real life test kitchen: spiced parsnip cupcakes

I spotted this recipe the other day in Everyday Food and had to try it. Parsnips are basically like carrots, but their flavor is more subtle and not as sweet. This goodie calls for a generous amount of cardamon, which is a favorite spice of mine. (See this amazing pumpkin muffin recipe for another October treat.) Not to mention, how else was I ever going to get my kid to eat a parsnip? They were pretty simple to make — no electric mixer needed! Though I recommend grating the parsnip with a food processor if you have one. The required elbow grease in that step was a bit unexpected. I also halved the frosting ingredients and found it was more than enough.

Here’s my take on the Everyday Food Recipe.

What You Need
1 cup flour
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup packed light-brown sugar
2 large eggs
2/3 cup vegetable oil
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1 peeled and grated parsnip (from 1 large peeled parsnip)
4 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1/4 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 12 standard muffin cups with paper liners.

2. Whisk together flour, cardamom, baking powder, and salt. In separate bowl, whisk together brown sugar, eggs, oil, 2 teaspoons vanilla, and parsnip. Stir in flour mixture.

3. Divide batter among cups — fill about 1/3 of the way. Bake until a toothpick comes out clean, about 15 to 18 minutes. Cool completely in pan on a wire rack.

4. Beat cream cheese, butter, and confectioners’ sugar in a bowl until combined (use an electric mixer if you have one). Spread frosting onto cooled cupcakes. (Note: I store the cupcakes at room temperature, unfrosted, and keep the frosting handy in the fridge. I spread it on as we eat them!)

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