What do you get when you put a Polish twist on the American classic, carrot cake — beet cake! I’m taking inspiration from the ladies at Silver Palate and Rose Levy Beranbaum, so you know it will be good, with lots of spice and goodies added. I’m carrying the beet theme over to the cream cheese frosting to insure a pink finish for our Pink Picnic.
The Pink Picnic is the awareness theme tied in with World Sepsis Day (WSD). They’re inviting supporters to host a Pink Picnic to spread awareness and raise funds. You don’t have to wait for WSD you can find the warning signs of sepsis here.
In Ed’s case, the C-Reactive Protein (CRP), which indicates inflammation, was one of the most telling symptoms. A normal reading is no more than 5. When admitted to the hospital, his was almost 900! There’s more about our experience with sepsis in this post. Last year, we were in Berlin for World Sepsis Day and you can read about that here.
I’m not sure yet if we’ll do our Pink Picnic on WSD or if we’ll tie it in with Restaurant Day in August. It’s difficult to know the best way to reach the most people, given our language “difficulties.”
As for the beets, I’ve taken five medium sized beets, wrapped them in foil and baked them at 350 F (175 C) until they’re tender enough to be pierced easily with a fork. This often takes at least an hour. After roasting and cooling, the peel comes off very easily. You could also buy a jar of grated beets (not pickled) if they’re available in your area. The cake batter will look very purple, but will be brown after baking. Don’t worry, the beet flavor will meld beautifully with other ingredients.
Beets get a bum rap in our homeland, but baby beets are starting to sneak into gourmet salads. Let’s continue that trend with this cake that I know you’ll love as much as we do. Maybe you’ll be adventurous enough to try some other beet recipes now and make the most of this super healthy veg! How about you? Are you a beet eater?Print
Moist and so full of flavor!
- 3 cups flour (340 g)
- 3 cups sugar (600 g)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon baking soda
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa
- 1 cup canola oil (270 g)
- 4 eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1 1/4 cups walnuts, shelled and chopped (125 g)
- 1 1/4 cups shredded coconut (100 g ) (desiccated is all I can find in Poland)
- 1 1/3 cups cooked beets, finely grated (360 g), you’ll need a bit more to color frosting
- 1 cup dried cranberries (140 g)
- 3/4 cup crushed pineapple, drained (170 g)
- 8 ounces cream cheese (250 g)
- 6 tablespoons butter (85 g)
- 3 cups powdered sugar, see note (340 g)
- beet juice
- Preheat the oven to 350 F (175 C)
- Place cupcake liners in muffin pans
- Remove butter and cream cheese from refrigerator, to come to room temperature
- Combine flour, sugar, salt, baking soda, cinnamon, and cocoa
- Add oil, eggs, and vanilla, beat until well combined
- Fold in the walnuts, coconut, beets, cranberries, and pineapple
- Pour the batter into cupcake liners, filling 3/4 full
- Bake for about 35 minutes, until a toothpick inserted comes out clean or top springs back when pressed lightly in the center
- Cool completely
- Cream the cream cheese and butter, it’s important that they’re at room temperature and soft to avoid unsightly little lumps in the frosting
- Slowly add the powdered sugar and beat until fully incorporated and lump free
- Press grated beets into sieve held over a cup to get beet juice
- Add just a few drops of beet juice to the frosting for pink color, if it gets too thin, add a little more powdered sugar
- Spread or pipe onto cooled cupcakes
To make a layer cake rather than cupcakes, use two 9 x 2 or 9-inch springform pans. If you have traditional cake pans (not 2 inches high), make three layers, or two layers and a dozen cupcakes. Bake layers for about 50 minutes.
The proportions given for the frosting are very American. As much as I complain about Polish desserts not being sweet enough, I may be moving that way. I just made this with 1/2 cup powdered sugar and much preferred it. You actually taste the cream cheese. It’s still sweet but not overpowering.
This cake is also delicious and sweet enough without frosting. It’s great on it’s own or spread with a bit of butter.