Spiced Parsnip & Clementine Cake – by Tiffany Francis

I am delighted to publish the first recipe from our new seasonal recipe editor Tiffany Francis, who is an author and artist based in the South Downs. Visit her website to discover more about her and her recent book ‘Food You Can Forage‘.

Over to Tiff.


I’m delighted to have been handed the reigns for ThinkingCountry’s prestigious seasonal recipe column! I thought I’d start with something indulgent as the temperature starts to drop. Like carrots, parsnips are available almost all year round, but some claim they are at their sweetest and tenderest after the first autumn frosts. This recipe is great for swapping in vegan alternatives for plant-based friends, while homemade apple sauce brings extra richness and is an easy way to finish off the autumn apple glut.




  • 400g grated parsnip
  • 300g plain flour
  • 100g oats
  • 200g sugar
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp grated nutmeg
  • 1 tsp grated ginger
  • Zest & juice of 3 clementines
  • 150g apple sauce
  • 100ml olive oil


  • 150g butter/vegan butter
  • 200g icing sugar, sieved
  • Zest & juice of 2 clementines


  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C and lightly grease a 30 x 20cm baking tray.


2. In a large bowl, combine the grated parsnip, flour, oats, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and clementine zest and juice. Stir well to distribute ingredients evenly.


3. Add the apple sauce and olive oil to the bowl and combine to form a soft batter. Add more apple sauce or flour if the mixture is too dry or soft.

4. Pour the batter into the pan and bake for 16-18 minutes, checking to make sure the top doesn’t burn.

5. Remove pan from the oven and leave to cool completely.

6. Meanwhile, make the icing by combining the butter, icing sugar and clementines to form a soft mixture. This can curdle, but don’t worry too much as the juice combines with the sugar and sinks to the bottom, forming an underlayer of glaze.


7. When the sponge is cool, remove from the pan, spread icing over the top and slice into squares.

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