Thursday, November 1, 2012


This is the conclusion to my October Series called CAKES AND VEGETABLES. The recipe I chose for my last post in this series features the wonderfully versatile beetroot again. Part II was all about cooked beetroot purée that gets added to the batter of an incredibly moist Chocolate-Beetroot Cake, Part VII on the other hand, is all about raw grated beetroots that play a starring role in this wonderful Beetroot Seed Cake. The recipe is by my current favorite cook/baker Nigel Slater.

Recipe for Beetroot Seed Cake
(as adapted from "Tender" by Nigel Slater)

Ingredients for the Cake

  • 225 grams (8oz) self-raising flour (such as King Arthur)
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 180 ml (6¼fl oz) sunflower oil
  • 225 grams (8oz) light muscovado sugar
  • 3 eggs (M), free range or organic, separated, 
  • 150 grams ( 5oz raw) beetroot, peeled (I used about 2 smallish ones)
  • juice of half a lemon
  • 75 grams (3oz) sultanas or raisins
  • 75 grams (3oz) mixed seeds (I used sunflower and pumpkin seeds)

Ingredients for the Icing and Garnish

  • 8 tbsp powdered sugar
  • some lemon juice or orange blossom water (I used orange blossom water)
  • 2 tbsp poppy seeds


  • a rectangular loaf pan 20cm x 9cm x 7cm (8 x 4 x 3inches)
  • some parchment paper

Preparation of the Cake

1. Preheat the oven at 180 degrees Celsius (350 degrees Fahrenheit).
2. Lightly grease a rectangular loaf pan 20cm x 9cm x 7cm (8 x 4 x 3inches), then line the base with parchment paper.
3. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder and cinnamon.
4. In the bowl of your mixer, beat the oil and sugar until well combined. Then add the egg yolks one by one, mixing after you add each egg yolk.
5. In a separate bowl (wearing gloves to protect your hands from discoloration), grate the beetroot coarsely. Then fold it into the egg mixture, then add the lemon juice, sultanas (or raisins) and the assorted seeds. Whisk to combine.
6. Fold the flour mixture into the egg mixture whilst the machine is on a slow setting.
7. Beat the egg whites until light and almost stiff. Fold gently but thoroughly into the batter.
8. Pour the mixture into the cake pan and bake for 50 to 55 minutes, covering the top with a piece of aluminium foil after thirty minutes. Test with a wooden skewer for doneness. The cake should be moist inside but not sticky. Transfer the cake to a wire rack.
9.  Leave the cake to cool for about twenty minutes before turning out of the baking pan and onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Preparation of the Icing

1. Sift the powdered sugar into a bowl and stir in enough lemon juice or orange blossom water to achieve a reasonably thick consistency where you will be able to spread the icing over the top of the cake or to a thinner consistency if you want to drizzle the icing over the top of the cake and let the excess drip down the sides of the cake.
2. Spread the icing over the top or drizzle it over the cake and scatter with the poppy seeds.
3. Leave to set before eating.

This concludes my October Series entitled „CAKES AND VEGETABLES“. I really hope that you enjoyed following along. For all the other cakes featured in this series, please click on the links below. It is incredible how versatile many vegetables are and I find the idea of incorporating them in my baking very appealing - I love the depth of flavor that vegetables bring to cakes. Since I have plenty of other recipes that count a vegetable as part of their ingredient list, I might continue this series in January - for now, however, today`s  recipe for the Beetroot-Seed Cake concludes my series..

When I served this cake, I decided to let the taste testers guess what the "red flecks" in the baked cake were - for once I did not tell that the cake that they were about to eat contained a vegetable in some form - well, some happy eaters were convinced that the "cranberries" in this cake were just fabulous!

This is an absolutely wonderful and unassuming cake that you and your guests will enjoy tremendously, I am sure of it! Or as Nigel Slater so very aptly puts it "This tastes no more of beetroot than a carrot cake tastes of carrots, yet it has a similar warm, earthiness to it. It is less sugary than most cakes and the scented icing I drizzle over it is purely optional." Well, enjoy!


CAKES & VEGETABLES - PART V - POTATO - Old-Fashioned Potato-Raisin Gugelhupf


  1. This has been such an interesting series. I love the description of the beetroot cake, and now I'm tempted to try making something I hadn't even heard of before!

    1. Thanks, Beth, putting this series together was a ton of fun and the recipe for the Beetroot-Seed Cake is just amazingly simple, yet wonderful and with a lot of healthy ingredients - my kind of cake!

  2. Yes, I really enjoyed your cakes and vegetable series! I love cooking with root vegetables and Japanese cuisine uses quite a bit of root veggies in our dishes. It's always fun to learn new dishes (in this time "new cakes") using these vegetables. These cakes look so beautiful and I wish I can have a slice!

    1. Nami, I would love to be able to share a slice or two of these cakes with you - they are so delicious, yet, people seem to shy away from cake recipes when they see that part of the ingredients lists veggies. They might not realize what they are missing.

      Have a good weekend!

  3. I've really enjoyed this series, Andrea. And I am still on the lookout for beetroot. This cake is gorgeous,.