. Gradually add powdered sugar and beat until frosting is smooth. Spread over cake. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover and chill.