What had been an afternoon plan to make carrot cake all got a lot more complicated when it turned out I’d already eaten more of my carrot stash than I’d anticipated. With only two measly looking carrots left, but a fridge full of other veg, it was time to get creative. After salvaging some languishing beetroot from the back of the shelf – and doing a quick google to check this recipe was somewhere within the bounds of normal cake making – I came up with this recipe for a moist and almost gooey carrot and beetroot cake, topped with lemon buttercream icing and marbled through with a simple beet-stained water icing.
for the cake
100g grated carrot
130g grated beetroot (pre-cooked/ready to eat type)
1 tbsp baking powder (or use self raising flour)
2 tbsp ground ginger
130g brown sugar
175ml sunflower oil
2 tbsp apple sauce
60ml lemon juice (squeeze the juice of one lemon and top this up with cold water until you have 60ml)
for the buttercream
125g dairy free spread/margarine (e.g. Vitalite or Pure spreads)
300g (roughly) icing sugar
Zest of one lemon
for the pink marbling (definitely very optional)
Spare beetroot (just a tiny amount, no more than a teaspoon of it)
5 tbsp icing sugar (roughly)
2 tsp boiling water
To make the cake; Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4. Next combine all of the dry ingredients in a bowl, then add the wet ingredients and mix. Have a quick taste and see if you want to add more ginger. Once you’re satisfied, pour the cake batter into a lined tin and pop it into the oven for 40-45 minutes. Once baked, take the cake out and leave
it to cool for around 5 minutes in the tin, before turning it out to cool.
To make the buttercream; Put the spread into a bowl and add the icing sugar. Cream the two together, being very careful so
as not to cover yourself and the kitchen with the sugar. Once combined, mix in the lemon zest. If your cake isn’t cool yet, put the buttercream in the fridge until it is. When the cake is cool spread the icing over the top
To make the water icing for marbling; if you’re still feeling creative and enthused at this point, why not add some pretty pint marbling to the top of your cake? Mash the small amount of beetroot and add a splash of boiling water to it – hopefully the beetroot will break down a bit or at least dye the water. Then add in theicing sugar slowly until the mixture has become thick enough to hold its position, but not so thick that it won’t still fall off the spoon with ease. When the icing is done drop small sqiggles of it all over the buttercream topped cake, so that it’s been spattered with pink. Finally, using a butter knife, spread the two icings into each other so that they create a marble effect.
Once cool, iced and decorated you can cut the cake. I went for 12 pieces, but you can make your slices as large or small as you like!