Cooking, Food, Recipe

Parsnip Walnut Date Muffins

So the other day I bought parsnips. I love parsnips. Like carrots, they can be used in many ways, and for a root vegetable, are very versatile. I got enough to make parsnips three ways: I used some in beef stew, I’ll roast some, and I put one big one into this quick-and-easy recipe. 

Muffins are just naked cupcakes, right? Well, these are, anyway. I totally cheated, because I made them on a worknight, along with a batch of scones, and I wasn’t up to creating the recipe from scratch. So I started out with a carrot cake mix. 


With a quick rummage through the pantry, I knew what I was going to add into the cake mix along with the grated parsnip. Dates, chopped, and walnuts, ditto. 

The dates had to be pitted, and the floury mess you see in the back is how to chop dates without making a sticky mess. I really have to remember not to buy whole dates! 

Muffins and scones, good morning treats. And you’ll get your fruits and veggies in with this lot, not to mention fiber. 

Parsnip Walnut Date Muffins


  • 1 box carrot cake mix (or spice cake mix)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2/3 cup oil
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 1/2 c water
  • 1 large parsnip, grated
  • 1 c chopped nuts
  • 1 c chopped dates
  • Optional: zest of one orange
  • Also optional: 1 tsp ground ginger


  • Preheat oven to 350 deg F
  • Mix the cake mix, wet ingredients, and parsnip in a bowl until barely combined. Fold in nuts and dates.
  • Scoop by 1/4 cupsfull (I use an ice cream disher) into lined muffin tins.
  • Bake for 15-20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove from pans to rack promptly or the bottoms will sweat.
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    They may not be beautiful but they pack a lot of flavor and nutritional goodness. Yes, they are sweet, but no more than cereal. And if you really wanted to call these cupcakes, cream cheese frosting would gild the lily nicely. 

    2 thoughts on “Parsnip Walnut Date Muffins

    1. I had never eaten parsnips until my oldest son entered his chef phase. He did that for a few years, sometimes filling in as a bouncer on weekends. (I actually got to watch him work, once. He’s big enough that nobody tried to mess with him. )
      Since I took him off to join the Army, there hasn’t been a parsnip in the house, and I have not felt the lack until now, as I read your recipe and gaze upon the tasty product. Looks yummier than a Big Kahuna Burger.

      But, my gift-from-God, happily-ever-after trophy wife Vanessa, the elegant, foxy, praying black grandmother of Woodstock, GA, will ALWAYS be my date muffin.

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