Unlike typical cakes made with beets, this cake has ginger in place of chocolate. I love it’s a beautiful color. It tastes great too.
Check your vegetable drawer in the refrigerator for some leftover beets or pick up a few at the farmers’ market.
The cake recipe from David Lebovitz takes a little effort but well worth it. A nice tender texture with a thick sweet frosting makes this cake special. The kids will love it and never know there’s a vegetable in it, let alone beets. Beets add moisture to baked goods and little natural sweetness. Often, beets are in a recipe with chocolate because it adds moisture. There isn’t any chocolate in this recipe and you won’t miss it.
The ingredients, candied ginger, orange zest, walnuts, and of course beets, tastes great together. I made a few changes to the recipe. I substituted plain Greek yogurt from Argyle Cheese Farmer for the sour cream. The recipe calls for Fruit Fresh or Vitamin C which sets the color, I omitted and it turned out fine. Also, I didn’t add walnuts because of preference.
To make the cake, pour boiling water over candied ginger and let sit for 15 minutes in a bowl. Drain and squeeze out any water. Whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder and soda. Add grated raw beets, orange zest, walnuts, and candied ginger. In another bowl, whisk together eggs, sour cream, oil, and Fruit Fresh. Pour the mixture into the dry ingredients and mix together. Pour into a prepared pan and bake. Don’t skip the frosting. It is awesome. Beat cream cheese, powdered sugar, and heavy cream. Spread the frosting over the cooled cake.
- for the cake:
- ½ cup finely chopped candied ginger
- 1⅔ cups flour
- ¾ cup sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- 1⅔ cup grated fresh raw beets, peeled
- finely grated zest from one orange
- ⅔ cup toasted walnuts, chopped
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature
- ¼ cup sour cream or plain Greek yogurt
- ½ cup canola oil
- ¾ teaspoon Fruit Fresh
- For the cream cheese frosting:
- 5½ ounces cream cheese at room temperature
- ½ cup powdered sugar
- ⅓ cup heavy cream
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- For the cake: Butter an 8 inch square or round pan. Line the bottom with parchments paper. In a small bowl pour boiling water over the candied ginger and let it sit for 15 minutes. Drain the ginger and squeeze out as much of the excess water as possible. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and baking soda. Add the grated beets, zest, walnuts and candied ginger to the bowl but do not stir in.
- Whisk together the eggs, yogurt, oil and fruit fresh in a small bowl. Pour the mixture over the dry ingredients in a large bowl and use a spatula to mix the ingredients together, stirring just until thoroughly combined.
- Scrape the batter into the prepared cake pan, even the top, and bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 40 minutes. Check at 30 minutes.
- Remove the cake from the oven and let cool for 30 minutes on a wire rack, then remove the cake from the pan, peel off the parchment paper and let cool completely.
- For the frosting: Beat the cream cheese in a bowl until smooth. Beat in the powdered sugar until it's completely incorporated. Add the heavy cream and vanilla and beat for about 1 minute on high speed, until thickened. Spread the frosting over the top of the cake.