1 parsnip
1 teaspoon olive oil
2 teaspoons maple syrup or honey
pinch of salt
160ml (5¼fl oz/⅔ cup) sunflower or vegetable oil, plus extra for greasing
160g (5¾oz/¾cup plus 1 tablespoon) light brown sugar
zest of 1 orange
2 eggs
200g (7oz) parsnips, grated
210g (7½oz/1½cups) plain (all-purpose) flour
1½ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
2 teaspoons ground ginger
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
60g (2¼ oz) walnuts, roughly chopped, plus extra to decorate
90g (3¼oz/⅔ cup) icing (confectioners’) sugar
juice of ½ orange

When it comes to vegetables in cakes, carrots tend to get all the love, but parsnips deserve just as much attention. Sweet and earthy with a subtle woody fragrance, the grated parsnips keep this cake perfectly moist. The parsnip crisps will make more than you need, but they make such a moreish snack I won’t be offended or surprised if none of them actually make it onto the cake.

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1.Preheat the oven to 180°C (160°C fan/350°F/gas mark 4).
2.Line a baking sheet with baking paper and grease and line a 900g (2lb) loaf pan.
3.Start by making the parsnip crisps. Use a mandoline or potato peeler to thinly slice the parsnip.
4.Place the peelings on the baking sheet and drizzle with the oil, maple syrup or honey and pinch of salt.
5.Toss them with your hands to make sure all the pieces are coated and lay them out evenly so they don’t overlap.
6.Bake for 15–20 minutes, turning once halfway through. Keep a close eye on them, as they can catch quite easily.
7.Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.
8.For the cake, mix together the oil, sugar and orange zest in a bowl.
9.Beat in the eggs and stir until smooth, then carefully mix in the grated parsnips.
10.In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, ground ginger and cloves.
11.Add to the wet ingredients and mix gently until just combined. Now stir in the chopped walnuts.
12.Pour the batter into the loaf pan and bake for 45–50 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean.
13.Remove from the oven and leave to cool in the pan for 15 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
14.To make the glaze, mix the icing sugar and orange juice in a small bowl until smooth.
15.You want it to be a thick but pourable consistency. Add a little more icing sugar if it’s too thin or a bit more orange juice if it’s too thick.
16.Once the cake is completely cool, pour the glaze on top, letting it drip down the sides.
17.Top with the parsnip crisps and extra chopped walnuts before serving.

This is an edited extract
from A Good Day to Bake
by Benjamina Ebuehi,
published by Quadrille
Publishing, RRP $45.00.
Available in stores
nationally. Photography
by Laura Edwards.