Sweet-car-par Cake with a Citrus Cream Cheese Frosting

Carrot cake is always a popular favourite and there are many variations to make. Back in the 1980s when I worked in a lovely daytime cafe in Godalming, Surrey, I used to make large trays topped with a rich cream cheese topping. In that decade a cake with vegetables was quite a strange thing! Nowadays all sorts of vegetables end up in a cake be it for health or flavour reasons.

Using vegetables in a cake keeps it moist and helps reduce the addition of too much sugar as they contain natural sugars.

The other day, wanting to make a carrot cake, i found myself short on carrots…. but I did have a sweet potato and a parsnip needing to be used up. So this is the recipe I created, and I think the colour and flavour is even better than my original carrot cake recipe.

What do you think?

Sweet-car-par Cake with a Citrus Cream Cheese Frosting

Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time1 hour
Total Time1 hour 15 minutes
Servings: 12


  • Makes 1 large cake 20cm x 30cm or 12 large muffins
  • 250 g wholemeal plain flour
  • 175 g dark brown sugar
  • 175 g light brown sugar
  • 75 g dessicated coconut
  • 90 g grated carrot
  • 90 g grated parsnip
  • 90 g grated sweet potato
  • 3 large eggs or if you have some egg yolks over from making meringues and don't know what to do with them, I have successfully made this cake using 3 egg yolks and 1 whole egg
  • 1 tsp/5g bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 tsp/5g ground nutmeg
  • 1 tsp/5g ground cinnamon
  • 2 tsp vanilla essence
  • 50 g cream cheese or greek yogurt
  • 175 ml sunflower oil
  • Optional extras - handful of raisins sultanas or walnuts


  • 100 g full fat cream cheese
  • 50 g unsalted butter
  • 50 g sifted icing sugar
  • Juice and zest of 1/2 lemon


  • Pre-heat oven Gas Mark 3/150C
  • Place the eggs, sugars, oil, vanilla essence and cream cheese or yogurt in a large mixing bowl.
  • Whisk well until creamy - about 2 minutes.
  • In another bowl sift together the flours, spices and bicarbonate of soda.
  • Gently fold into the wet mixture, mixing well.
  • Combine the grated vegetables together and add to the mixture with the coconut.
  • Spoon into the cake tin or muffin cases.
  • Bake for 45 minutes- 1 hour for the cake and 30-35 minutes for the muffins.
  • When the cake is cooled, turn out. Mix the topping ingredients together until smooth and spread thickly over the top.


I have tried this cake using both cream cheese or yogurt in the cake mix, and both have been successful. Sometimes you just have a bit left in the fridge so this gives you a chance to use it up and have a yummy cake!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.