I’m sure you are surprised to see the next post after mentioning my diet that I am posting about Beet Cake with Orange Cream Cheese Frosting! Me too! Although I am not surprised about the cake part. The beet part is what gets me!

Since I am trying to cut calories, I pulled out some cookbooks to see what “light” recipes I could find.

Cooking Light 2002

Yeah, that cake on the front doesn’t exactly look “light” to me but whatever!

Anyway, as I perused the recipes, I came across the Beet Cake recipe. I have no idea why I stopped to read it–much less make the cake. I don’t even like beets. I remember always seeing them at Franke’s Cafeteria when I was a kid. NO THANKS!

I guess I was feeling adventuresome.

Having never eaten a beet, I sure didn’t know how to buy one.

There was a little note in my cookbook that said to buy medium globes with stems  and leaves attached, no soft spots.


I knew enough about beets to know that they stain. I searched high and low in our house for a pair of rubber gloves of some sort. No luck! As I peeled and grated the beets, I held on to them with the plastic produce bag from the store. That seemed to work just fine. I found them to be rather tough. Grating them was more work than I thought it would be.

2 cups shredded

The cake was fairly easy to make.

Mix the dry ingredients.

dry ingredients

Mix the wet ingredients.

sugars and egg

Add oil.

add oil

Add the dry to the wet. Put it in a pan and put it in the oven.

For your pans, you need to line them with waxed paper.

line with waxed paper

Isn’t this the most beautiful batter you have ever seen?! I was so excited when I saw it!

pink batter

I was so disappointed when it came out of the oven and was not pink. I really expected it to stay that wonderful fuchsia color! Bummer.

remove waxed paper

While the cakes cool, mix up the frosting. It is a basic cream cheese frosting, except it has orange zest in it. WOW! That makes it super yummy!

orange zest

A few toasted walnuts on top adds to the deliciousness.

Beet Cake with Orange Cream Cheese Frosting

The recipe says to cut into 18 slices. Are you kidding me? 18? Now I see why it is in a “light” cookbook. The pieces are tiny!

slice of beet cake

I took this cake to potluck at church. Everyone loved it! It was very rich. It’s a good thing the pieces were tiny. See, that is a good way to make a cake when you are on a diet. Make it and take it somewhere. That way you get to try it without having it hang around to tempt you!

Beet Cake

Beet Cake with Orange Cream Cheese Frosting


1 pound beets (about 2 medium )

Cooking spray

2/3 cup granulated sugar

2/3 cup packed dark brown sugar

1/2 cup vegetable oil

2 large eggs

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon ground ginger

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup 1% low-fat milk

  • Preheat oven to 350˚F.
  • Peel beets. Grate on the large holes of a grater-about 2 cups.
  • Coat 2 (9 inch) round pans with cooking spray. Line the bottoms of the pans with waxed paper and spray again.
  • In a mixing bowl combine flour and next five ingredients. Use a whisk to sift them together.
  • Combine white sugar, brown sugar, oil and eggs in a large bowl. Beat on medium until well blended. Add the beats, mix well.
  • Add flour mixture to the sugar mixture alternately with the milk. Start and finish with the flour.
  • Pour into prepared pans. Tap the pans on the counter one time to remove any air bubbles.
  • Bake @ 350˚ for 30 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean.
  • Cool in pans 10 minutes on wire racks. Carefully remove waxed paper and cool completely.


2 teaspoon grated orange rind

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 (8 ounce) block 1/3 less fat cream cheese, chilled

3 cups sifted powdered sugar

2 Tablespoons finely chopped walnuts, toasted

  • Beat orange rind, vanilla, and cream cheese with a mixer until fluffy.
  • Add powdered sugar. Beat until blended but don’t overbeat.
  • Place one cake layer on a cake plate. Spread 1/2 cup of frosting on that layer. Top with other layer. Spread the remaining frosting on top and sides of the cake.
  • Sprinkle nuts on top of the cake.
  • Store loosely covered in the refrigerator.

Critics’ Corner

Chip: This cake can’t be “beet”.

Megan: I never thought veggies could taste so good.

Katie: It was soooooooooooooooo (take a breath)oooooooooooooo GOOD!

Just in case you were wondering about the calorie information and such, here ya go:

A serving is 1/18 of the cake.

Calories 120.7

Total Fat 2 grams

Total Carbs 25 grams

Dietary Fiber 0.3 grams

Sugars 17.9 grams

Protein 2.0 grams