Brown Butter Spiced Parsnip Bread with Maple Butter


One of the many reasons why I love cooking is the endless creativity. And one easy way to be creative in the kitchen is taking a standard, classic recipe and adding a fun twist to it. I’ve loved doing this ever since I started cooking when I was 6 years old. Granted, swapping out the hot dog for a kielbasa in my version of pigs in a blanket wouldn’t bring James Beard to my house, but it certainly started fueling the fire that would motivate me throughout my professional life. My latest “twist” takes classic carrot or zucchini bread and uses parsnips instead. Parsnips have a nutty, almost caramelly taste when cooked, so naturally I thought they would work well baked into a sweet loaf. And who doesn’t love browned butter? The two special ingredients take the classic shredded veggie loaf to a new level. It’s great for breakfast, dessert, or a midnight snack!


Key to moist parsnip bread? Grated Granny Smith apples! Plus they add a little tartness to balance the sweet bread.

Brown Butter Spiced Parsnip Bread

Yields 1 loaf


  • 1½ cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tbsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1½ tbsp. ground ginger
  • ¼ tsp. ground nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp. ground allspice
  • ¼ tsp. ground cloves
  • 1½ tsp. baking powder
  • ½ tsp. baking soda
  • ¾ tsp. salt
  • ¾ cup brown sugar
  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • 2 eggs
  • ¼ cup milk
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 parsnips, peeled and grated
  • 1 Granny Smith apple

img_3815Preheat oven to 350°F. In medium bowl, mix flour, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, allspice, cloves, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. In separate bowl, add brown sugar and set aside. For the brown butter, heat butter on medium heat in small saucepan. As the butter melts and starts to boil, carefully stir so the butter doesn’t burn too quickly in one spot. Keep an eye and nose out for little brown flecks in the butter, which will happen quickly! When the butter is starting to smell nutty and you see little pepper-like spots, immediately pour the butter into the sugar. This will stop the cooking and prevent any burning.

img_3817While the butter cools, peel and grate the parsnips. Then peel and grate the apple. (Leave this step until the very end; the apple should be added to the butter-sugar mixture immediately to prevent the apple from turning brown). Once the butter-sugar mix is cool, mix in the eggs. Add the vanilla, milk, parsnips, and apple and mix well. Gently stir in the flour mixture. Place the batter in a 8½ inch loaf pan lined with parchment paper. Bake for 50-55 minutes or until a wooden skewer comes out clean when inserted into the middle of the loaf. Cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Cut and serve with maple butter!

Maple Butter


  • 1 stick unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup

Whip butter and maple syrup together.