Beetroot and cherry cake with pink meringue buttercream

Thick lashings of rosewater buttercream take this stunning beetroot and cherry cake to new heights of deliciousness.

  • 30 mins preparation
  • 1 hr 15 mins cooking
  • Serves 12
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Beetroot and cherry cake
  • 125 gram (4oz) butter, softened
  • 1 cup (220g) caster (superfine) sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
  • 2 cup (300g) plain (all-purpose) flour
  • 2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 3/4 cup (180ml) buttermilk
  • 2 large beetroot (beets) (400g), peeled, grated
  • 1/2 cup (170g) cherry jam
  • 200 gram (6½oz) fresh cherries (see tip)
  • 2 teaspoon dried pink peppercorns, crushed lightly
  • 2 teaspoon icing (confectioners') sugar
Pink meringue buttercream
  • 3 egg whites
  • 3/4 cup (165g) caster (superfine) sugar
  • 250 gram (8oz) butter, chopped, softened
  • 1 teaspoon rosewater
  • 1/4 teaspoon pink food colouring


Beetroot and cherry cake with pink meringue buttercream
  • 1
    Preheat oven to 170°C/340°F. Grease a deep 22cm (9in) round cake pan; line base and side with baking paper.
  • 2
    Beat butter and caster sugar in a bowl with an electric mixer until pale and creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, then beat in vanilla paste. Add sifted flour, baking powder and salt then buttermilk; beat until just combined. Fold through the beetroot. Spread mixture into pan; smooth the surface. Spoon cherry jam on top; swirl through with a butter knife.
  • 3
    Bake cake for 1 hour 15 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Cool cake in pan.
  • 4
    Meanwhile, to make pink meringue buttercream; place egg whites and sugar in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. Whisk constantly for 10 minutes or until mixture reaches 70°C/158°F on a sugar thermometer and sugar is completely dissolved. Transfer mixture to the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whisk mixture for 5 minutes or until thick and glossy and cooled to room temperature. Gradually add butter, one piece at a time, whisking well after each addition, until all butter is incorporated and mixture is pale and smooth. Whisk in rosewater and colouring.
  • 5
    Spread buttercream on cooled cake; top with cherries and peppercorns. Dust with sifted icing sugar.


You can use a mixture of differently coloured cherries, if you like. The cake can be made a day ahead. Store in an airtight container at room temperature. Buttercream can be kept, covered, at room temperature for up to 3 hours.

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