The fresh ginger and parsnips are my additions to a classic carrot cake recipe. The ginger wakes up the dry spices and the parsnips make the carrot flavor earthier and more intense. I use the large holes on the grater for the carrots and parsnips so they integrate but are big enough to add texture to the cake.
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2/3 cup canola oil
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 cups grated carrots
1 cup grated parsnips
1/2 cup walnut halves, toasted and coarsely chopped
1/2 cup canned crushed pineapple, drained
1/2 cup orange juice
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
1 teaspoon kosher salt
8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
2 cups confectioners sugar
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9 x 13-inch baking pan with butter.
Make the batter: In a large bowl, whisk together the canola oil and eggs until smooth. Use a rubber spatula to stir in the carrots, parsnips, walnuts, pineapple, and orange juice. In another bowl, whisk together the flour, granulated sugar, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, ginger, and salt. Stir the flour mixture into the carrot mixture until blended.
Bake the cake: Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center emerges clean, 20 to 25 minutes. Unmold the cake onto a platter and let it cool completely.
Make the frosting and finish the cake: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the cream cheese and butter on high speed until the mixture is fluffy and smooth, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the red wine vinegar and confectioners sugar, and continue to beat until the frosting is smooth and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Use an offset spatula to frost the top and sides of the cake.