Golden Beet Cake with Brown Butter Sage Frosting

Every now and then, I whip up gnocchi with brown butter and fresh sage drizzle. Add a bit of fresh parmesan and cracked black pepper and my mouth is singing. Or I’ll roast beets and toss with some goats cheese and walnuts. Often I’ve wondered if I could translate the sage/butter/cheese/beets/walnuts into a cake and finally I did. I know what you’re thinking. Betty’s finally lost her marbles. She’s trying to make cake from a salad. 

Well, I did and it was sublime. The golden colour from the beets gave the cake a beautiful soft golden hue. The taste was sweet yet subtly earthy, crunchy yet creamy. The closest thing I can compare this to is carrot cake but less sweet with loads more elegance. 

However, like carrot cakes not tasting like a carrot, the beet cake doesn’t taste like beets. The sage brown butter cream cheese frosting,  livens up the cake by adding a familiar and posh edge. Perfect with a cuppa coffee or warm cider by a fire. It’s an ideal cake for the chillier months.

Bon app!


Golden Beet Cake with Brown Butter Sage Frosting
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Prep Time
40 min
Cook Time
1 hr 35 min
Prep Time
40 min
Cook Time
1 hr 35 min
  1. 2 1/2 Cups (325 g) unbleached AP Flour (bleached is ok)
  2. 2 teaspoons baking powder
  3. 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  4. 1 teaspoon salt
  5. 1 teaspoon cinnamon powder
  6. 1/2 teaspoon all spice
  7. 1 1/2 cups (350 g) packed brown sugar
  8. 4 eggs room temperature
  9. 1 cup canola oil
  10. 400 g (about 3 large or 4 medium) golden beets roasted and grated on large hole of box grater
  11. 3-4 tablespoons of vegetable or canola oil for the beets
  12. 1 cup (100 g) chopped walnuts
  1. 2 grams, 5 leaves of fresh sage
  2. 3/4 cup (170 g) unsalted Butter
  3. 500 grams cream cheese (room temperature)
  4. 2 cups (250 g) Icing sugar
  5. 1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste (or extract)
  1. Place oven rack in middle, preheat to 375F
  2. Wash and trim leaves off golden beets.
  3. Brush vegetable oil on beets and wrap in aluminum foil
  4. Roast for 45 minutes
  5. Leave oven on at 375F
  6. Once the beets are cooked, peel the skins and grate in bowl on a box grater on the biggest hole, set aside in fridge so it can cool down
  7. Take two 9 inch cake pans, line the bottoms with parchment paper and grease sides and bottom with baking spray or butter and a light dusting of flour
  8. In a large bowl, sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and allspice and set aside
  9. In large bowl or stand mixer, mix the sugar for 30 seconds so any lumps can break up
  10. Add one egg at a time, making sure each egg is incorporated before adding the next egg...scrape sides/bottom of bowl between eggs
  11. Add the canola oil slowly until well combined
  12. Fold in the cooled golden beets and walnuts
  13. With spatula, stir in about a third of the flour/spice mixture, mix, then add another third and repeat until both dry and wet ingredients are well combined
  14. Distribute cake batter evenly between the 2 cake pans
  15. Bake for 35 minutes until a toothpick inserted in centre comes out clean
  16. Allow to cool in pans for 15 minutes or so then transfer to a wire rack
  1. On medium heat, melt the butter in a sauce pan, add the sage leaves and cook stirring occasionally for about 5-7 minutes until brown bits start to form.
  2. Set aside to cool
  3. In stand mixer or large bowl, beat the cream cheese with the paddle attachment for a couple minutes
  4. Once the butter has cooled, fish out the sage leaves and discard
  5. Add the butter slowly in a thin stream to the cream cheese, continuously beating
  6. Add the vanilla
  7. Beat in the icing sugar a bit at a time
  1. Place your first layer down, apply about 1/4 inch layer of frosting
  2. Put the top layer on and gently squeeze down
  3. Frost the entire cake, top and sides
  4. Garnish (optional) with some walnuts

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