Beetroot cake with icing served on a cake stand

Beetroot cake

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(5 ratings)

Prep: 1 hr, 10 mins Cook: 30 mins Plus cooling


Serves 12

Make the most of beetroots with this beautiful chocolate sponge cake with buttercream icing. It's perfect as a sweet treat to impress friends and family

Nutrition and extra info

  • Sponges can be frozen before assembling

Nutrition: Per serving

  • kcal656
  • fat37g
  • saturates23g
  • carbs75g
  • sugars61g
  • fibre1g
  • protein5g
  • salt0.8g


    For the sponges

    • 250g butter, plus extra for greasing



      Butter is a dairy product made from separating whole milk or cream into fat and…

    • 200g dark chocolate, broken into chunks
      Dark chocolate soup pots with double cream in spoons

      Dark chocolate

      dahk chok-o-let

      Dark chocolate means the shiny, dark-reddish brown treat produced from the cacao bean, theobroma…

    • 500g plain flour
    • 500g golden caster sugar
    • 2 tbsp cocoa powder
    • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
      Bicarbonate of soda

      Bicarbonate of soda

      Bicarbonate of soda, or baking soda, is an alkali which is used to raise soda breads and full-…

    • ½ tsp salt
    • 2 large eggs



      The ultimate convenience food, eggs are powerhouses of nutrition packed with protein and a…

    • 200g natural yogurt
    • 400g cooked beetroot in natural juices (not vinegar)



      A favourite in 1970s British salads (cooked and pickled in vinegar), beetroot is a root…

    • 4 tbsp or 2 x 28ml bottles red food colouring, optional (we used Scarlett Langdale – a natural liquid colouring will not work)

    For the frosting

    • 200g full-fat cream cheese, at room temperature
    • 250g butter, softened



      Butter is a dairy product made from separating whole milk or cream into fat and…

    • 400g icing sugar, sifted
    • 2 tsp vanilla extract
    • a few sweets to decorate, optional (we used jelly hearts from a sweet shop)


    1. Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Make the first batch of sponges by greasing and lining two 20cm round tins. Gently melt 125g butter and 100g chocolate together in a saucepan. Mix 250g flour, 250g sugar, 1 tbsp cocoa, ½ tsp bicarb and ¼ tsp salt in a large mixing bowl. Whizz one egg with 100g yogurt and 200g beetroot in a food processor or blender until fairly smooth. Put the kettle on.

    2. Tip the beetroot mix into the dry ingredients along with the melted chocolate mixture and 150ml boiling water, then stir to combine. Stir in half the food colouring, if using, and divide the mixture between the tins. Bake for 25 mins until a skewer poked into the centre comes out clean. Leave the cakes on a wire rack to cool completely.

    3. Repeat Steps 1 and 2 to make two more sponges – or if you're lucky enough to have four 20cm sandwich tins, you can bake in a big batch all at once.

    4. To make the frosting, briefly beat together the cream cheese and butter, then beat in the icing sugar and vanilla. Use a little to sandwich the cooled cakes together, then swirl the rest all over the sandwiched cakes and decorate with sweets, if you like. Sit the cake somewhere cool (not the fridge) to set a little before serving.

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    Comments, questions and tips

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    17th May, 2020
    This recipe is a bit messy but the cake is lovely. I've never found it flat but the batter is very loose. If you want it properly red you need to make sure your colouring is artificial and bake stable. Make sure you fully whizz the wet ingredients and fold the mix, make sure the oven is fully preheated and then LEAVE THE OVEN DOOR ALONE and it will rise. Takes about 15m before it starts to rise so don't be tempted to poke it. Best cream cheese icing recipe I've found, but I always make half as much again because I often make this as cupcakes.
    11th May, 2020
    This recipe is an unpleasant mix of sweet and savoury that doesn't rise, doesn't really cook properly (you can see how wet it is in the preview photo!) and isn't even red.
    13th Feb, 2020
    Cakes flat. There’s very little raising agent in the recipe so will try SR flour next time. Yet to taste.
    19th Jan, 2019
    Stunning cake! The icing compliments it absolutely beautifully (although in my opinion the icing only needs about half the amount of sugar). Definitely a hit with my family!
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