Parsnip upside down cake recipe

I’m not sure I’m allowed to even post this up here, but I’m sure  it can do no harm! It’s cake! Anyway, if I just tell you the sponge is adapted from the oliver peyton carrot cake, with pears and a simple caramel.

Recipe: makes one 9 inch cake.


225g unsalted butter

225g caster sugar

4 eggs

200g self raising flour

6g baking powder

½ tsp cinnamon

¼ tsp salt

2 tsp High Quality Vanilla

225g Small Parsnips (peeled and grated weight)

200g Pecan nuts
For Caramel:
4 Pears
50g unsalted butter
150g caster sugar
Preheat oven to 170 degrees
Grease (and line) springform 9 inch tin.
Peel and core pears, slice into thin slices and leave uncovered in fridge to oxidise and dry slightly
Peel and grate Parsnips. Crush pecans lightly, add to parsnips and set aside
Cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy
Beat in eggs, 1 at a time, then vanilla.
Sift together flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt into cake mix, half at a time. Mix each untilHARDLY incorporated.
Fold in parsnip/pecan mixtures, leave. Very, very gently.
Heat butter and sugar for caramel together until dark caramel.
Pour caramel onto lined cake tin and arrange the pears in a fan (thick side out) shape on top, in one direction.
Arrange cake mixture on top
Bake 25 minutes, reduce temp to 160, bake another 25 minutes or until skewer comes out clean


  1. Gave this a try tonight. Cake is lovely, but the caramel, already dark when I put it in the tin, has gone too far and overpowers any taste of pear 🙁 I’ll definitely try this again, but with a LIGHT caramel!

  2. Hi,

    I tried this but the caramel melted and leaked all over the floor of my oven, through the edges of the springform pan, creating a horrible smoky firy mess. Any suggestions? I don’t have a self-clean oven and I’m not sure how I’m going to get the burnt sugar off the oven floor. The half-baked batter tasted amazing, though!

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