Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Carrot, beetroot and banana cake

You may already know that it is possible to use beetroot (beets, to you Americans) in cakes. Or you may think I have wigged out. But I haven't. Honest. Try it.

I mentioned recently that I had found some beetroots on the marked-down-for-quick-clearance shelf at my local supermarket. Well, on that same day, I also found some past-their-best carrots and a bag of totally over-ripe, bruised bananas.

Please don't ever throw your over-ripe bananas out. I know how it goes: you have a family of banana-lovers, and you buy a large bunch because they're on a special. Then, just that week, the kids decide they're not in the mood for bananas and your spouse goes out of town on business. So they begin to look a little unsightly.

I don't enjoy the taste of over-ripe bananas on their own like that, but in this state, they are at their best for use in baking or smoothies, because the flavour is strong and sweet. So bake a banana loaf, or make up some smoothies. Both these things can be frozen.

Just as an added extra to today's recipe (and I will get to it, I promise), here's a smoothie I used to give my kids when they were little and feeling unwell enough to be off their food (all quantities are 'some'):
plain yoghurt
vanilla ice cream (just a smidge)
raw porridge oats

Just zhoozh that lot up together in the blender and serve with ice and a curly straw.

Anyhoo, back to what I did with the rest of the beetroots and the other things I found that day:

Oven temperature
180 (you might have to reduce this - see method below)

250ml sugar
250ml oil
3 eggs
375ml plain (cake) flour
7.5ml baking powder
7.5ml bicarbonate of soda
10ml ground cinnamon
250ml grated carrot (about one 5"/12cm carrot)
250ml mashed banana (about 3 smallish bananas)
250ml grated, raw beetroot

250ml icing sugar
'Some' cream cheese
Little lemon juice
Little water, if necessary

  • Cream sugar, oil and eggs well.
  • Sift flour, baking powder, bicarb and cinnamon together and add to the creamed mixture.
  • Add remaining ingredients. Blend well together.
  • Pour into a deep cake pan and bake for about an hour. Check from time to time with a skewer. I found this baked really slowly, and the top started to burn a little, so I lowered the oven temperature and covered the cake with foil.
  • Allow to cool on a rack. Don't ice it until it has cooled down completely.
  • Mix a little icing sugar with the cream cheese until creamed.
  • Keep adding icing sugar and mixing in.
  • Add a little lemon juice for bite.
  • If it gets too stiff, add just a tiny bit of water.
  • Spread over the cooled cake.
Just so you know, this cake lasted less than an afternoon in my household! Oh, and that saucer (in the photo) is one of only two left from my late grandmother's tea service. I am very fond of it.


  1. hi i made this cake and added walnuts sunflower seeds and coconut plus pure vanilla
    my guests loved it!
    so thanks!!
    i just typed into google beetroot,carrots and banana and your yummy cake popped up!
    i had made juice in the morning and was left with all the pulp!

  2. I'm glad you enjoyed it, and that you tweaked it to suit your own requirements. That's what cooking is about, after all. :o)

  3. Hi Karyn
    Great cake! I added about half a cup more flour, used only the one banana (all I had) and added about half a cup of mixed sunflower seed and linseed. Because the mixture was still quite wet I thought it might do better in smaller quantities. It made 12 cupcakes and a small cake. Delicious!