There are loads of wonderful cakes made with weird ingredients: would you have thought of using tahini in a cake? Exactly, and it works a treat.
Vegetables in cakes are an age-old bone of contention. I know people who firmly believe veg belong with gravy on a dinner plate - in fact I used to be one of them, until carrot converted me. Beet and zucchini are widely used too and make good cakes - because the value that vegetables add is - sorry, there’s no escaping this word - moistness.
Parsnip is significantly less common but I thought: ‘why the hell not?’. Carrot cake is so successful and everyone’s favourite, why not the poor cousin? Admittedly I figured juiciness might be problematic, as parsnips have none of it. But it’s as sweet as a carrot and much more so than a courgette.
The parsnips have to be grated quire finely and orange makes the difference, otherwise the cake is rather bland. It’s an easy gig though, and forgiving: add raisins and spice for festive cheer or leave it plain. Top with cream cheese frosting so parsnips ape carrots or glaze with some melted apricot jam. Lemon icing. A dusting of icing sugar. Anything goes happily.