Hazelnut and Beet Cake


Yes, you’ve read it correctly, a cake that contains beets (also known as beetroot). When I saw this recipe on Polianthus’ blog, I was intrigued and knew I had to try it. I am glad that I did, because the beets combine very well with the toasted hazelnut and give the cake an earthy flavor. The flavors are very well balanced, the cake isn’t too sweat and it is nicely moist. Thanks, Poli!



For a 24 cm (10″) springform pan

250 grams (.55 lb) raw, grated, beets (about 1 cup)

250 grams (.55 lb) hazelnuts, ground and toasted (about 2 cups whole hazelnuts)

80 grams (1/2 cup) flour

20 grams (4 tsp) baking powder

grated zest of an untreated lemon

grated zest of an untreated orange

5 eggs, separated

200 grams (1 cup) sugar

pinch of salt

butter and flour for the pan

icing sugar (optional)



Preheat the oven to 180C/350F. Start by grinding 250 grams of hazelnuts…


…into a fine powder.


Toast the hazelnut powder in a thick-bottomed frying pan over medium-high heat, stirring constantly…


…until it is deep brown, then turn off the heat and allow to cool. This toasting step is very important to develop the flavor. If you don’t keep stirring, it will burn.


Peel 250 grams of beetroot and cut into chunks, then use your food processor to grate…


…or grind it.


Combine 5 egg yolks with 200 grams of sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer…


…and mix until pale and creamy (also known as the ‘ribbon stage’ because the mixture will fall off the beaters in ribbons).


Add the grated zest of a lemon…


…and an orange.


Gratuitous zest shot!


Add 80 grams of flour and 20 grams of baking powder to the toasted hazelnuts…


…and whisk to mix.


Add the grated beets and the hazelnut mixture to the egg yolk mixture, and stir until the mixture is homogeneous.


Beat 5 egg whites with a pinch of salt until it resembles snow.


Gently fold the egg whites into the batter in three or four additions.


Try to keep as much air in the batter as possible.


Butter a 24 cm (10″) springform pan, and dust it with flour.


Pour the batter into the prepared pan.


Tap the pan to remove any trapped air and smoothen the top.


Bake for 45 minutes at 180C/350F until the center no longer jiggles and a tester comes out clean.


Allow to cool, then remove the springform.


I made this cake for Kees’ niece’s 18th birthday…


…so some icing sugar, paper, and scissors were used to decorate the cake appropriately.

Wine pairing


We enjoyed this with a late harvest Condrieu, that worked very well because like the cake it wasn’t too sweet.

An Italian passito would also be a good choice, especially it is nutty and not too sweet.


Marinara sauce is the American-Italian term for tomato sauce, but in Italy it usually refers to a sauce prepared in the style of  the seaman’s wife and is a tomato-based sauce with seafood. This risotto alla marinara is made with fish and tomatoes.


12 thoughts on “Hazelnut and Beet Cake

  1. Lovely. Looks moist, perfect for the season and delicious! I’ve put both beets and parsnips in cake before and both work great. After all, why have carrot cake but not other root vegetables (ooh, sweet potato maybe)? It’s not as if carrot cake tastes intensely of carrots.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi there Stefan, congratulations on your 18th birthday 🙂 oh to be young again! Lovely to read that you made the cake too, your reaction mirrored mine when I read about putting beets into a cake. And like you I was really pleasantly surprised. Actually I bought 4 beautiful beets yesterday with which to make the cake again. So glad you enjoyed it too, thanks very much for the honorable mention, most appreciated :). Have a gorgeous weekend Poli

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I am going to try this one too! Any reason you first grind and then roast the hazelnuts in stead of first roast (much less effort and risk of burning) and then grind?

    Liked by 1 person

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