beetroot avo 018front

This delicious cake is a slight adaptation on a Nigel Slater recipe.  Beetroot non-believers won’t even realise it’s there.

Enough for 8-10


225g self raising flour
1/2 teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda
1 teaspoon of baking powder
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
180ml sunflower oil
225g light sugar
3 eggs separated
150g raw beetroot, coarsely grated
½ a lemon, juiced
75g currants or raisins or sultanas
75g pumpkin seeds

For the icing ( optional)
8 tablespoons icing sugar
4 tablespoons lemon juice
a sprinkling of poppy seeds


Set the oven to 180°C/Gas 4 . Lightly butter a rectangular loaf tin (20x9cm, measured across the bottom, and 7cm deep), then line the base with baking parchment.

Sift together the flour, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder and cinnamon. Beat the oil and sugar, with a blender or a wooden spoon, until well creamed. Then add the egg yolks one by one.

Fold the beetroot into the mixture, then add the lemon juice, sultanas or raisins and the assorted seeds.

Gently fold the flour and raising agents into the mixture and give a couple of mixes with the spoon. If using a blender, have it on slow.

Beat the egg whites until they are light and almost stiff. Fold gently but thoroughly into the mixture, using a large metal spoon (a wooden one will knock the air out). Pour the mixture into the loaf tin and bake for 50 to 55 minutes, covering the top with a piece of foil after half an hour. Use a skewer or toothpick to test if the cake is ready. It should be moist inside but not sticky.

Leave the cake to settle for a good 20 minutes before turning it out of its tin on to a wire cooling rack.

To make the icing, sift the icing sugar into a bowl and mix in the lemon juice until it reaches a consistency that will allow you to spoon the icing over the top and have some drizzle down the side. You can then scatter with some poppy seeds. If you can resist, leave the icing to set before enjoying.

  • Susanne December 4, 2012 at 00:00

    This cake is delicious. The flavours go together really well and complement each other. I really enjoyed it! Yum!!!

  • Lisa McCloy November 26, 2012 at 21:41

    I was sceptical at the thought of beetroot in a cake but this loaf was truly delicious. I could have eaten the whole lot. I am a convert!

  • Sophie November 26, 2012 at 20:39

    This was brought in as a treat at work…made my day and everyone else thought it was lovely too!

  • Katie Allan November 26, 2012 at 18:56

    This looks lush. Can’t wait to try it!

  • Emma Liddle November 25, 2012 at 17:10

    Very tasty cake, lovely and moist and full of flavour.