This Carrot and Beetroot cake is a lightly spiced, moist and flavorful tender cake packed with toasted nuts and topped with a decadent cream cheese frosting.
It is like the best moist carrot cake recipe had babies with the best beetroot cake recipe; and the babies are so much more attractive than the parents.
I suspect that carrot and beetroot cake is an acquired taste, but when you taste this you may never want to try another simple carrot cake recipe, a boring old carrot cake with pineapple or chocolate beetroot cake.
As a child I was never fond of carrot cakes because vegetables in cake just didn’t seem normal. I also didn’t like the mouth feel of the gloopy white stuff, aka the cream cheese frosting, that was usually on them. I found that the carrot cakes were either too dry or too stodgy, and the frosting too sweet or too sour if it was cream cheese based.
It was something my mother loved but seldom, if ever, baked herself. She loved my cousin Rasheeda’s carrot cake, since it was moist without being heavy, and her carrot cake frosting was the best. She is the same cousin who inspired the chocolate ganache for my Decadent Chocolate Cake with ganache.
I was not a fan until I tasted Rasheeda’s carrot cake. It was everything a carrot cake should be; light, airy and perfumed with the scent of cinnamon and ginger and topped with a tangy cream cheese frosting. I tasted something similar a few years ago when they served cocktail carrot cakes at an office function, but was not tempted to reproduce it until recently.
My only attempt over twenty years ago was a dismal failure. The cake was wet from the pineapple in the recipe, instead of being moist; the frosting looked clumpy and curdled.
This carrot and beetroot cake recipe is another adaptation from my trusty Snowflake file; and is light, moist and quite delicious every time. It is very versatile, and you can easily swap out the beetroot for more carrots to make a moist carrot cake with cream cheese frosting, carrot cake cupcakes or a carrot cake loaf. The cream cheese frosting is delightfully creamy and just tangy enough to counterbalance the sweetness of the cake.
I baked this carrot and beetroot cake recipe for the birthday of a friend at work one year, and she still says it is the best carrot cake she’s ever had.
This recipe is suitable to be used for bundt cakes, layer cakes, tray bakes or cupcakes. Adjust the baking time accordingly.
For other cake recipes please click on the links below:
- Decadent Chocolate Cake with ganache frosting
- Rose Cupcakes with white chocolate ganache
- Old Fashioned Spiced Boiled Fruit Cake
Carrot and beetroot cake
- 5 large eggs
- 260 grams golden castor sugar approximately 375 ml or 1 1/4 cup - you may use white castor sugar instead
- 310 ml oil
- 325 g cake or sponge flour approximately 625 ml or 2 1/2 cups
- 10 ml ground cinnamon
- 5 ml mixed spice
- 5 ml ground ginger
- 5 ml bicarbonate of soda
- 10 ml baking powder
- 5 ml salt
- 250 grams grated carrot approximately 500 ml or 2 cups
- 125 grams grated beetroot approximately 250 ml or 1 cup - If you cannot find beetroot use another 125 grams carrots
- 115 grams chopped pecan nuts or walnuts approximately 250 ml or 1 cup
- 125 ml sultanas approximately 1/2 cup
Cream cheese frosting
- 100 grams butter at room temperature
- 500 grams whipped cream cheese approximately two 250 gram tubs
- 130 grams icing / confectioners sugar approximately 250 ml or 1 cup
- 65 grams whole or chopped pecans or walnuts for decoration approximately 125 ml or 1/2 cup
- Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees Celcius or 160 fan / 350 F / Gas mark 4.
- Whisk the eggs and sugar until light and fluffy, approximately 10 minutes. Add the oil in a steady stream and beat until blended.
- Sift the dry ingredients together and toss in the nuts and sultanas, then fold in to the egg and sugar mixture.
- Fold in the carrot and beetroot and pour into a greased tin. Take care not to over mix the batter.
- This mixture is enough for two 20 cm round cake tins or one 26 cm ring cake tin. Bake the cakes for 35 mins (small) or 45 mins (large), or until a tester comes out clean.
Cream cheese frosting
- Mix the soft butter with the cream cheese until smooth and blended before sifting in the icing sugar. You can use either a spatula or whisk if you want it airier.
- Spread the frosting on to the cooled cake and decorate with whole or chopped pecans.
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