I am so excited about these little cakes! They are SO moist, have great texture, and beautiful flavour – and look how cute! I honestly squealed when they came out of the oven.
And let’s talk for a moment about parsnips, shall we? It might sound strange to put them in dessert, but we’re all comfortable with the idea of carrot cake, and they’re pretty similar as far as root vegetables go. The difference is that parsnips, while similarly sweet, have this amazingly earthy, spicy aroma to them which goes perfectly with cinnamon and cloves. Let’s give parsnips a chance, and make some cake we can feel good about.
I bought this pan for a fraction of the regular price a couple of weeks ago and thought it was going to sit in my cupboard until next Christmas rolls around (which is totally okay, because it’s gorgeous). But then I thought to myself, “It’s still cold outside and Christmas doesn’t have a monopoly on snowflakes… why not use them for Valentine’s Day instead?”
I don’t make a big fuss over this holiday. I really don’t like the unrealistic pressure put on men (and women) to buy expensive things and make these grand romantic gestures for their partner, and I don’t like the way that these expectations are fueled by envy. Every day is an opportunity to show that you love one another, and it’s the unexpected little gifts or gestures throughout the year that I find much more romantic.
However, I’ll take any excuse to bake a little something for my love, or anyone else for that matter, and these are just too sweet not to share. You can use any mini cake mood or fluted pan (I obviously don’t expect you to have this exact pan) and it will turn out just fine, or you can make one large cake or two small loaves if you prefer.
It’s time to take them out of the oven when you see that golden crust starting to form around the edges.
Transfer to a cooling rack for at least 20 minutes, so the outer edges retain a bit of their crisp, while the inside remains perfectly soft.
This is more of a coffee cake than a true dessert cake, so while some cashew frosting would be lovely with these, I find they are just sweet enough on their own. Some unabashed coffee dunking followed their removal from the oven, and let me tell you, I had my happy pants on!
Would it be weird if I called these snowcakes? In my head they’re definitely snowcakes.
Grain-free Mini Parsnip Cakes (yields approximately 10 mini cakes)
~ Gluten free, grain free, soy free, refined sugar free ~
- 1.5 cups almond meal
- 1/4 cup coconut flour
- 3 tbsp tapioca starch
- 3 tbsp sucanat
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 2 tsp ground ginger
- 1.5 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp ground cloves
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 2 cups grated parsnip
- 4 large eggs
- 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted and slightly cooled
- 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
- 1/4 cup pumpkin puree
- 1/2 cup almond milk (or soy, cashew, etc.)
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- zest of 1 orange
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and thoroughly grease your mini cake molds with coconut oil.
- In a large bowl, stir together all your dry ingredients.
- In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs, then whisk in the maple syrup, pumpkin puree, almond milk, vanilla, orange zest, and coconut oil.
- Gently combine the wet and dry ingredients, mixing until you no longer see dry flour, then fold in the grated parsnip.
- Once the oven is preheated, spoon your batter into the cake molds almost to the top.
- Place on the middle rack of the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes, until the edges have started to brown and a toothpick comes out dry.
- Let cool slightly before transferring to a cooling rack for at least 20 minutes. Dust with a sprinkling of ground sucanat* (or icing sugar) and serve. Best eaten the day of, but the leftovers will keep for 4-5 days.
- If you don’t have a mini cake pan, you could certainly use a 9″ cake pan. You will have to adjust baking time accordingly, but I would estimate it will increase to 35-40 minutes or so. I only had this pan of 6 molds, so I baked the other half of the batter in a loaf pan and it took about that long.
- To make your own, healthier icing sugar simply take some sucanat and grind it in a spice or coffee grinder for 30 seconds – and voila! You have icing sugar.