• spray oil or butter, for greasing
  • 225 g parsnips (about 3 medium parsnips), peeled and coarsely grated
  • 200 g wholemeal or wholemeal spelt flour
  • 100 g dark or light brown soft sugar
  • 75 g very soft unsalted butter
  • 50 ml sunflower oil
  • 50 g pecans, roughly chopped
  • 5 tbsp semi-skimmed milk
  • 2 tbsp clear honey
  • 2 medium eggs, plus 1 egg white
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tbsp ground ginger
  • 1 large pinch of ground cinnamon
  • 0.5 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
  • seeds of 1 vanilla pod or 1 tsp vanilla extract

For the stem ginger frosting:

  • 2 balls stem ginger, drained and finely chopped
  • 200 g low-fat Philadelphia cream cheese
  • 4 tbsp icing sugar, sifted
  • seeds of 1 vanilla pod or 1 tsp vanilla extract


  1. 1

    Preheat the oven to 180°C, fan 160°C, gas 4. Spray a little oil or lightly grease a 20cm square baking tin and line with baking paper so it overhangs the tin, making it easier to remove the cake.

  2. 2

    Put all of the ingredients for the sponge into a large bowl with a large pinch of salt. Mix together until well combined. Spoon the mixture into the tin and smooth the top with the back of a spoon. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until the cake is springy to the touch and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Leave to cool completely in the tin.

  3. 3

    Reserving a little stem ginger to decorate, mix all of the frosting ingredients in a bowl until smooth. Cover and chill until ready to use.

  4. 4

    Remove the cooled cake from the tin, peel the paper off and transfer to a serving plate. Spread the frosting evenly over the cake and sprinkle over the reserved stem ginger.


    Get ahead: make the cake up to 3 days ahead. Ice when ready to serve. The uniced cake can also be frozen.

Nutritional Details

Each serving provides
  • Energy 871kj 208kcal 10%
  • Fat 10.7g 15%
  • Saturates 3.5g 18%
  • Sugars 12.5g 14%
  • Salt 0.3g 5%

% of the Reference Intakes

Typical values per 100g: Energy 1122kj/268kcal

Each serving provides

30.3g carbohydrate 3.2g fibre 6.3g protein

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