I adore parsnips. They do not get nearly as much attention as they deserve. I have roasted, fried, and smashed them, but nothing more creative until I saw a recipe for a parsnip cake in Heifer Farm’s Cookbook (which is really just a little printout). I cursed myself for not having thought of baking with parsnips first, and then got very excited about my and parsnips future together. Parsnips are not all that different from carrots, and people bake with carrots all the time! Parsnips lack the moisture that carrots add to baked goods but they are less sweet and nuttier, which I think makes for a nicely refined baked good. I did make that parsnip cake, but I want to try it again and tweak the recipe before I share it. But that was just the beginning of my parsnip baking endeavors. Yesterday I saw this recipe for Applesauce Carrot Bread, and knew it would get a parsnip makeover. The bread is not overly sweet, moist, and perfectly spiced. It is even better warmed with a smear of apple butter.
Parsnip Applesauce BreadAdapted from Food52
- 1 cup (4.25 oz) all-purpose flour
- 1 cup (4 oz) wheat flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- 1/2 cup (3.5 oz) unrefined granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup (3.75 oz) light brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
- 1 1/2 cups shredded parsnips
Preheat the oven to 350F. Grease an 8.5″ x 4.5″ loaf pan.
Combine the flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt, ginger, and cloves.
Cream butter and both sugars together until lighter in color and fluffy. If you have an electric mixer at least let it go for a few minutes, if not, then until your arm gets tired.
Add the eggs one at a time followed by the vanilla extract to the creamed butter and sugar. Beat in the applesauce (the texture will be a little off, but fret not). Add in the dry ingredients slowly, mixing all the while and scraping down the edges of the bowl. When the flour mixture is fully integrated, fold in the shredded parsnips.
Bake for 45-50 minutes, until a tooth pick comes out clean. Allow to cool in the pan for at least 15 minutes before removing, otherwise it will break apart.