CWA Beetroot Cake: the original red velvet cake?

I felt like baking, an overwhelming urge that strikes from time to time and asked my Damo, “If I could bake you anything what would you like?”. I must say I was surprised with the answer, “My Nan used to make Beetroot Cake and it was beautiful”.

Beetroot Cake? I’ve never had it before!

Beetroot Cake

Not thinking of it again until I went home to Bourke last week and found on my bedside table a present from Mum, the CWA cookbook and what should I find inside but the Beetroot Cake recipe. I could scarcely wait to get home to bake it. I took a photo of the recipe page in excitement and sent it to my Damo. “Very good” was the reply.

I diverge for a moment to give some context, the Country Women’s Association are well known to be excellent cooks. This is among playing other vital roles such as advocacy and lobbying on important rural issues. Here is a link to the Jam Drops and Marble Cake cookbook. Well worth reading from cover to cover at least four times the first day you get it!

In their words…”A timeless collection of over 130 tried-and-true recipes. Jam Drops and Marble Cake celebrates 60 successful years of The Land Cookery Competition and its association with the Country Women’s Association of New South Wales. From peach blossom cake to Anzac biscuits, from raspberry coconut slice to scones, these nostalgic recipes will charm and delight while rewarding the baker with prize-winning results. This book is the perfect gift, collector’s item and trusted baking companion in one”.

My joy when I discover it is truly one of the easiest cakes to make. wpid-imag1455.jpgwpid-imag1410.jpg


  • 1 1/2 cups of plain flour
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 1/2 cups of caster sugar (I used 1 cup, cut back to taste)
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 3 large eggs
  • 200g mashed or pureed cooked beetroot (I used my Thermomix)
  • chocolate icing to serve


  1. Preheat oven to 150c, grease a 20cm round cake tin
  2. Sift dry ingredients and stir in sugar
  3. In another bowl, mix oil, vanilla, eggs and beetroot. Make well and mix in the dry ingredients.
  4. Bake for about 60mins and when cool spread with chocolate icing.


CWA Beetroot Cake

CWA Beetroot Cake

I say this is the original red velvet cake, a slight pink tinge otherwise this is a deliciously moist and easy chocolate cake recipe. A rediscovered favorite of my partner and a new quick recipe to my cooking repertoire. I slathered it with old fashioned chocolate icing: just melt a dollop of butter, sift in about 1 1/2 cups of icing sugar, 1/2 cup cocoa powder and stir in a little milk to make spreading consistency.

I bet Damo’s Nan would have been proud, such a shame I never got to meet her.

As usual, enjoy and let me know if you give it a go. I promise these CWA women really know what they are talking about!





2 thoughts on “CWA Beetroot Cake: the original red velvet cake?

  1. Pingback: Recipe review: CWA Pumpkin Date Cake | Never Bored Miss Pip

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