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Spiced Parsnip Cupcakes

These rich, moist cupcakes take everything you love about carrot cake to the next level, thanks to the sweet spiciness of parsnips and warm, fragrant cardamom. We took a page from the carrot cake playbook and paired these cupcakes with a classic cream-cheese frosting.

  • Prep:
  • Total Time:
  • Yield: Makes 12
Spiced Parsnip Cupcakes

Photography: Romulo Yanes

Source: Everyday Food, October 2012


  • 1 cup all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cardamom or 1 1/4 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine salt
  • 3/4 cup packed light-brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract, divided
  • 2 cups grated parsnip (from 1 large peeled parsnip)
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/2 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Whisk together flour, cardamom, baking powder, and salt. In a large bowl, whisk together brown sugar, eggs, oil, 2 teaspoons vanilla, and parsnip. Stir in flour mixture.

  2. Line 12 standard muffin cups with paper liners. Divide batter among cups. Bake until a toothpick inserted in center of a cake comes out with a few moist crumbs attached, 18 to 20 minutes. Let cool completely in pan on a wire rack.

  3. In a large bowl, with a mixer, beat cream cheese, butter, confectioners' sugar, and remaining teaspoon vanilla until combined. Spread frosting onto cooled cupcakes.

Cook's Note

To store, refrigerate cupcakes in an airtight container, up to 2 days.

Reviews (2)

  • thiel63 7 Sep, 2013

    For something different these are the thing to make. I really enjoyed the taste of cardamom and that they were not very sweet. I made them for Thanksgiving for those who did not want pie and they were a big hit.

  • ebjackson 22 Oct, 2012

    Love these cakes. We did not use the icing. Will be making again!!

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