Monday, April 20, 2015

Spiced Parsnip Cupcakes for Crazy Ingredient Challenge


This fun party is hosted by Dawn of Spatulas on Parade.  Each month she gives us two lists of ingredients and then we vote on which ingredients we want to use to make a dish of some sort.  This month the winners were Parsnips and Cardamom.  We would love for you to join us...just send an email to Dawn at and she will set you up.

I had voted for cabbage and candied ginger for this month's challenge, thinking I would make something Asian....but I lost.  So I was faced with Parsnips and Cardamom.  Parsnips used to be called white carrots by my kids and the name stuck.  That made me think of what I would do had I been assigned carrots and Cardamom and my mind went right to carrot cake.  Sounded good to me. 

I was not really familiar with Cardamom, having never used it before.  So I did a google search and found that it is an Indian spice describes as pungent and warm.  Google also included some cardamom recipes so I started browsing them and found a recipe by Martha Stewart that called for Parsnips and Cardamom.  That sealed the deal for me. 

Now, you know the difference between muffins and cupcakes right?  That's right.....frosting.  I personally prefer muffins because I am not a frosting lover but my family prefers cupcakes so I added the cream cheese frosting that was included in Martha's recipe to these.

The cupcakes turned out beautifully moist and flavorful.
My husband couldn't believe it when I told him that it contained parsnips.

This is definitely a cupcake recipe I will use again.
Tingting ate 2 of them, one right after the other.

Spiced Parsnip Cupcakes
very slightly adapted from Martha Stewart

1 c. flour
1 t. ground cardamom
1 1/2 t. baking powder
pinch salt
3/4 c. packed brown sugar
2 eggs
2 t. vanilla
2/3 c. vegetable oil
1 large peeled parsnip, grated

In large bowl of stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment, combine the brown sugar, eggs, vanilla, oil and parsnip.  Add the flour, cardamom, baking powder and salt.  Mix on low speed just until combined.  

Divide batter among a 12 muffin pan lined with baking cups.  Bake in a preheated 350* oven for 18-20 minutes or until a skewer inserted comes out clean.  Let cool completely.  Serve as is and call them muffins or add a cream cheese frosting and call them cupcakes.  

For frosting:  Cream together 8 oz of softened cream cheese, 4 T. of softened butter, 1 t. vanilla and 1/2 c. sifted confectioners sugar until light and fluffy. Print Recipe


  1. Never used cardamom?!? I'm glad you've joined the club. That's D's favorite spice; he works it into almost every recipe he makes.;) Thanks for telling me about this group. What a fun idea!

    1. Yes Cam, now that I've gotten a taste of it I can see me using it quite often as well.

  2. Yum, I'm loving all these lovely desserts with parsnips. I need to get busy.
    Spatulas On Parade

  3. This was my first time using Cardamom too. Quite the challenge and you totally stepped up with these cupcakes.

  4. YUM! what a great variation on traditional carrot cake.

  5. I thought carrot cake too. How awesome that you found a recipe using both of our ingredients! Your cupcakes are very pretty. I'm not a big frosting lover either but that cream cheese frosting looks divine.


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