Brown Butter, Radicchio, and Parsnip Cake


With warm spiciness from nutmeg, a satisfyingly crunchy top, and beautiful flecks of parsnip and radicchio, this bundt cake makes a case for being served for either breakfast or dessert—and the leftovers taste even better the next day.

Brown Butter Radicchio And Parsnip Cake
Photo: Photo by Greg DuPree / Food Styling by Chelsea Zimmer / Prop Styling by Christine Keely
Active Time:
20 mins
Total Time:
2 hrs 10 mins



  • Baking spray

  • 1 ½ cups unsalted butter (12 ounces)

  • 8 ounces radicchio, quartered, cored, and thinly sliced (about 4 cups)

  • 8 ounces parsnips, grated (about 2 cups)

  • 2 ½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour (about 10 ⅝ ounces)

  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated nutmeg

  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

  • ½ teaspoon baking soda

  • 1 ¼ cups granulated sugar

  • ½ cup packed light brown sugar

  • 4 large eggs

  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract

  • 1 cup walnuts, toasted and coarsely chopped


  • ¼ cup cream cheese, softened

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

  • 1 ¼ cups unsifted powdered sugar (about 5 ounces)

  • 3 to 4 tablespoons buttermilk


  1. Make the cake: Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat a 15-cup Bundt pan with baking spray. Heat a large stainless steel skillet over medium-high. Add butter; cook, stirring occasionally, until butter is browned and has a nutty aroma, about 8 minutes. Immediately remove from heat, and transfer to a medium bowl. Let cool.

  2. Stir together radicchio and parsnips in a medium bowl; set aside. Stir together flour, nutmeg, baking powder, salt, and baking soda in a medium bowl. Whisk together granulated sugar, brown sugar, eggs, and vanilla in a large bowl until pale and frothy, about 1 minute.

  3. Gradually add brown butter to sugar mixture, whisking constantly. When sugar mixture is velvety and smooth, add flour mixture, stirring until just combined and no lumps remain. Add radicchio mixture and walnuts. Stir to combine (batter will be thick). Spoon batter into prepared pan.

  4. Bake in preheated oven until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean, about 1 hour, rotating pan halfway through bake time. Remove from oven, and let cool in pan on a wire rack about 10 minutes. Invert pan to release cake, and let cake cool completely on wire rack, about 40 minutes.

  5. Make the glaze: Beat cream cheese and butter in a medium bowl with a hand mixer on medium speed until smooth, about 1 minute. Add powdered sugar and 3 tablespoons buttermilk, adding up to an additional 1 tablespoon buttermilk as needed to reach desired consistency. Beat until smooth, about 1 minute. Drizzle over cooled cake.

Make Ahead

Cake can be made up to 2 days ahead; store in an airtight container at room temperature.

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