Spiced beetroot seed cake with rapadura frosting

Carrot cake is a no-brainer, so why not beetroot? Especially when it's fragrant with spice and textured with all sorts of seeds. Rapadura sugar gives the frosting a warm caramel flavour and just a little crunch.

You'll need

270 ml hazelnut oil or sweet almond oil 110 gm rapadura sugar (see note) Finely grated rind and juice of 1 lemon 2 tsp vanilla bean paste 4 eggs, separated 160 gm plain flour 55 gm rye flour 3 tsp ground cinnamon 3/4 tsp ground cloves 2 tsp baking powder 2/3 tsp bicarbonate of soda 100 gm mixed seeds, such as pepitas, sunflower seeds and linseed 3 tsp caraway seeds 200 gm (about 1) coarsely grated beetroot, plus extra (optional) to serve 50 ml buttermilk   Crunchy seeds 40 gm mixed seeds, such as pepitas, sunflower seeds and linseed 1 tsp caraway seeds 20 gm icing sugar Finely grated rind of 1 lemon   Rapadura frosting 250 gm icing sugar, sieved 120 gm crème fraîche 100 gm rapadura sugar 2 tsp lemon juice


  • 01
  • Preheat oven to 180C. Whisk oil, sugar, rind, juice and vanilla in an electric mixer until pale (3-4 minutes), then add egg yolks and whisk until fluffy (2-3 minutes). Sieve flours, ground spices, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda over, then add mixed seeds, caraway seeds and a pinch of salt, and stir to combine. Add beetroot and buttermilk, stir to combine and set aside.
  • 02
  • Whisk eggwhites and a pinch of salt in a bowl until firm peaks form, then fold into beetroot mixture. Spoon into a 22cm-diameter cake tin buttered and lined with baking paper, smooth top, and bake until risen and a skewer inserted withdraws clean (45-50 minutes). Cool in tin for 30 minutes, then cool completely on a wire rack.
  • 03
  • For crunchy seeds, dry-roast mixed seeds and caraway in a frying pan over medium-high heat until lightly toasted (1 minute), sieve icing sugar over and cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly glazed. Remove from heat, add rind, stir and cool on a piece of baking paper.
  • 04
  • For rapadura frosting, whisk ingredients in an electric mixer until thick (3-4 minutes), spread over cooled cake and serve scattered with crunchy seeds, topped with grated beetroot. Iced cake will keep in an airtight container for 2 days.

Note Rapadura sugar, an unrefined cane sugar, is available in blocks or granulated from health-food shops and South American grocers.

At A Glance

  • Serves 6 - 8 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 6 - 8 people

Featured in

Aug 2014

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