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Parsnip & Apple Autumn Showstopper Cake

Though the warmth of the summer sun has faded, you can rely on pumpkin-spice, chunky knits and gingerbread for a little bit of October warmth. I have recently rediscovered my love for Biscoff Lotus spread, something I've had to ban from from cupboards. WARNING: it is irresistible and you will scoff it. All of it. Biscoff spread is like Autumn in a jar. It has the warmth of gingerbread and is oh-so smooth.

Have it on toasted brioche, spread it on biscuits, use it in cake! So that, is exactly what we are going to do here.

You can find the recipe for the sponge in my e-book 'Spontaneously Creative' under 'Parsnip & Pumpkin Seed Cake'. Ps. parsnips make for a deliciously moist cake.


- recipe for parsnip and pumpkin seed cake from e-book 'Spontaneously Creative' + one apple, peeled, finely chopped (add with the grated parsnip)

- 100g cream cheese

- 100g mascarpone cheese

- 50g icing sugar

- 1 tsp cinnamon

- half tsp ground ginger

- Lotus Bischoff spread + biscuits to decorate

- 125g softened unsalted butter

- 250g icing sugar

- 1x 397g tin condensed milk


1. Make your dulche de leche. Remove the paper from your tin of condensed milk. Use a saucepan that is deep enough to cover your tin with water. Place your tin on it's side, and boil water in the kettle. Once boiling, fill the saucepan with water until the tin is fully covered. Simmer gently on a low heat for 2 and a half hours. At no point should your water be below the tin, as it could explode molten hot caramel. Always make sure you top up with water if it gets too low. When the time is up, leave to cool before touching and open with caution.

2. Bake your sponge layers according to the recipe. I baked three sponge layers. This recipe is very easy to substitute and serves the purpose of using what you have, so to bake this cake I instead used self-raising flour rather than plain flour (+ baking powder/bicarb of which I didn't have at the time!).

3. Whilst your cakes are baking, in a bowl whisk together the cream cheeses, cinnamon, ginger and 50g icing sugar. The mixture may feel stiff at first but the more you work it, the easier it'll become. Taste-test it - do you need more sugar? More ginger perhaps? This is your cake, get it to where you want it!

4. Cool your cake layers completely before icing and filling.

5.Take a large spoon (I'm talking half the jar) of Biscoff spread and in a small bowl, beat with the spoon and loosen it, ready for piping. Prepare a piping bag, fitted with a nozzle and inside one side of the piping bag, spoon in the cream cheese filling. On the other side, spoon in the biscoff spread. As you pipe along the surface of your cake layer, you should get a 'toothpaste' effect; a swirl of cream cheese and biscoff at the same time. Fill each layer, place on the next sponge layer and repeat until you get to the top. For taste, personally this is my favourite method for even distribution, but by all means use the back of a spoon and spread on the cream cheese and spoon blobs of biscoff on the surface. Once fully filled, place in the fridge (if you have space!) to chill and firm up.

6.Whilst your cake is chilling, using an electric whisk, whisk together your softened butter and 250g icing sugar to make the icing. Whisk for 6-8 minutes (this is much more convenient if you have a stand mixer). We want our buttercream to be ever so light, white and fluffy. We do not want hard, yellow icing. No thank you.

7. Pull your cake out from the fridge and ice your cake with buttercream. Smooth buttercream on the top surface of the cake and around the cake. Don't worry if it's not perfect- using the back of a spoon or palette knife (run under hot water to make it hot) run the spoon upwards to create a panel effect. The warm spoon will leave behind a perfectly smooth finish.

8. Spoon, along the edge of the cake, the dulche de leche and allow to drip down the side. If needed, heat the dulce de leche in the microwave for 5-10 seconds to loosen up. Using a fun piping nozzle, design and decorate the top of the cake. Crumble some Lotus biscuits on top, add a cinnamon stick or cloves for decoration, perhaps even dip an apple in dulce de leche to make a toffee apple! And needless to say, ENJOY!


Parsnips may sound strange in a cake but trust me on this. I suppose its very similar to carrot cake. As the months change and parsnips and apples come into season, make sure you use them all up; let this inspire you to do something a little more special than just eat an apple on-the-go or roast some parsnips (though they are a favourite of mine!). Most apples are ready to be picked in October and November, so why don't you head on down to a local apple farm and pick some wonky apples to cook up a beautiful showstopper cake!

Thank you for reading, and I hope you create a tasty showstopper this season!

Gina ~ The Noo Noo Project

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