Parsnip Cake with Lemon Cream Cheese Icing
12-16 1⅔ cups whole wheat pastry flour or unbleached white flour 1 cup sugar 1½ tsps cinnamon 1 tsp baking powder 1 tsp baking soda ½ tsp salt 3 eggs, beaten ½ cup canola oil 2 cups grated parsnips (or use half parsnips and half carrots) 1 cup peeled, grated apple ½ cup hickory nuts or black walnuts, chopped 1 package (8oz) cream cheese, softened 1 tbsp unsalted butter, softened 5 cups powdered sugar, sifted 1½ tsps lemon extract (or vanilla extract) Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour two 8-inch round cake pans (or substitute a greased 9x13 inch cake pan). Whisk flour, sugar, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl. Combine eggs, oil, parsnips and apples in a second bowl; stir well. Stir wet mixture into dry until barely combined. Stir in nuts. Divide batter evenly into pans. Bake until cake springs back when lightly touched in the center, 25–35 minutes. Cool 10 minutes, then turn cakes out of pans to cool thoroughly. To make icing, cream the cream cheese and butter. Beat in powdered sugar and lemon extract until smooth. Cut the cooled cakes in half horizontally with a long, thin, sharp knife. Frost layers to make a four-layer cake (or make a two-layer cake instead). Decorate with finely chopped nuts and/or dried cherries, if desired.
Optional: Finely chopped hickory nuts or black walnuts and dried cherries