• Parsnip, Date & Hazelnut Cake with Lemon Glaze


Parsnips grow sweet in winter, providing a surprisingly scrumptious base to this delicious and unique cake. Relish in the freshness we can find in the middle of winter, and use local hazelnuts and oil from American Hazelnut Company!

Parsnip, Date & Hazelnut Cake with Lemon Glaze


  • ​Butter, for the pan
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, more for dusting (Baker’s Field)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest, finely grated
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 pound parsnips, cut into 1-inch pieces (Prairie Hollow, Bean Market)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup chopped dates
  • 2 eggs (Sunshine Harvest Farm)
  • 3/4 granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2/3 cup hazelnut oil (American Hazelnut Company)
  • ​3/4 cup lightly roasted hazelnuts, finely chopped (American Hazelnut Company)


PREP. Preheat oven to 325°. Generously butter and 8×5-inch loaf pan. Add a few spoonfuls of flour, shake to coat all the surfaces, and tap out any excess.
GLAZE. Stir together the lemon juice and powdered sugar in a bowl. Stir in 1 teaspoon of the lemon zest and several twists of pepper. Set glaze aside.
PARSNIPS. Put the parsnips in a food processor (or finely grate) and process until they are very finely chopped, like the texture of couscous; you want to have about 1 1/2 cups. Return parsnips to the processor if you’ve taken them out to measure.
WHISK. Whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl. Add the dates and toss until the dates are coated with flour so they don’t clump together.
PULSE. To the food processor, add the eggs, granulated sugar, brown sugar, vanilla, and remaining 1 teaspoon lemon zest. Pulse until smooth and well blended. Pulse in the oil to make a creamy consistency.
FOLD. Pour parsnip mixture into the dry ingredients and fold until blended. Add chopped hazelnuts and fold until there are no more bits of flour.
BAKE. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake until slightly risen and a pick or thin knife blade inserted into the center comes out clean. 40 to 55 minutes for a metal pan, longer for glass or ceramic.
COOL. Let the cake cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then run a knife around the edges to release it from the pan.
GLAZE. Set the warm cake on a rack set over a tray to catch the glaze. Drizzle the glaze all over the top while the cake is still warm.

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