Ottolenghi’s Beetroot & Ginger Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Susan, AKA Kiwicook
Susan, AKA Kiwicook

Susan, AKA Kiwicook

In her days as a recipe developer, Susan has created over 450 recipes. Her Dutch and New Zealander roots serve as a basis for her culinary inspiration.

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Beetroot, Ginger & Sour Cream Cake

This Beetroot, Ginger & Sour Cream cake may not look super fancy from the outside, but she’s sure good-lookin’ on the inside! And, did I mention tasty?!

I’ve been wanting to try out this cake from Yotam Ottolenghi ever since I bought his divinely seductive book ‘Sweet’ back in 2017. And, if I’m being perfectly honest, I already have tried it… and failed. I hasten to add that this was not Yotam’s fault… no, this was me not reading the recipe properly (tip #630: Always read your recipe before you start!). The recipe called for two beetroots, but added in brackets the weight in grams. Obviously, I didn’t check out the brackets… duh. I ended up with a tasty, but sodden mess and chucked the whole lot out (yep, that hurt!).

This time, we (that’s the royal ‘we’) read the recipe properly. And BINGO… a cake worth bragging about.

Beetroot, Ginger & Sour Cream Cake 2

I guess you could say this is similar in texture to a carrot cake (and by the way, if you’re looking for the best Carrot Cake ever you must check out this recipe). This baby, though, is a little less packed with ingredients (so more cake-like), and is defined by it’s earthy beetroot flavours enhanced by stem ginger, orange zest and crunchy walnuts. The topping – a cream cheese, ginger & cream icing – complimented it perfectly, providing just the right amount of sweetness.

I served this super moist cake with its stunning magenta stained interior to my family for morning tea and I have to say it went down a treat, so much so that one of my brothers asked for it as his birthday cake. If you’re after a scrummy cake which is ridiculously easy to make (if you read the instructions properly!), packed with healthy beetroot (what better way to eat your veges!), and damned good looking (at least on the inside!) you’ll absolutely love this! Enjoy!

Beetroot, Ginger & Sour Cream Cake 3
Beetroot, Ginger & Sour Cream Cake

Ottolenghi’s Beetroot & Ginger Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

This rustic and vibrantly colored Beetroot, Ginger & Sour Cream Cake is sure to impress! The earthy beet flavor pairs beautifully with warming ginger and a hint of orange. A moist, tender crumb and creamy ginger frosting create a delightful textural contrast. Garnish with fresh orange zest or freeze-dried raspberries for an extra pop of color.
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Setting Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 50 minutes
Course Dessert
Servings 8 Slices
Calories 500 kcal



For the cake:

  • 2.6 oz walnut halves , chopped roughly
  • 7.05 oz plain flour
  • 5.2 oz caster sugar
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 8.8 oz medium raw red beetroot, peeled & coarsely grated (about 2 medium beetroots)
  • Finely grated zest of 1 large orange
  • 3.5 oz stem ginger , finely chopped
  • 2 large eggs , I used 3 small ones
  • 2.1 oz sour cream
  • 4.4 oz Sunflower oil (I used Brown Rice Oil)
  • 1 large Vitamin C tablet* 1500mg crushed (I used 3 x 500mg tablets)

For the icing:

  • 5.2 oz cream cheese , room temperature
  • 2.1 oz icing sugar , sifted
  • 2.4 oz double cream (heavy cream)
  • 0.70 oz fresh ginger juice** (I used 20ml of ginger syrup from the stem ginger jar)

To decorate:

  • Finely grated zest of 1 orange or; A couple of handfuls of freeze-dried raspberries, I used 'Fresh As' brand.


For the cake:

  • Preheat the oven to 180°C (360°F)***. Grease and line a 20cm round cake tin (line around the edges as well).
  • Place the chopped walnuts in a heavy frypan on the stove and dry-fry gently for a few minutes at a low heat to toast them. Put aside.
  • Put the flour, sugar, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt into a large bowl and stir with a whisk to combine and aerate. Add in the measured beetroot, orange zest, walnuts and stem ginger, but don’t stir yet.
  • In a separate small bowl, place the eggs and sour cream and whisk to combine. Add the oil, crushed vitamin tablet/s and whisk again. Pour the liquid over the beetroot and flour mix and use a large spatula to combine thoroughly.
  • Pour the batter mix into the cake tin – it should more or less level out itself – and bake in the middle of the oven for 50-55 minutes (at the lower oven temperature mine took about 60 minutes). Test that it’s cooked properly by inserting a skewer into the cake – it should come out clean). NB: I found that the cake rose higher in the middle and cracked just a little – given the cake is rustic, it’s definitely not a problem!
  • Take the cake out of the oven and set it on a wire rack for 30 minutes before removing from the tin. You can leave the baking paper on while it cools (which takes a good hour), as it will keep the cake moist.

For the icing:

  • Put the room temperature cream cheese into the bowl of an electric mixer with paddle attachment and beat for around 10 seconds or so, just to ensure it’s smooth. Add the sifted icing sugar and beat until well incorporated. Add the cream and beat for about 1 minute – beating in the cream will ensure the icing becomes thick and smooth. Add the ginger juice (or ginger syrup) and beat for just a few seconds until it’s combined.
  • Spread the icing over top of the cake with a large palette knife. If you like you can top with some orange zest or freeze dried raspberries (as I have), and serve.


*The Vitamin C helps to retain the colour of the beetroot through cooking. Crush the tablets with the back of a spoon, or with a pestle and mortar. **To extract ginger juice, finely grate approx. 6cm piece of fresh ginger into a large piece of fine clean muslin cloth, gather up the muslin tightly and squeeze the juice into a small bowl.
*** Yotam bakes the cake at 195°C(380°F), however I find this too hot so have cooked it at 180°C (360°F). I suggest you decide which works best for your oven.


Calories: 500kcalCarbohydrates: 44gProtein: 8gFat: 34gSaturated Fat: 9gPolyunsaturated Fat: 6gMonounsaturated Fat: 17gTrans Fat: 0.01gCholesterol: 79mgSodium: 318mgPotassium: 228mgFiber: 2gSugar: 22gVitamin A: 499IUVitamin C: 2mgCalcium: 115mgIron: 2mg
Keyword Beetroot Cake, Beetroot, Ginger & Sour Cream Cake, Cake, Ginger & Sour Cream Cake
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Susan, AKA Kiwicook
About The Author
Susan, also known as the Kiwi Cook, hails from Levin, New Zealand, and has a unique Kiwi-Dutch-British heritage that influenced her culinary upbringing. As an artist, tutor, writer, and editor, Susan dedicates her weekends to creating delectable dishes. Her food philosophy embraces moderation and listening to her body's needs.


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