Beetroot, Ginger & Sour Cream Cake
Recipe type: Cake
Serves: 6-8 slices
For the cake:
  • 75g (2.6 oz) walnut halves, chopped roughly
  • 200g (7.05 oz) plain flour
  • 150g (5.2 oz) caster sugar
  • 2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 250g (8.8 oz) medium raw red beetroot, peeled & coarsely grated (about 2 medium beetroots)
  • Finely grated zest of 1 large orange
  • 100g (3.5 oz) stem ginger, finely chopped
  • 2 large eggs (I used 3 small ones)
  • 60g (2.1 oz) sour cream
  • 125ml (4.4 oz) Sunflower oil (I used Brown Rice Oil)
  • 1 large Vitamin C tablet* (1500mg) crushed (I used 3 x 500mg tablets)
For the icing:
  • 150g (5.2 oz) cream cheese, room temperature
  • 60g (2.1 oz) icing sugar, sifted
  • 70ml (2.4 oz) double cream (heavy cream)
  • 20ml (0.70 oz) fresh ginger juice** (I used 20ml of ginger syrup from the stem ginger jar)
To decorate:
  • Finely grated zest of 1 orange or;
  • A couple of handfuls of freeze-dried raspberries (I used 'Fresh As' brand).
For the cake:
  1. Preheat the oven to 180C (360F)***. Grease and line a 20cm round cake tin (line around the edges as well).
  2. Place the chopped walnuts in a heavy frypan on the stove and dry-fry gently for a few minutes at a low heat to toast them. Put aside.
  3. Put the flour, sugar, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt into a large bowl and stir with a whisk to combine and aerate. Add in the measured beetroot, orange zest, walnuts and stem ginger, but don't stir yet.
  4. In a separate small bowl, place the eggs and sour cream and whisk to combine. Add the oil, crushed vitamin tablet/s and whisk again. Pour the liquid over the beetroot and flour mix and use a large spatula to combine thoroughly.
  5. Pour the batter mix into the cake tin - it should more or less level out itself - and bake in the middle of the oven for 50-55 minutes (at the lower oven temperature mine took about 60 minutes). Test that it's cooked properly by inserting a skewer into the cake - it should come out clean). NB: I found that the cake rose higher in the middle and cracked just a little - given the cake is rustic, it's definitely not a problem!
  6. Take the cake out of the oven and set it on a wire rack for 30 minutes before removing from the tin. You can leave the baking paper on while it cools (which takes a good hour), as it will keep the cake moist.
For the icing:
  1. Put the room temperature cream cheese into the bowl of an electric mixer with paddle attachment and beat for around 10 seconds or so, just to ensure it's smooth. Add the sifted icing sugar and beat until well incorporated. Add the cream and beat for about 1 minute - beating in the cream will ensure the icing becomes thick and smooth. Add the ginger juice (or ginger syrup) and beat for just a few seconds until it's combined.
  2. Spread the icing over top of the cake with a large palette knife. If you like you can top with some orange zest or freeze dried raspberries (as I have), and serve.
*The Vitamin C helps to retain the colour of the beetroot through cooking. Crush the tablets with the back of a spoon, or with a pestle and mortar.
**To extract ginger juice, finely grate approx. 6cm piece of fresh ginger into a large piece of fine clean muslin cloth, gather up the muslin tightly and squeeze the juice into a small bowl.
*** Yotam bakes the cake at 195 Celsius (380 F), however I find this too hot so have cooked it at 180C (360F). I suggest you decide which works best for your oven.
Recipe by The Kiwi Cook at