Hazelnut and parsnip cupcakes

We often overlook adding parsnips to cakes but it will surprise you just how much they add in the way of flavour and moisture to your cakes. I have added hazelnuts as I love this combination.

Photo: Simon Lambert
Photo: Simon Lambert
Hazelnut and parsnip cupcakes

Makes 12

Ingredients
1 cup flour
1 tsp ground cardamom
1 tsp ground mixed spice
1 ½ tsp baking powder
pinch salt
2 eggs
¾ cup brown sugar (packed)
⅔ cup vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups grated parsnips (3-4)

½ cup hazelnuts, lightly roasted and crushed

Icing
220g cream cheese, softened
1 Tbsp butter, softened
¼ cup icing sugar

Method
Preheat the oven to 180degC.

Grease 12 medium muffin tins or line with cake papers.

Sift together the dry ingredients and set aside.

In a large bowl, add the eggs, sugar, oil and vanilla. Whisk together until thick and pale.

Fold in the grated parsnips and half the hazelnuts.

Fold in the sifted dry ingredients and gently mix until just combined.

Spoon into prepared muffin tins and bake for 20 minutes or until the cakes bounce back when lightly touched in the centre.

Cool completely before removing from the tin.

To make the icing

Place the softened cream cheese in a bowl, add the butter and whip with an electric beater until lump-free and creamy. Add the icing sugar and continue to mix until light and creamy.

You can either spread the icing on with a knife or pipe it on top. Garnish with the remaining hazelnuts.

Best eaten on the day, but will last for two to three days in the fridge.

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