more beets for dessert please

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summary: beet cake and cream cheese icing recipe; beets are delicious for dessert! (click on image to see larger view and more photos)

beet cake Because I love beet tops so much, we had a LOT of beets in the fridge. Also, I had a hankering for carrot cake but no carrots (too many beets taking up all the room). And of course, I’m a big fan of substituting ingredients.

So instead of incurring wrath by buying too many carrots and leaving all those beets in the bottom of the fridge, I replaced the carrots with beets to make the most wonderful cake!

It will come as no surprise that beet cake batter is a lurid pink, just as luridly pink as beet ice cream. Remarkably, once it’s baked, it is NOT coloured red. It looks more like a chocolate cake. Or a very dark gingerbread.

The cake tastes pretty much like carrot cake. A little darker in flavour, perhaps. Darker or not, it’s delicious.

Beet Cake and Cream Cheese Icing
based on Rhyll’s recipe for carrot cake


  • ½ c brown sugar
  • ½ c white sugar
  • ¾ c oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1½ c (½ lb) grated beet
  • 1 c unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp cinnamon powder
  • ¼ tsp clove powder
  • ¼ tsp nutmeg powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ c pecans, coarsely chopped
  • ¼ c raisins or currants


  • ¼ c unsalted butter, softened
  • ½ c cream cheese (with guar gum), softened
  • ¼ c plain yoghurt
  • pinch of salt
  • ½ to 1 c sifted icing sugar
  • ⅛ tsp vanilla (optional)


  1. cake Peel and trim beets. Grate into a medium sized bowl and set aside.
  2. In a largish bowl, cream sugar into the oil.
  3. Add eggs one at a time to sugar mixture.
  4. In another bowl, whisk the dry ingredients together.
  5. Add dry ingredients slowly to sugar mixture, beating well.
  6. Add beets, nuts and raisins/currants.
  7. Pour into a buttered 8-inch square pan.
  8. Bake at 350F for about 45 minutes or until a cake tester poked in the center comes out cleanly.
  9. Allow to cool on a rack before icing.
  10. icing Mix butter, cream cheese and yoghurt.
  11. Using the back of a wooden spoon, cream in some sifted icing sugar to blend well. Taste to decide if you need more icing sugar. Add vanilla, if using (we didn’t). If the icing seems too thick, add more yoghurt.
  12. Slather on cooled cake.


:: Please note that the beets should be uncooked.

:: If you don’t have enough beets, use raw carrots.

:: I didn’t really measure the clove and nutmeg powder. I just threw in a little, being careful not to add too much. Both have a tendency to overpower other flavours. And did I add a little powdered ginger too? I might have.

:: The amount of icing here is for “so much icing, it will make you sick”. If you are crazy and think there should be less icing, just make half the recipe.

:: The guar gum in the cream cheese seems to make a difference to how the icing sets. If you use cream cheese without guar gum, add less yoghurt.

beet cake Now that’s a fabulous cake!! And what a great way to get beet decenters to eat
beets! Actually, what am I saying?! That means less beet cake for me. Allow me to rephrase: Do you loathe beets? Then don’t even think about eating beet cake! I’ll eat your portion. :whoohoo:

Ha! Guess what? Now that T has discovered the wonders of beet ice cream, we need more beets. How great is that!! It means that nobody will complain when I come into the house with yet more beet greens.

And speaking of beet ice cream, have you seen what Carol (French Laundry at Home) served with her beet ice cream? chocolate cakes with toasted walnut sauce Doesn’t that sounds fantastic?

But will we have enough beets for beet ice cream. We might be using them up making Alanna’s (A Veggie Venture) Secret-Ingredient Chocolate Cake (excuse me as I blab the secret ingredient: cooked beets).


This entry was posted in baking, cakes, pastries, cookies, etc., dessert, food & drink, posts with recipes, vegetables on by .

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1 response to “more beets for dessert please

  1. Laura

    Beets are excellent. We planted seeds this Spring but they must have been from an old package cause only one sprouted. Teaches us not to keep seed packages from year to year. I love this idea of a beet cake and cream cheese icing. I’ve already settled on a pumpkin cake recipe from my brother’s girlfriend, or I would be making this cake. I’m emailing the recipe to my Mom. She’s a beet lover too.

    I’m looking forward to Christmas cookies this year. My favourite are icebox cookies with red and green cherries.

    I will be back to visit again. Have a great long weekend. :)

    So glad to see you here, Laura. Too bad about the beets not coming up! That happened with me last year. And I used fresh seeds (or maybe I didn’t. Perhaps the store was selling an old packet). Of course, we have almost zero sun in the garden so that may have contributed. :lalala: Pumpkin cake sounds good but why not make both! Do half a recipe of pumpkin and half a recipe of beet… Happy Thanksgiving! -Elizabeth


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