This is a clever use for the humble, underrated parsnip. Once they’re slathered with a little cream cheese icing, the muffins officially land in cupcake territory, but no matter. Seeing as they contain vegetables, go ahead and have one for breakfast.

Parsnip and Cardamom Muffins


1 cup all-purpose flour

1½ tsp ground cardamom

1 tsp baking powder

½ tsp baking soda

½ tsp salt

2 large eggs, at room temperature

½ cup packed brown sugar

½ cup (125 mL) canola or other cooking oil

1/3 cup (75 mL) buttermilk, at room temperature

1 tsp (5 mL) pure vanilla extract

2 cups peeled, grated parsnip


  1. Preheat the oven to 350° F. Place the rack in the centre of the oven. Line a muffin pan with papers.
  2. Stir the dry ingredients together in a medium bowl. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, brown sugar, oil, buttermilk, and vanilla. Stir in the grated parsnip. Stir the flour mixture into the parsnip mixture just until combined.
  3. Scoop the batter into the muffin cups so they’re about three-quarters full and bake for 18–22 minutes, until the muffins are golden and spring back when lightly touched, and a toothpick inserted in the centre of one comes out with just a few crumbs clinging to it.
  4. Remove the pan from the oven and let the muffins cool in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes, then remove from the pan and let cool completely on the rack before icing.
  5. Spread a generous amount of your favourite cream cheese icing on each muffin.

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