Natural beetroot red velvet cake

(23 ratings)

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  • Serves: 12

  • Prep time:

  • Cooking time:

    Plus 10 minutes coolign
  • Total time:

    (including cooling time)
  • Skill level: Bit of effort

  • Costs: Mid-price

This rich natural beetroot red velvet cake is given a distinct red colour and perfectly moist taste as it's made using beetroot - it's perfect for a special occasion such as a birthday or family party. This easy cake recipe serves 12 people and will take around 1hr and 15 mins to prepare, bake and decorate. It's a delicious cake infused with earthy beetroot. Not only does the beetroot give this bake a deep, red glow, it also adds a mass amount of flavour and moisture to the sponge too. This light cake is just perfect served with a cup of tea!


  • 3 medium free-range eggs
  • 180g caster sugar
  • 200g topped, tailed, peeled and finely grated beetroot
  • 1 vanilla pod, split lengthways and seeds scraped out
  • 180g white rice flour
  • 180g ground almonds
  • 2tsp baking powder
  • 1tbsp good-quality cocoa powder
  • 1/4tsp salt
  • 284ml buttermilk
  • 1tsp red food colouring paste

For the filling:
  • 6tsp Nutella or other chocolate spread
For the icing:
  • 2tsp vanilla extract
  • 170g icing sugar
  • 2tbsp water
  • 1/4tsp cream of tartar
  • White of 1 medium free-range egg
  • Small pinch of salt

For the sides:
  • 120g hazelnuts

You will also need:
  • Three 18cm diameter x 5cm deep loose bottomed cake tines

Use red paste colouring rather than liquid dye - recommended are Sugarflair Colours Christmas Red, Poppy Red, Red Extra and Ruby, but avoid Claret and other darker colours.


  1. Preheat the oven to 160C/325F/Gas Mark 3 and lightly brush the base and sides of the tins with vegetable oil.
  2. Line the bases with baking parchment and lightly grease again.
  3. Toast the hazelnuts for the sides for 10 minutes on a baking sheet. (Recommended to set a timer so you don't forget they're in there)
  4. Once toasted, chop them up finely and set them aside for later.
  5. In a large mixing bowl, whisk up the eggs and sugar for 4 minutes until they are light and fluffy. Next beat in the grated beetroot, as well as the vanilla seeds from the scraped-out pod. Add the flour, ground almonds, baking powder, cocoa powder and salt, and whisk until well combined.
  6. Finally, add the buttermilk and red food colouring. Whisk well to make sure that the elements in the bowl are well introduced.
  7. Divide the mixture evenly between the three tins and place them in the middle of the oven for 30 minutes.
  8. When the cakes are cooked, remove them from the oven, unmould and place them on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Peel off the paper and sit them underside up to cool quicker.
  9. Use this time to make the icing. Place all the ingredients in a big mixing bowl over a pan of boiling water. Stir with a clean metal spoon for 2 minutes exactly to dissolve the sugar. 
  10. When the mixture is warm and the 2 minutes are up, remove the bowl from the heat and beat with a hand-held electric whisk. Whisk for 9 minutes until cool. The mixture is ready to use when it's standing up like snow-covered Swiss peaks. 
  11. If piping the icing, simply fill your piping bag in the usual way. Be sure to ice the cakes (or cake) very quickly as the icing will stat to set and alter its flexibility as it sits - it likes to be used when just made.
  12. When the cakes are cold, spread 3btsp of the Nutella or other chocolate spread between the first and second tiers of the cake, then another 3tbstp between the second and third tiers.
  13. Cover the whole cake with the icing, and pat on the toasted, chopped-up hazelnuts. Serve on a cake stand if you have one. This cake keeps for 2 days in a tin or other airtight container.

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