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Beetroot and Orange Cupcakes with a Jammy Surprise

Shocking Pink Beetroot and Orange Cupcakes with a Jammy Surprise.

Cupcakes, Leftovers, Vegetable Cakes | 21st September 2014 | By

Orange flavoured sponge cakes with a note of cardamom, dyed pink with beetroot water and a surprise blob of plum jam in the middle. They’re topped with a creamy white chocolate and shocking pink beetroot icing. I’ve called them beetroot and orange cupcakes, not so much for the flavour, but for the colour.

It’s the last day of National Cupcake Week and I’m just getting in by the skin of my chinny chin chin. With the Great British Bake Off in full swing everyone seems to have gone baking mad. Home Bargains is one such and they have given me a helping hand with my cupcakes by sending a box full of baking goodies. The brief was to create a Home Bargains showstopper.

Beetroot and Orange Cupcakes

The Home Bargains kit included a tin of pink cupcake paraphernalia. What could I do but go totally pink for the occasion? I’d recently made a few jars of plum jam that was not only very tasty with a sharp tang to it, but was a rather beautiful shade of pink. I’ve been wanting to attempt cupcakes with a blob of surprise jam in the middle for a long time and it couldn’t wait any longer.

Home Bargains Baking Kit

After my blackberry and white chocolate melt experience, I was a little concerned that the jam would either sink to the bottom of the cakes or spurt out all over the place. So I went for a thicker batter than I would normally do, in the hope it would hold the jam. The mixing bowl provided was perfect for the job, large enough to mix easily whilst being light and sturdy at the same time. I decided to flavour the batter with orange and use beetroot to colour the cake. Before it was cooked, the batter was a lovely shade of pink, but on baking it sadly resumed a more normal hue.

Beetroot and Orange Cupcake Batter


I’d intended the icing to be a white chocolate one with a swirl of pink plum jam running through it and I was going to use the piping nozzles and bags included in the kit to apply it. However, time began to run out, so the cakes morphed along the way. I ended up omitting the jam and using beetroot juice instead; I then just applied the icing with a palette knife. To finish, I applied a few of the pink sprinkles provided in the kit. To good effect I thought.

Annoyingly, I couldn’t assemble the accompanying pink presentation box. I made several attempts then realised it was a two person job and CT wasn’t around. The cakes were presented on a plate instead. I was rather taken with the “eat me” flags that came as part of the kit and the colour alone makes these a Showstopper to remember.

Plum Jam Surprise

The cakes were destined for friends with whom we were dining that night and I was hoping the shocking pink wouldn’t offend them. As it happened they had made a pink summer pudding for dessert, so the cakes fitted in rather well.

Beetroot and Orange Cupcakes with a Plum Jam Surprise.

In fact my beetroot and orange cupcakes received lots of appreciative comments. And thankfully the jam stayed in the middle – for most of them at least. Little Jack Horner could have stuck in his thumb and pulled out a plum, if he’d so wished. CT is no fan of beetroot, so expressed his relief when he couldn’t detect the taste. It’s true, it was the colour of the beetroot rather than the flavour that emerged.

Beetroot Water

When I say beetroot water in the recipe, I mean the water left over from simmering beetroot in a pan. If you only use a little water to cook your beetroot, you’ll get a good strong colour. This is a great way of using up something that might otherwise be thrown away.

Organic September

I’d also like to point out it’s #OrganicSeptember and everything here bar the eggs, sugar and icing sugar is organic, including our homegrown beetroot.

Plum Jam

Cornish Plum Jam

Oh and here’s the plum jam I made from some rather tart plums, courtesy of my mother’s garden. It’s totally scrumptious.

Other Sweet Vegetable Cakes You Might Like

For even more cakes made with vegetables, hop over to my Sweet Vegetable Bakes Pinterest board.

Keep in Touch

Thanks for visiting Tin and Thyme. If you make these beetroot and orange cupcakes, I’d love to hear about it in the comments below. Do share photos on social media too and use the hashtag #tinandthyme, so I can spot them.

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Beetroot and Orange Cupcakes. PIN IT.

Beetroot & Orange Cupcakes with a jammy surprise in the middle.

Beetroot and Orange Cupcakes with a Jammy Surprise – The Recipe

Shocking pink beetroot and orange cupcake.
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5 from 1 vote

Beetroot and Orange Cakes with White chocolate Icing and a Plum Jam Surprise

Orange flavoured sponge cakes with a note of cardamom, dyed pink with beetroot juice and a surprise blob of plum jam in the middle. Topped with a creamy white chocolate and shocking pink beetroot icing.
Prep Time40 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Course: Afternoon Tea, Snack
Cuisine: British
Keyword: beetroot, cakes, cupcakes, orange, plum jam, white chocolate
Servings: 15 cupcakes
Author: Choclette


  • 260 g flour (half wholemeal spelt, half white)
  • 2 scant tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 200 g cardamom sugar (golden caster sugar)
  • 3 large eggs (I used duck eggs)
  • 120 g + 110g unsalted butter
  • 2 tsp orange zest – grated
  • 1 tbsp cider vinegar
  • 50 ml + 2 tbsp beetroot water (the water leftover from boiled beetroots)
  • 150 g icing sugar
  • 100 g white chocolate (G&B)
  • 15 tsp pink jam (I used plum)


  • Cream the first lot of butter and sugar until light and fluffy, then beat in the orange zest.
  • Beat in the eggs one by one, adding a little of the flour in between each one to prevent curdling.
  • Sift in the flour, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda and stir adding a little of the beetroot water as you go along.
  • Spoon half the batter into 15 cupcake cases, make a slight dent in the middle and add a tsp of jam to each. Top with the remaining batter.
  • Bake at 180℃ (350℉, Gas 4) for 20 minutes until the cakes are well risen and golden on top. Turn out onto a rack to cool.
  • Melt the white chocolate in a bowl over a pan of hot water and allow to cool a little.
  • Cream the icing sugar and 2nd lot of butter, then beat in the white chocolate.
  • Beat in the 2 tbsp beetroot water one by one until a smooth icing consistency is reached. If the mixture curdles and won’t come together, add a little more beetroot juice and continue to beat.
  • Spread the icing over the cooled cakes and leave for an hour or so to set.


The beetroot is more for colour than flavour.
This is a great way of using up cooking water that you might otherwise throw away.
If you boil your beetroot in only a little water, you'll get a good strong colour.


I’m sending these beetroot and orange cupcakes off to Laura over at I’d Much Rather Bake Than …. She hosts the Biscuit Barrel challenge which is all about birthday celebrations this month. Happy Birthday Laura and congratulations on the Biscuit Barrel being one year old this month.

The theme for this month’s Love Cakes with Ness over at JibberJabberUK is Back to School – Something New. Well I can honestly say I’ve never put beetroot in icing before and nor have I tried to bake jam into the middle of cupcakes either.

Thanks to Peppermint Soda for my Home Bargains Showstopper kit, I was not required to write a positive review and as always all opinions are my own.


  1. Janice Pattie

    21st September 2014 at 8:14 am

    Wow, what a pop of colour! You always make such great cakes with your veggies, jam in the middle is definitely the way to go, glad everyone enjoyed them.

    • Choclette

      21st September 2014 at 8:45 am

      Thanks Janice. As you know I do enjoy coming up with new ways of using ingredients – especially when they work!

  2. Laura Denman

    21st September 2014 at 10:14 am

    I love these! So perfect for a girly birthday party or a friendly get together and that colour is amazing =) Thanks for sharing them with the Biscuit Barrel.

    • Choclette

      22nd September 2014 at 8:48 am

      Thanks Laura – aren’t the boys meant to be reclaiming pink these days?

  3. Hannah Hearsey

    21st September 2014 at 12:19 pm

    SO bright! I love them!

    • Choclette

      22nd September 2014 at 8:49 am

      Thanks Hannah – sometimes shocking pink is just what is needed.

  4. belleau kitchen

    21st September 2014 at 1:41 pm

    Love that colour. Such a fab electro 80s pop colour. Also loving the idea of beetroot and orange. I can totally see how this would be gorgeous.

    • Choclette

      22nd September 2014 at 8:50 am

      Thanks Dom – you’re right, back to the 80s it is 🙂

  5. The Caked Crusader

    21st September 2014 at 2:56 pm

    I can never come out of Home Bargains empty handed! Love you cupcakes – the colour is amazing

    • Choclette

      22nd September 2014 at 8:51 am

      Thanks CC, you are lucky to have a Home Bargains store in your vicinity.

  6. Angie Schneider

    21st September 2014 at 3:42 pm

    That beetroot white chocolate icing sounds heavenly!

    • Choclette

      22nd September 2014 at 8:52 am

      Thanks Angie. Loved the icing for the colour, but it did taste good too.

  7. Kate Glutenfreealchemist

    21st September 2014 at 9:40 pm

    Shocking pink? No kidding! My daughter would go wild for these! Love the jam in the middle and the flavour combination too! I meant to make some cupcakes this week, but sadly had to decorate instead…… Completely ran out of time…… darn!

    • Choclette

      22nd September 2014 at 8:54 am

      Well next time you cook some beetroot, you could make some for her – the icing at least. Yes time has a horrid habit of running away and I never seem to do half the things I have on my list. I take it the decorating was of the house kind rather than the cake kind?

    • Kate Glutenfreealchemist

      23rd September 2014 at 7:45 pm

      Sadly yes! Sparkly purple with turquoise!!! Nine year olds eh???

    • Choclette Blogger

      27th September 2014 at 10:45 am

      Goodness Kate, that must make for a lively atmosphere.

  8. Katie

    22nd September 2014 at 5:49 am

    Wow what a bright and vibrant shade of pink, love it! Beetroot juice is amazing at colouring things. They look so cheery

    • Choclette

      22nd September 2014 at 8:55 am

      Thanks Katie. I was pleased at just how vibrant the beetroot made these, without making it taste beetrooty.

  9. Kitty Kaos

    22nd September 2014 at 8:30 am

    I love beetroot never tried it in cake though that sounds really interesting. May need to give these a try xx

    • Choclette

      22nd September 2014 at 8:55 am

      Ah Kitty, you must try a good dark chocolate beetroot cake – works so well.

  10. Karen S Booth

    22nd September 2014 at 8:56 am

    WOW! What vibrant and colourful cakes Choclette and with beetroot too, one of my favourite veggies to use in baking!

    • Choclette

      22nd September 2014 at 7:44 pm

      Beetroot is a very underrated vegetable Karen.

  11. GG

    22nd September 2014 at 1:33 pm

    These cupcakes have such an amazing colour. Fabulous on the outside and a lovely jammy surprise in the centre. GG

    • Choclette

      22nd September 2014 at 7:45 pm

      Thanks GG – sometimes it’s time to sit up and be noticed 😉

  12. Barefoot Mahala

    22nd September 2014 at 5:17 pm

    I really like the sound of orange and cardamom sponge. I’ll have to try these

    • Choclette

      22nd September 2014 at 7:46 pm

      I often pair orange and cardamom, I think they compliment each other very nicely.

  13. All That I'm Eating

    22nd September 2014 at 6:29 pm

    I love that shocking pink beetroot icing! Lovely idea and how nice that they morphed as you went along, it’s always good when that happens!

    • Choclette

      22nd September 2014 at 7:46 pm

      Haha yes, as long as they morph in the right way!

  14. Nayna Kanabar

    22nd September 2014 at 7:37 pm

    I don’t know about anyone else but I love the pink icing, its very girlie and pretty. Have you tried injecting the jam in the cake after its baked with one of them pointy nozzles.I saw one in lakeland.

    • Choclette

      22nd September 2014 at 7:47 pm

      Thanks Nayna. I know you’re meant to inject the jam afterwards for the best results, but it seems rather a faff and I was trying to see if I could get something to work which was a bit easier.

  15. Phil in the Kitchen

    22nd September 2014 at 11:22 pm

    I’ve never been offended by shocking pink. (Well, maybe once when I was given a lift in a shocking pink car). These sound not just delicious but also good fun. Cardamom and plum jam are two baking ingredients that I’d definitely always welcome. They’re not used enough in my opinion.

    • Choclette

      23rd September 2014 at 8:18 am

      Oh Phil, you’ve made me feel all nostalgic now for the days when people were able to be a bit whackier and could drive such wonders as shocking pink cars. You don’t really see any weird and wonderfuls on the roads these days.

  16. Gloria Baker

    23rd September 2014 at 12:47 am

    I love beetroot cakes I think the color is amazing .
    Look beautiful:)

    • Choclette

      23rd September 2014 at 8:19 am

      Thank you Gloria. It’s true, beetroot can work really well in cakes.

  17. Alida

    23rd September 2014 at 10:47 am

    These cakes have an incredible colour. They really look lovely. Delicious with plums!

  18. Sarah Trivuncic

    24th September 2014 at 10:51 am

    What a gorgeous colour! I couldn’t say no to one of those 🙂

    • Choclette Blogger

      27th September 2014 at 10:42 am

      Thanks Sarah, they are certainly not going to go unnoticed.

  19. Bintu Hardy

    24th September 2014 at 1:24 pm

    The pink icing is such fun. The kids would love it.

    • Choclette Blogger

      27th September 2014 at 10:43 am

      Tthanks Bintu – you never know, you might like it too 😉

  20. Jibber JabberUK

    29th September 2014 at 9:39 am

    I love a hidden surprise in a cupcake and the natural colouring from the beetroot is gorgeous! Thanks for linking up this month.


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