Red Witch Cake

beetroot cake

I met my mate Kate at the Eveleigh Markets one recent Saturday. I was throwing her an extra special cooking class devoted entirely to (vegetarian) things I wanted to make (the best kind of class), and then eat the dinner that was to follow. Earlier I had put the call out on twitter for some interesting pud. Y suggested sticky date, which I unfortunately had to refuse. F had attempted one earlier in the week and I was all butterscotched out, if that is even possible. Then Kathryn suggested surprise pudding.

I gingerly broached the topic of the possibility of a beetroot cake for dessert and Kate jumped at the idea. Phew! It was really easy to whip up and turned out deliciously earthy and just sweet enough, there was one problem though – the name. With ‘red devil cake’ already taken there was no other option, and so ‘Red Witch’ cake it is!

The combination of beetroot and ginger lends depth and interest,  fragrant with orange and punctuated by the crunch of polenta with a dense yet airy crumb, this red witch cake is definitely a surprise.

beetroot cake

Red Witch Cake
Adapted from Jamie Olivers Surprise Pudding

500g raw beetroots
2 or 3 thumb-sized pieces of fresh ginger, finely chopped
3 large eggs, separated
150ml honey
170ml olive oil
seeds from 1 vanilla pods
2 heaped teaspoons baking powder
100g polenta
zest and juice of 1 orange
a good pinch of salt
a good pinch of cinnamon
150g plain flour

Boil or bake the beetroot until soft. Rub their skins off and blend them with a little of the olive oil. Add the ginger and blend until extra smooth, this should look like the most luscious beetroot dip ever.
Preheat oven to 180C. Grease and flour a 25cm springform tin (or other tin of appropriate size).
Mix the beetroot with the egg yolks, honey and the remainder of the oil. Stir in the seeds from 1 vanilla pod. When combined, add baking powder, polenta, orange zest and juice, salt, cinnamon and flour. In a separate bowl whisk the egg whites until stiff peaks form and fold them into the beetroot mixture. Pour cake mix into prepared tin and bake for around half an hour until a knife comes out clean.
Cool and serve with cream.

This work, unless otherwise expressly stated, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 Unported License.


  1. Posted June 23, 2009 at 7:55 pm | Permalink

    ohmygod that looks DELICIOUS and i am totally making it asap. Fantastic. Thank you.

  2. Posted June 23, 2009 at 9:59 pm | Permalink

    The colour of the cake is amazingly gorgeous! Mm and I love the sound of the combination with ginger. I love the idea of using beetroot in desserts, I saw beetroot crumble and beetroot brownies recently and I really want to try making them!

    Steph’s last blog post..Jaffa Cakes

  3. Posted June 24, 2009 at 11:54 am | Permalink

    Ohmy! Look at that colour! And all just from the beetroots too… It looks wonderfully moist and I can imagine how lovely and spicy/sweet it would be.

    shez’s last blog post..merivale winter feasts: launchparty

  4. Posted June 24, 2009 at 2:58 pm | Permalink

    That is one cool cake. Sort of like red velvet, but more ‘natural’.

    Belle@OohLook’s last blog post..Winter Zumbo cakes revisited and named

  5. Posted June 24, 2009 at 6:50 pm | Permalink

    I’m so glad to hear you enjoyed it and Red Witch Cake sounds like a perfect description. I love the idea of the ginger in there, with the orange and spice. And of course I’m a huuuge beetroot fan, so that always appeals.

    kathryn’s last blog post..Quicklinks

  6. Posted June 25, 2009 at 1:20 pm | Permalink

    It’s such a gorgeous red, and it looks like a lovely light texture too!

    Arwen from Hoglet K’s last blog post..Hummingbird Slice

  7. Posted June 26, 2009 at 1:07 pm | Permalink

    I think I said this before, but I love how you use unconventional ingredients for your recipes. The colour is amazing in this cake.

    Howard’s last blog post..Ash St Cellar, Sydney

  8. Posted July 5, 2009 at 11:06 am | Permalink

    Fiona: Haha! I hope you enjoy it :)

    Steph: Beetroot crumble? I can’t even begin to imagine what that would be like. Beetroot brings a really interesting angle to desserts, though they’re not for the faint hearted.

    shez: Yeah, it was very spicy but not overly sweet. Tastes like a healthy treat :)

    Belle@OohLook: Yeah very natural, but also delicious :)

    kathryn: Yeah, the orange and spice along with the ginger makes this cake amazing. Thank you so much for letting me know about it!

    Arwen from Hoglet K: I know, the colour is amazing!

    Howard: Thank you! I love the challenge of using unconventional ingredients, sometimes it turns out to be deliciously surprising :)

One Trackback

  1. By מבשלים בבית | עוגת מה? on July 16, 2009 at 5:36 pm

    […] כבר שבועות הוא בוכה שאנחנו רק קונים סלקים, ולא עושים איתם כלום, עד שהם מרקיבים ונזרקים. נו, מה לעשות. יש ירקות כאלו, שנראים מגניב יותר על המדף. אבל מצאתי בשבילו פתרון מעולה לסלקים. ובאותה הזדמנות, את העוגה עם הצבע הכי מהמם ביקום. מהבלוג “מאפין ועוגה” […]

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