Parsnip-Ginger Cupcakes with Browned Butter Cream Cheese Frosting #EasterSweetsWeek

by Erin

This post and recipe was created for #EasterSweetsWeek. I was sent samples by some of the sponsor companies but as always opinions are 100% mine.

Love carrot cake? Meet it’s slightly more sophisticated and just as easy to make cousin, parsnip-ginger cake with a browned butter cream cheese frosting. Or rather cupcakes.

Parsnip-Ginger Cupcakes 6

It’s day 3 of #EasterSweetsWeek and my second recipe! When it comes to Easter desserts, carrot cake is the first thing that pops into my head. But after discovering a restaurant in town called Little Eater I was turned on to parsnip cake, or rather cupcakes, and I knew since that fateful day of my first bite that I would be making them for Easter. And yes it’s been months so I’ve been waiting awhile for this!

Parsnip-Ginger Cupcakes 1

This recipe is based off my my favorite carrot cake recipe and the actual recipe that Cara Mangini, owner and founder of Little Eater, shares in her cookbook titled The Vegetable Butcher – a name she acquired while working at Eataly. The biggest difference from my original recipe is obviously the use of parsnips but also the addition of lots of ginger, both fresh and ground. Another is that the parsnips are cooked a little bit prior to adding to the cupcake batter to soften them.

Parsnip-Ginger Cupcakes 2

Since you’ll already be grating your fresh ginger with a Microplane zester, you could also go the extra mile and grind up your own fresh, dried cinnamon, nutmeg, etc, but I did not this time around. But could you imagine how much more fragrant all the spices would be? Add these cupcakes to the list of scents I want in candle form asap.

Parsnip-Ginger Cupcakes 3

Another slight difference is browning the butter prior to making the cream cheese frosting and hence giving rise to this lengthy recipe title. But doesn’t it sound better knowing there’s a browned butter cream cheese frosting than just leaving it at “Parsnip-Ginger Cupcakes”? I couldn’t keep that secret from you.

Parsnip-Ginger Cupcakes 8

Surprisingly, despite all those flavor components going on the end result is subtler than expected. So if you are a carrot cake purist and are feeling hesitant about trying this “weird” version, don’t be. You may surprise yourself by how much you enjoy them. Bob was skeptical but he was sold after one bite.

Parsnip-Ginger Cupcakes 7

If you think this recipe sounds good, you have to check out everyone else’s recipes for today which are listed at the end of this post along with all the giveaway information that you definitely should enter as well! I wish I could win it so the nest best thing would be if one of my followers did!

Parsnip-Ginger Cupcakes 9

Two years ago: Pineapple Meringue Pie

Three years ago: Blood Orange Curd

Four years ago: Pig Cupcakes

Five years ago: Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Half & Half Cookies


Makes 1 dozen



1 cup all-purpose flour

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp ground ginger

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1/4 tsp ground nutmeg

1/4 tsp allspice

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 cup vegetable oil, divided

1-1/2 cups grated parsnips (about 8 oz.)

1/2-inch knob fresh ginger (0.5 oz.) peeled and grated

2 eggs, room temperature

1/2 cup Dixie Crystals pure cane sugar

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

1 tsp Adams Extract vanilla extract

1/2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts, optional (or raisins)


1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature

4 oz. cream cheese, room temperature

1/2 tsp Adams Extract vanilla extract

2 cups Dixie Crystals confectioners powdered sugar

1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans, optional


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cupcake pans with liners and set aside.
  2. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add parsnips and fresh ginger, stirring to coat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until fragrant and tender, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, spices, and salt.
  4. In a large bowl, beat together eggs, remaining oil, sugars and vanilla. Add flour mixture and stir until incorporated. Fold in parsnips and nuts, if using. Pour into prepared cupcake pans.
  5. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack and cool completely.
  6. While the cake cools, make the frosting. In a small skillet over medium-low heat, melt the butter and simmer until it turns brown and nutty. Remove pan from the heat and pour the butter into a large heatproof bowl to stop the cooking. Set aside to cool.
  7. Once cooled, add cream cheese and vanilla extract and beat until fluffy. Slowly add the confectioners’ sugar 1/2 cup at a time until it reaches desired consistency. Beat until the mixture is smooth and creamy. Frost cupcakes and top with chopped nuts, if desired.

Source: Adapted from my Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting and The Vegetable Butcher by Cara Mangini.


Check out the amazing #EasterSweetsWeek recipes from our bloggers today!

Cakes & Cupcakes:



Baked Desserts:


No Baked Desserts:

Welcome to this year’s #EasterSweetWeek event hosted by Angie from Big Bear’s Wife. We’re so glad that you’ve joined us for this week long event of Springtime and Easter dessert recipes! We’re sharing tons of treats this week plus a few fantastic giveaways! You’re going to love what we have in store for you.

#EasterSweetsWeek Logo

This year we have are 28 fantastic bloggers participating in this year’s Easter dessert event! Throughout the week we’ll be share tons of great Springtime and Easter themed dessert recipes with you. With over 75 sweet dessert recipes being shared this week we just know that you’re going to want to save some of these recipes to make again and again! We even hope that some of these recipes end up in your Easter recipe keepsake collection! Plus, don’t forget that we have 5 (five) great giveaways for you this week thanks to our amazing sponsors!

Scroll down to take a look!


Prize #1 — Dixie Crystals is giving away one (1) Instant Pot (8 Qt) to one lucky winner!




Prize #2 — Adam’s Extract is giving one (1) winner 5 different extracts including a bottle of Pure vanilla and a color pack.


Prize #3 — Rainier Fruit is giving one (1) winner a box of Apples and some wonderful Apple themed goodies from Sur La Table



Prize #4 — Anolon is giving one (1) winner a Anolon® Vesta™ 9-Inch Square Baker in Cobalt Blue


Prize #5 — Microplane is giving one (1) winner a Twist & Zest, grip & strip and a classic zester/grater

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway open to US Residents 18 years or older.. All entries will be verified. No PO Boxes Please. Prizes will be sent directly from sponsors to winners, bloggers are not responsible for prizes. This giveaway runs from Marh 26th – April 1st at 12AMEST. Winners will be selected soon afterwards and contacted by e-mail. Winners will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. There are a total of 5 (five) prizes and therefore we will have a total of 5 (five) winners. No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited by law.

Disclaimer: These posts and recipes are part of the week long event, #EasterSweetsWeek but all opinions are 100% mine! We would like Thank our amazing sponsors: Dixie Crystals, Adam’s Extract, Rainier Fruit, Anolon and Microplane! These wonderful sponsors provided the prize packs for our giveaways and also sent samples and products to the #EasterSweetsWeek bloggers to use in their recipes.

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