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Frosted spiced beetroot cake

21 April 2016

A delicious gluten-free beetroot cake recipe that's spiced with cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger and topped with a toffee cream cheese icing.

Frosted spiced beetroot cake
Frosted spiced beetroot cake

Preparation time

30 minutes, plus cooling

Cooking time

24-30 minutes




For the beetroot cake

  • 250g/9oz pack chilled cooked beetroot in natural juices, drained well, finely grated
  • 100g/3 ½ oz carrot, finely grated
  • 40g/1 ½ oz walnut pieces, chopped
  • 175ml/6fl oz vegetable oil
  • 4 eggs
  • 250g/9oz caster sugar
  • 250g/9oz gluten-free self-raising flour
  • 1 ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ¾ tsp grated nutmeg
  • ¾ tsp ground ginger

For the toffee frosting

  • 175g/6oz cream cheese
  • 40g/1 ½ oz butter, at room temperature
  • 115g/4oz caster sugar
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 2 tbsp walnut pieces, to decorate, if liked


A twist on a passion fruit cake, this version contains grated beetroot and walnuts and topped with a caramel frosting. Plus it’s made with gluten-free flour, so even those on a special diet needn’t miss out.

Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas mark 4. Grease two 20cm/8in sandwich tins with a little oil and line the bases with non-stick baking paper. Add the beetroot to a sieve and press out excess liquid with the back of a spoon or using hands in rubber gloves to prevent the juices staining your hands. Then mix with the carrot and walnuts.

Add the oil, eggs and caster sugar to the bowl of an electric whisk and beat for 5 minutes until very light and fluffy.

Mix the remaining dry ingredients in a third bowl. Gently fold the beetroot mix into the whisked eggs then fold in the dry ingredients. Spoon the cake mixture evenly into the tins and gently ease into an even layer, being careful not to knock out the air.

Bake for 20–25 minutes until the cakes are well risen, golden brown and the top springs back when lightly pressed with a fingertip. Leave to cool in the tins for 5 minutes then loosen the edge and turn out on to a wire rack. Peel off the lining paper and leave to cool.

To make the frosting, whisk the cream cheese and butter together in a bowl until smooth. Add the sugar and water to a heavy-based pan and very gently heat until the sugar has dissolved. Don’t be tempted to stir or you may crystallise the syrup. Increase the heat and cook for to 3–4 minutes until a golden caramel. Whisk into the cream cheese mixture in a thin steady stream then cool in the fridge until thick.

To finish the cake, put one cake on to a serving plate, spread with half the frosting. Add the second cake and spread the rest of the frosting on top then sprinkle with walnuts, if liked.

Cooking tip

If you don’t feel very confident about boiling sugar then make up the frosting by beating the cream cheese with the butter then stir in 115g/4oz icing sugar and 1 tsp vanilla essence.

This recipe is from The National Trust Cookbook, published by National Trust Books. Recipe photography by William Shaw.

Visit our baking section for mode delicious cake recipes.


The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated. The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.