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Passover Parsnip Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

Marly Schuman

April 10 2012 - 6:44 PM

ParsnipPassover is a time when we are supposed to sacrifice like our ancestors did by giving up all leavened bread. I'll be honest with you – these cupcakes are no sacrifice. The matzo cake flour might make them a bit more dense, but you're not giving up any flavor. Kosher for Passover macaroons are more than common, and you're sure to come across some brownies or sponge cake over the course of the week. But parsnip cupcakes? You've probably never even had one any other day of the year. 

Carrot cake is commonplace. But parsnip not so much. Parsnips are cousin to the carrot but with a sweeter flavor, which I thought would help overpower the matzo cake flour. Since I finely grated the parsnips, you can't taste a strong parsnip flavor. They do provide plenty of moistness to the cake. I used agave maple syrup because regular syrup usually have corn syrup, which is a definite don't for passover. But you can also use organic or regular syrup. 

If you want to make these cupcakes not for Passover (and you should), be sure to adjust the flour as indicated below. 

Parsnip Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

Makes 24 cupcakes

4 cups finely grated parsnips (About 2 large parsnips)
2 1/4 cups matzo cake flour*
3 eggs
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup honey
1 tbsp agave maple syrup (optional)
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 tbsb pumpkin pie spice (you can also use a combination of ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves)
2 tsp cinnamon 
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla extract 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Mix together flour (*incease to 3 cups if using regular all-purpose flour), baking powder, baking soda, spices and salt in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, combine oil, vanilla, eggs, sugars, honey, syrup and buttermilk. Mix into dry mixture until well combined. Then, fold in the grated parsnips. If the mixture is still too dry, add a bit more milk. Pour into prepared muffin tins, and bake for 20-25 minutes. 

Allow to thoroughly cool. Then, get started on your frosting. 

Cream Cheese Frosting

12 oz. cream cheese
3/4 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp agave maple syrup

Cream together butter and cream cheese with your mixer. Then, slowly add in powdered sugar, vanilla and syrup and frosting is light and fluffy. Wait to frost the cupcakes until they are fully cooled. 

These cupcakes have enough flavor to stand alone without frosting. Then, they're definitely okay to eat for breakfast. The spices are key in holding the dessert together and making it truly addictive. Parsnips are a dirty word, so maybe withhold that information until after they've been tasted. They stay fresh for a surprisingly long time for a baked good, only they probably won't last more than a few days. 

–Marly Schuman 

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