I don't think that I have ever eaten a parsnip. I may have mentioned before, I am a very picky eater. I didn't want to try this cake, because the parsnip put me off a bit. However, my nerves were settled when I realized they're just like white carrots. When I began shredding the parsnips, a beautiful and subtle spicy scent filled the air. At that point, I was sold on the parsnips. By the end of the shredding, I looked like I had been shaping surfboards. There were white pieces of parsnip all over the place!
I suggest that you allow this to set for 24 hours. At first bite, the parsnips were still a bit toothsome. After I allowed the cake to chill for 24 hours, everything was soft and delicious! This cake certainly is spicy and I like it!
Parsnip Spice Cake with Ginger-Cream Cheese Frosting
1-1/2 cups unbleached all purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon ground ginger
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon plus 1/8 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
3/4 teaspoon ground allspice
3/4 teaspoon ground cloves
3 large eggs
1/2 cup canola oil or other vegetable oil
1/2 cup whole milk
1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract, divided
2 cups (packed) shredded peeled parsnips (about 3 large)
1/2 cup walnuts, toasted, chopped
4 ounces Philadelphia-brand cream cheese, room temperature
2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 teaspoons grated peeled fresh ginger
3 cups (about 12 ounces) powdered sugar
Preheat oven to 350ºF. Butter and flour 13x9x2-inch metal baking pan. Combine flour, 1 cup sugar, ground ginger, baking powder, cinnamon, 3/4 teaspoon salt, nutmeg, allspice, and cloves in large bowl; whisk to combine. Whist eggs, oil, milk, and 1 teaspoon vanilla in medium bowl to combine. Pour egg mixture over dry ingredients; stir until just combined. Stir in parsnips and walnuts. Transfer batter to prepared pan. Bake until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 25 minutes. Cool cake completely in pan on rack.
Beat cream cheese and butter in large bowl until smooth. Beat in fresh ginger and remaining 1/8 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla. Gradually add powdered sugar and beat until frosting is smooth. Spread over cake.
DO AHEAD: Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and chill.