carrot and beetroot cake with caramel cream cheese frosting

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carrot and beetroot cake with caramel cream cheese frosting

carrot and beet cake with caramel cream cheese frosting

carrot and beet cake with caramel cream cheese frosting

carrot and beet cake with caramel cream cheese frosting

carrot and beetroot cake with caramel cream cheese frosting

I’ve always been intrigued by beetroot in cake recipes, the flavour is quite strong and in many ways I don’t think it suited to a dessert. I don’t like it used in red velvet cupcakes and prefer to use a food colouring which doesn’t interfere with the subtle chocolate flavour and yields a deep rich colour which I feel the cupcake must have. However with a chunky carrot cake like this, the earthy flavour of  the beets work really well. The cake is not too sweet, so the caramel cream cheese frosting adds a luscious decadent dimension.

This recipe for carrot and beetroot cake comes from well known South African cookbook author Carolie de Koster. Carolie now lives in New Zealand where she continues to create all kinds of magic around food. I have been a fan of hers for years, so was delighted when she discovered my blog last year and we have been virtual friends ever since.

carrot and beetroot cake with caramel cream cheese frosting

This recipe which was first published in Carolie’s book ‘Home Bakes’ in 2001 by Lannice Snyman Publishing. It’s one of my main baking reference books but sadly out of print. Carolie has very generously given me permission to use it here. I have created my own icing which I adapted from the maple cream cheese icing  used on the apple cake I posted recently. These feather light frostings are my new absolute best way to finish off a cake.

I thought this fabulous cake with so much X-factor would be the perfect recipe to include in my series of recipes I’m producing for Sasko Flour.

*Cooks Notes – I have used a ready-made caramel in the frosting as it’s just as nice as anything you can make at home. I had some proper Argentinian dulce de lece which was perfect, but tinned caramel treat or any other ready made caramel will work perfectly. Caramel treat is condensed milk that has be boiled in the tin for 2 hours to form caramel and we are lucky enough to buy it very easily in South Africa. I grated the vegetables on the finest blades on my grater which took a little bit of effort, so if you have a husband, friend or child lurking around, get them to pick up that job.

carrot and beetroot cake with caramel cream cheese frosting

Print Recipe
Prep Time:40 minutes
Cook Time:50 minutes
Total Time:1 hour 20 minutes


  • 3 free-range eggs
  • 300 g 375ml sugar
  • 175 ml sunflower oil
  • 1 t 5ml vanilla extract
  • 60 ml hot water
  • 250 g 500ml Sasko Cake Flour
  • 1 T 3t 15ml baking powder
  • pinch of salt 1ml
  • 1 t 5ml ground cinnamon
  • pinch of ground nutmeg
  • 200 g 500ml finely grated carrot
  • 100 g 250ml finely grated beetroot
  • 50 g 125ml coarsely chopped walnuts or pecan nuts (plus a handful of extra for decorating)
  • icing
  • 100 g butter
  • 100 g Muscavado dark brown sugar
  • 80 ml 1/3 of a cup dulce de leche, caramel treat, ready made caramel
  • 240 g cream cheese


  • Preheat the oven to 180C / 350F and grease or spray and 23cm ring cake pan.
  • Separate the eggs and put the egg yolks in a food processor or electric mixing bowl with the sugar, water, vanilla and oil. Mix until combined.
  • Sift the flour, baking powder and spices over the bowl and mix / process until smooth.
  • In a separate bowl beat the egg whites until stiff.
  • By hand stir the beet, carrot and nuts through the mix, and gently fold through the egg whites.
  • Fill the cake pan and bake for 40 – 50 minutes until the cake has turned brown, is firm to the touch and when sharp knife comes out clean.
  • Allow the cake to cool in the tin and make the frosting.
  • To make the frosting – beat the sugar, butter and caramel until pale and fluffy. Add the cream cheese and continue beating until the mixture is smooth and the sugar granules have worked out.
  • Spread a thick layer all over the cake and decorate with a few extra chopped nuts.

Disclaimer ~ This is a sponsored post and part of a series of recipes Sasko have asked me to develop using their flour. You can also check out all the fun and more recipes on the Sasko Facebook page.

carrot and beetroot cake with caramel cream cheese frosting

carrot and beetroot cake with caramel cream cheese frosting

carrot and beetroot cake with caramel cream cheese frosting

I look forward to connecting with you again in the future.

Visit my Drizzle and Dip Facebook page to get updates of all my posts.

I can also be found enthusiastically pinning beautiful food images on Pinterest, and snapping pics of my life in Cape Town and what I eat on Instagram


  1. Blast from the past! Carolie used to do demos at our demo kitchen/gallery in my Pretoria days so I have loads of her recipe booklets I still use today. Her recipes always just work and she is such a lovely person. I did not know she was in NZ now. (Let me know if you ever want to look through the booklets.)

  2. Wow Sam. Looks absolutely luxurious! I have never tried beetroot in baking before, hell, I don’t ever hardly bake without ending up with a piece of cake hard as stone! Gotta give it a try someday…

  3. Small world indeed Hein, and Im sure she will be delighted to read this.

  4. Nice to see a re-release of a delicious looking cake!! I too have never had beetroot so something new to try. Happy Halloween.from the States.

  5. Love the combination of beetroot and carrots in cake. It looks so moist and pictures are gorgeous!

  6. Sorted – what I will make in the kitchen this weekend! I love the idea of that earthy beetroot, and the icing sounds like a dream! Yum!

  7. Ohhh, the cream cheese frosting looks absolutely yummy.
    I’ve loved beets from when I was little in every form, this cake I will bake soon. Pinning for now.

  8. Hi Sam

    Yes – we had a super time in Hein’s kitchen plse pass on my e-mail address to him – would like to say hi to him and find out how far he went with his food talents! Caroile

  9. I have made carrot cakes and I have made beetroot cakes but never both together. What an intriguing idea! It looks wonderful.

  10. HI Suzanne, beetroot on its owns sounds interesting. I must say Im keen on zucchini next 🙂

  11. HI Carolie, I will definitely pass it on to Hein and he can share with you his blog which is starting to do well in SA. Thanks so much for your cake recipe. I think its a winner.

  12. Sam with these amazing pictures of cakes and their frostings–i am going to have to start eating cakes with eggs–this looks great–i have a flop proof egg less carrot cake recipe–i must try adding some beetroot to it.

  13. Wow Usha, I have never baked without eggs. What do you use to replace the eggs? I heard buttermilk was a good replacement?

  14. Oh, this cake is just exquisite, and your photos are an inspiration! Thank you for sharing.

  15. Thanks Alanna and a pleasure 🙂

  16. Such a gorgeous cake with lovely frosting….Loved the pics….First time here…happy to follow you..

  17. Thanks Gloria – lovely to have you around these parts 🙂

  18. Louise Dacquay says:

    Would prefer to see the ingredients NOT IN METRIC, BUT in cups, ounces, etc. The cake is very good,
    but it is difficult to figure comparable quantities.

  19. Hi Louise – glad you enjoyed the cake. I live in SA and we are on the metric system. I have a handy conversion chart on my blog. I often do cup measurements – often a mix of both.

  20. I just made this cake and it is cooling as I type this. I love beetroot and I’m excited to try this combo ??

  21. I hope you loved it

  22. Jeff Brooker says:

    This cake looks devine! Must i cook the beets before grating them?

  23. Hi Jeff, No the beetroot goes in raw. Thanks Sam

  24. I have to say my cake came out exactly like yours. Color texture everything. I am still receiving compliments and now I am baking for two birthdays this weekend. I don’t even know how to express my gratitude. Thank you so so much.

  25. Hello – thank you for this lovely feedback on my recipe it has totally made my day. I’m so pleased the cake worked out for you. Am it’s my pleasure 🙂

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