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Spiced Parsnip Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

Light, tender, cardamom-scented cupcakes. Parsnip turns out to be delicious in dessert!
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time45 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Servings: 12 cupcakes
Author: Jennifer Pallian BSc, RD


For Cupcakes

  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp ground cardamom
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp fine salt
  • 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2/3 cup safflower oil *I used grapeseed, any neutral vegetable oil will work
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups coarsely grated parsnip

For Frosting

  • 8 oz cream cheese room temperature
  • 4 tbsp unsalted butter room temperature
  • 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract


  • Preheat oven to 350ºF. Line 12 standard muffin cups with paper liners. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, cardamom, baking powder, and salt.  In another bowl, whisk together brown sugar, eggs, oil, vanilla and the grated parsnip. Stir in flour mixture until combined.
  • Divide mixture evenly among lined cups.  Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out with only a few moist crumbs attached (*I always press gently on the center of the top - it should spring back), 18-20 minutes. Let cool completely in pan on a wire rack.
  • Make frosting: In a large bowl, beat cream chesse, butter, confectioner's sugar and vanilla until combined.  Spread frosting on cooled cupcakes. (Frosted cupcakes can be refrigerated in an airtight container up to 2 days.)