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Golden Beetroot Carrot Cake {gluten-free}

Full of sweet earthy goodness, complex with pecans, sultanas and apples, finished with a cream cheese buttercream and the crunch of salted pecan praline and candied beetroot and carrots.
Prep Time40 mins
Cook Time1 hr
Total Time1 hr 40 mins
Course: Cake
Cuisine: British
Servings: 16 slices
Calories: 985kcal


  • 475 g light brown muscovado sugar
  • Grated zest of 2 oranges
  • 450 g butter melted then cooled
  • 6 eggs
  • teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 340 g white rice flour
  • 110 g oat flour
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • tablespoons mixed spice
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 275 g golden beetroot grated
  • 325 g carrots grated
  • 2 granny smith apples grated
  • 200 g sultanas
  • 150 g pecans roughly chopped

For the Cream Cheese Buttercream:

  • 350 g unsalted butter
  • 400 g icing sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 250 g cream cheese

For the Pecan Praline:

  • 50 g pecans
  • 100 g caster sugar
  • pinch of salt

For the Candied Carrot and Beetroot:

  • 2 carrots julienned
  • 1 golden beetroot julienned
  • 220 ml water
  • 200 g caster sugar


  • Pre-heat the oven to 170°C and line and grease a baking tin 32cm x 22cm x 5cm.
  • Whisk the sugar with the orange zest until fragrant.
  • Add the melted butter and mix until thoroughly combined.
  • Beat in the eggs one at a time and then the vanilla extract.
  • In a separate bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, mixed spice, salt and black pepper.
  • Fold the flour into the wet ingredients one third at a time.
  • Add the beetroot, carrot, apple, sultanas and pecans and fold until completely combined.
  • Pour the batter into the baking tin and bake for about 60-70 minutes. Check after about 25 minutes to see if the cake is browning too much. If so, place foil loosely over the top.

Cream Cheese Buttercream

  • Cream the butter until soft then add the icing sugar and mix for about 10 minutes until very light and fluffy.
  • Add the salt and vanilla and mix again to combine.
  • Finally beat in the cream cheese until the buttercream is smooth. Pipe onto the finished cake.

Pecan Praline

  • Place the pecans on a baking tray and bake at 170°C for 10 minutes, remove, roughly chop the nuts and set aside.
  • Pour the sugar in an even layer into a medium sized saucepan. Place on a gentle heat and watch carefully as the sugar caramelises. Shake the saucepan every now and then to promote an even caramelisation.
  • Once the sugar has completely melted and turned a golden brown, add the salt then pour in the pecans and quickly turn over into the sugar with a silicone spatula so they are all coated.
  • Pour the praline immediately onto baking parchment into an even layer and leave to cool. Once cool, chop roughly then use to decorate the cake.

Candied Carrot and Beetroot

  • Pour the water and sugar into a medium sized saucepan and bring to a boil. Then turn down to a simmer for 2 minutes.
  • Add the carrot and beetroot and leave to simmer for a further 5 minutes.
  • Strain the carrot and beetroot and pat dry.
  • Place on a baking parchment lined tray and bake at 140°C for 20 minutes.
  • Remove from the oven and leave to cool. Then use to decorate the cake.


Calories: 985kcal | Carbohydrates: 116g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 58g | Saturated Fat: 30g | Cholesterol: 186mg | Sodium: 558mg | Potassium: 548mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 86g | Vitamin A: 6240IU | Vitamin C: 4.5mg | Calcium: 133mg | Iron: 1.9mg