Beet Cake with Lemon Cashew Buttercream

It's been a while since I shared a cake recipe on here so what a better way to celebrate that spring is finally here than enjoying a piece of this delicious beetroot cake? The flavor is pretty similar to carrot cake but has a more "toasty" aftertaste, worry not cause you won't notice any weird beetroot flavor: it's incredibly spiced, super tender and moist, and makes such a great combo with my go-to lemony cashew buttercream (I'm seriously addicted to cashew-based frostings and creams!). 
I've seen many chocolate beet cakes around the web but rarely spotted an only-beetroot cake, or some of them only had beetroot powder as the coloring...which makes me think: how can you name a recipe 'Beetroot cake' if your cake only has a tiny amount of beet powder or beet juice?! I mean, where's the real damn beet? It's like making carrot cake without using any REAL carrot, dude you have to shred that bunch of carrots like there's no tomorrow!
So after doing a little bit of recipe testing I created my version and it was a hit! Truth be told I was quite skeptical and doubtful about the results but all the beet stains on my hands (and my sister's) and a kitchen sink that looked like a crime scene were all worth it.
The lemon cashew buttercream is my absolute favorite in the whole wide world and it's also perfect for piping so use it for cupcakes or cake decorations too; this time I was too lazy to grab my piping bag and went for a more simple decoration, a little bit of beet powder sprinkled on top and that's it!

Beet Cake with Lemon Cashew Buttercream
(8 to 10 servings approximately)

- For the beet cake:
1 1/2 cups organic all purpose flour.
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder.
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda.
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon.
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg.
1/4 teaspoon chinese five spice powder.
1/4 teaspoon pink Himalayan salt.
3 tablespoons (mild-tasting) extra virgin olive oil.
3/4 cup pure maple syrup.
1/3 cup unsweetened almond milk.
1 1/2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar.
2 tablespoons orange juice.
1 1/2 cups shredded beetroots, firmly packed.
1/4 to 1/3 cups chopped pecan nuts.
3 tablespoons raisins.

- For the lemon buttercream:
1 cup raw cashews.
1/3 cup unsweetened almond milk.
3 tablespoons agave syrup.
3 teaspoons lemon juice.
1 or 2 drops organic lemon essential oil.
Pinch of pink Himalayan salt.
1/3 cup melted coconut oil.
2 tablespoons melted cacao butter.

- To decorate:
Beetroot powder (optional).

I recommend to make the cashew buttercream the day before assembling the cake because it has to set overnight or until it thickens and becomes spreadable.
- Cashew buttercream:
Soak the cashews in a bowl with purified water and a generous pinch of salt until the puff up and get soft, 4 hours approximately or preferably overnight.
Rinse well and place them into a high-speed blender or food processor with the milk. Blend until a smooth cream forms, make sure there are no visible lumps; you might need to stop and scrape down the sides of the container a few times. Add in the agave syrup, lemon juice, salt and two drops of lemon essential oil. Blend again until completely combined and gradually pour in the melted coconut oil and cacao butter. The cashew buttercream should look smooth and creamy. Transfer to an airtight container, cover the surface with plastic wrap, put the lid on and refrigerate overnight. The cream will thicken considerably once it's chilled.
- Beet cake:
Peel and grate the beetroots and transfer them to a strainer to squeeze out the excess liquid, this is a very important step to avoid excess moisture in the cake (otherwise it won't rise well).
Preheat oven to 170 ºC (350 ºF) and lightly grease with nonstick cooking spray or coconut oil one 15 cm/6-inch diameter x 10cm/4-inch tall round cake pan, and line the bottom with parchment paper.
In a medium mixing bowl sift in the flour, baking powder, soda, spies and salt. Stir with a wire whisk to distribute the ingredients.
In a separate bowl, whisk the oil, maple syrup, milk, vinegar and orange juice, until well mixed.
Pour the wet mixture into the dry mixture and stir with a whisk until the batter is smooth. Fold in the grated beets, raisins and pecan nuts with a silicone spatula.
Fill the cake pan with the batter and bake for 1 hour approximately or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean (a few moist crumbs are okay).
Cool the cake in the pan for 10 minutes, unmold and peel off the parchment paper carefully; let it cool completely on a wire rack (top side up).
Once the cake is cool cover in plastic wrap and refrigerate until very cold, this way it'll be easier to cut into layers.
- Assembling:
Let the cashew buttercream thaw a little bit at room temperature before spreading. Cut the chilled cake in three layers and place one of them on a flat plate or cake stand, spread a generous amount of the cashew buttercream, cover with the second layer and repeat the process until the cake is assembled. Spread the top with the remaining buttercream and sprinkle with beetroot powder to decorate (optional).
Store the cake covered in the refrigerator and let it rest at room temperature a few minutes before serving.