Vegetarian food blog featuring delicious and nutritious whole food recipes, creative baking and luscious chocolate.

Golden Beetroot Cake

Now why is it I’m so useless at taking note of recipes? I pride myself on never following a recipe and using it for inspiration or guidance only, but sometimes it’s quite a useful technique! The moment I saw Dom’s golden cake post I was almost gagging to make it. Trust Dom to come up with such an inspirational recipe. I’ve made plenty of beetroot cakes in the past, but never thought of using golden beets and yet we’ve been growing them for years. It was the golden colour that most appealed, but also the word itself – something to do with summer and the warm glow of hopes and aspirations – a culinary El Dorado.

Anyway, I lifted a couple of large golden beets from our plot and the first chance I got I put them on to cook. First mistake! If I’d looked at the recipe beforehand rather than relying on a very vague memory, I would have realised they were meant to be grated raw – hey ho, never mind. The second mistake I was much more bothered by. Dom’s recipe called for light muscovado sugar. Trawling through my cupboards, I realised I’d run out of it, so before I thought about the implications, I’d bunged in a load of dark muscovado sugar; no hope for a beautiful golden cake now. Why I didn’t use caster sugar instead I’ve no idea. I made a few intentional alterations: I omitted the vanilla extract as I wanted the lemon and beetroot flavours to shine through – golden beets are very sweet and have a  lovely flavour, I also used a little less sugar.

Anyway, this is what I ended up doing:

  • Mashed up 250g cooked golden beetroot.
  • Added 100ml sunflower oil and 175g muscovado sugar and whisked for a while to break up the lumps of sugar.
  • Whisked in 3 duck eggs.
  • Sieved in 100g flour (half wholemeal and half white), 50g ground almonds, 1 tsp baking powder and 1/2 tsp bicarb of soda.
  • Stirred in the grated zest of an organic lemon (I always try and use organic lemons as I know they are unwaxed).
  • Poured into a 23cm cake mould and baked at 180C for 40 minutes.
  • Turned onto a wire rack to cool.
  • Melted 50g of milk chocolate and 50g white chocolate (just because I had a half bar of each).
  • Mixed 125g mascarpone with 125g fromage frais and a tbsp of lemon juice.
  • Combined the cheese and chocolate mixtures and spread on the cooled cake.
  • Decorated with white chocolate stars.

The house smelt really sweet and fragrant as this was cooking, with lemon and syrupy notes very much to the fore. We couldn’t wait for the icing to set properly, so greedily cut into it at the first opportunity. The golden colour was not entirely obscured and it still looked quite appealing. The cake rose well, although CT thought it had the consistency and some of the flavour of treacle pudding. Really it was like a lemony ginger cake without the ginger: quite light, moist and rather moreish.

But, oh such a tragedy, we couldn’t eat it quite fast enough. The weather being very warm and very humid, the cake went mouldy after only three days and we had to throw nearly half of it in the compost bin. Our worms don’t know how lucky they are.


  1. Torviewtoronto

    4th August 2011 at 7:18 pm

    beetroot cake looks delicious

  2. Beth (Jam and Clotted Cream)

    4th August 2011 at 7:22 pm

    Oh no…tragedy! I bet the worms enjoyed it. It looks lovely and moist

  3. Aveen

    4th August 2011 at 7:40 pm

    I could have helped you eat it! I’ve never had golden beetroot, does it just taste the same as the bogstandard red stuff? We’ve got a load of beetroot on the allotment that need to be made into something, I might give this a try and see how pink it turns out 🙂

  4. Dom at Belleau Kitchen

    4th August 2011 at 8:53 pm

    I love this post, it really made me chuckle. I’m just the same, always skim-reading rather than taking it in properly and paying the consequences. It does look rather good nonetheless and I have seen beetroot cake recipes that call for cooked and mashed beetroot. Anyway. You can always make it again! Xx

  5. Baking Addict

    4th August 2011 at 9:14 pm

    I can’t believe you binned half of it! It looks amazing! I will have to try baking with golden beets now and also make sure I read the recipe first 🙂

  6. Suelle

    4th August 2011 at 10:15 pm

    What a shame that so much had to be thrown away – it looks and sounds delicious.

  7. celia

    4th August 2011 at 10:48 pm

    You’re so funny, Choc, I can just see you boiling the beets and then reading the recipe and going..”oh bugger..” 🙂

    I’m amazed by the colour of the beets, I’ve never seen golden ones before. I’ll look out for them – thank you! 🙂

  8. cityhippyfarmgirl

    5th August 2011 at 3:42 am

    Hmm, I’ve never seen golden ones before either. Do they have a similar taste to the regular ones?
    …and lucky worms indeed! What a pest it went mouldy, it looks quite fine Ms Choclette 🙂

  9. Katie

    5th August 2011 at 6:34 am

    Wow what a gorgours sunny colour those beets are. You can sort of see them in the cake, it seems very glowing. The humid weather is a pain for destroying cakes, the same things happened to me earlier this week. Guess you’ll just have to bake it again 🙂

  10. nic@nipitinthebud

    5th August 2011 at 8:19 am

    for a cake made of vague memories that’s a delicious looking result!

  11. Chele

    5th August 2011 at 4:56 pm

    It must be so lovely to be able to bake with produce you have grown yourself. Love the colour of the beets, I can almost taste that cake from here ;0)

  12. Gloria

    5th August 2011 at 9:53 pm

    Look georgeous I loveit!! gloria

  13. Johanna GGG

    6th August 2011 at 6:25 am

    sounds delicious to me – I would make the same mistakes – but at least if you grow golden beetroot you will have more beetroots to try this with (or at least you will next season if this season’s have run out)

  14. Choclette

    6th August 2011 at 7:42 pm

    Torview – thank you, it was delicious, if not quite golden enough 😉

    Beth – I guess it’s good to treat the worms well once in a while!

    Aveen – I can’t quite describe it, but it tastes quite different to ordinary beetroot and it’s very sweet.

    Dom – this is true, although I don’t think I’ve made the same thing twice since I started this blog.

    Baking Addict – no we can’t believe it either 🙁

    Suelle – thank you, it was very disappointing – the throwing away bit, not the cake.

    Celia – he he, you’ve got that about right. Do try the golden beets if you get a chance, they are sweeter than purple ones and don’t stain your fingers into the bargain.

    CityHippy – they taste different, but I can’t quite describe it – not as beetrooty and a bit sweeter.

    Katie – isn’t it a shame to have to throw cake away? Hard luck. They are indeed a gorgeous colour and almost worth it for that alone.

    Nic – I live in a world of vague memories, so it’s lucky I get some good results sometimes 😉

    Chele – it is very satisfying using the result of one’s own labours in the field – almost worth all the blood, sweat and tears 😉 You’ve experienced some of it with your strawberries I expect.

    Gloria – thank you.

    Johanna – this year I have more beetroot of both colours than I know what to do with. Last year I couldn’t grow any – shrug!

  15. Brownieville Girl

    6th August 2011 at 8:40 pm

    It looks amazing, must be a great recipe whichever version you go for!!!

  16. Janice

    6th August 2011 at 8:49 pm

    Such pretty golden beetroot! Love that your cake took on a life of it’s own and still worked out delicious!

  17. C

    7th August 2011 at 4:56 pm

    It looks gorgeous – really moist and delicious. I’m very impressed by your golden beetroot, I occasionally see them, but they are a lovely colour when cooked. I once bought a relative who enjoys her allotment some white beetroot seed! Lots of possibilities…

  18. Choclette

    8th August 2011 at 5:43 pm

    BVG – thank you, you know how to make a girl feel better 🙂

    Janice – thank you. those golden beets are just gorgeous.

    C – I haven’t come across white beetroot before. Wonder what they taste like? Beetroot makes for a nice moist cake – too moist in this case!


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