Parsnip-pear mini cupcakes with cream cheese frosting

Total Time
35 min
10 min
10 min
These easy-to-make, adorable mini cupcakes can be assembled and baked in just 35 minutes. You'll love how the cinnamon, a pinch of ground nutmeg, and bright lemon zest balances out the sweetness of the parsnips and pears, which add heartiness and flavor while reducing the calories. The frosting can also be made in minutes and features the classics: cream cheese, powdered sugar, and milk. Just be sure to let the cupcakes cool before spreading with frosting to avoid any tearing, no matter how difficult it may be to resist (and yes, we know how difficult it can be!). Topping with coconut flakes makes for a prettier presentation and ties all the different sweet and savory ingredients together.


All-purpose flour


Ground cinnamon

1 tsp

Baking powder

½ tsp

Baking soda

¼ tsp

Table salt

¼ tsp

Ground nutmeg

1 pinch(es)


1 large egg(s)

Plain lowfat yogurt

3 Tbsp

Canola oil

2 Tbsp

Vanilla extract

½ tsp

Lemon zest

½ tsp, grated

Uncooked parsnip(s)

cup(s), shredded, peeled


46 gm, (1/3 cup) shredded, peeled

Neufchâtel cheese

¼ cup(s), (light cream cheese)

Confectioners' sugar

2 Tbsp

1% low-fat milk

1 tsp

Sweetened coconut flakes

2 Tbsp, toasted

Cooking spray

8 spray(s)


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray 12-cup mini-muffin pan with nonstick spray or line with paper liners.
  2. Stir together flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and nutmeg in medium bowl. Whisk together egg, yogurt, oil, vanilla, and lemon zest in another medium bowl. Stir parsnip and pear into egg mixture. Add egg mixture to flour mixture and stir just until moistened.
  3. Fill muffin cups evenly with batter. Bake until toothpick inserted into centers of cupcakes comes out clean, 10–12 minutes. Cool in pan on wire rack 5 minutes. Remove cupcakes from pan and let cool completely on rack.
  4. To make frosting, with electric mixer on medium speed, beat cream cheese, confectioners' sugar, and milk in medium bowl until smooth. Spread frosting evenly onto cooled cupcakes. Sprinkle with coconut.
  5. Per serving: 1 mini cupcake