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The jig is up, dear readers. I put beets in a cake. The results are outstanding. The beets impart this Chocolate Beet Cake with magic sweetness, crazy-intense moisture, and a lovely, subtle red tone that’s a nod to red velvet cake.

Chocolate beet cake on a cake stand

I considered titling this recipe “chocolatier red velvet cake” and keeping the “b” word out, for fear that you would be completely offended by it, but this seemed unfair to beets.

After all, carrot cake (like the Kitchen Sink Carrot Cake in my cookbook and this Gluten Free Carrot) enjoys love and esteem. Why not a beet cake?

  • Both root vegetables are naturally sweet, making them ideal for baking desserts.
  • Both make the cake more moist and tender.
  • Also, both resulting cakes can be slathered with cream cheese icing (which for many of you I know is the point).
a close up slice of moist chocolate beet cake

This moist chocolate beetroot cake is my answer to red velvet cake, which gives me a quantitative reaction of meh.

  • It’s not chocolate. And it’s not vanilla.
  • It’s not really anything at all, other than a vehicle for cream cheese frosting and a really good way to use up an entire bottle of red food coloring.
Chocolate beet bundt cake on a cake stand

Now, before you go off in defense of red velvet, let me ask you this: is it the cake you love or the cream cheese frosting?

Nine out of 10 times, the answer I receive is “the frosting.”

If we are eating cake, we should love both the cake AND the frosting!

Today’s chocolate beet cake is what I wished red velvet tasted like.

  • The chocolate in our in our chocolate beet cake is more prevalent than red velvet, but it does not overwhelm.
  • If you want a chocolate cake that slowly satisfies, rather than immediately smacks with its richness (like Mocha Cake or Flourless Chocolate Torte), it’s perfect.
  • It tastes UH-MAZING with cream cheese frosting.


I really cannot overstate this enough (we are making CAKE, not Beet Salad or a Beet Smoothie).

two slices of moist chocolate beetroot cake with milk

5 Star Review

“All of my five children and husband loved it and raved over it! It is super moist. Really good flavor and texture. Will definitely make again! Yum yum yum!!”

— Erin —

How to Make Chocolate Beet Cake

The most stubborn of beet haters, dessert purists, and even red-velvet devotees will find this beet cake irresistible.

The Ingredients

  • Beets. The sneaky star of the show! With natural sweetness and beautiful color, beets are a surprisingly excellent healthy baking ingredient. Skeptics, fear not: their hallmark earthiness is masked by the chocolate.
  • Flour. I used all-purpose flour and whole wheat pastry flour for this cake. The whole wheat flour is imperceptible, but it adds a subtle nutritional boost.
  • Chocolate. Unsweetened chocolate gives the cake that unmistakable, craveable deep chocolate richness.
  • Oil. Canola oil helps make this cake supremely moist.
  • Eggs. Eggs are key for a perfect beet cake texture.
  • Sugar. Adds sweetness and helps keep the cake moist.
  • Greek Yogurt. Nonfat Greek yogurt acts as a tangy balance to the sweetness, and it helps make the cake fluffy and moist. The extra boost of protein doesn’t hurt either!
  • Vanilla. Pure vanilla extract enhances the overall flavor of the cake.
  • Cream Cheese Glaze. Vanilla cream cheese glaze turns this cake into something truly special.

The Directions

Pureed beets in a food processor
  1. Roast and puree the beets.
  2. Sift the flour, baking soda, and salt together.
  3. Melt the chocolate in a double boiler or a small saucepan over low heat.
beet cake batter in a bowl
  1. Beat the eggs and sugar together in a bowl. Stir in part of the wet ingredients and beets.
a bowl of red chocolate beet cake batter
  1. Stir in the dry ingredients.
a bundt pan with chocolate beet cake batter
  1. Pour the batter into the cake pan.
baked beet cake in a bundt pan
  1. Bake chocolate beet cake at 375 degrees F for 45 minutes. Let cool completely on a wire rack.
Glaze for cake in a bowl
  1. Prepare the glaze. Drizzle it over the cake. ENJOY!

Storage Tips

  • To Store. Cover and refrigerate leftover cake for up to 4 days. 
  • To Freeze. Wrap the cake tightly with plastic wrap and freeze in an airtight, freezer-safe storage container for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating. 

Meal Prep Tip

Wash, bake, peel, chop, and puree the beets up to 1 day in advance. Cover and refrigerate the pureed beets until you’re ready to finish the recipe.

What to Serve with Chocolate Beet Cake

A slice of chocolate beet cake with cream cheese frosting

Recommended Tools to Make this Recipe

Beet cake is that yogi master of the chocolate cake world, balancing undeniable chocolate bliss, outrageous moisture, and a luscious gilding of cream-cheese frosting with light texture and taste.

It’s unexpected, undeniably delicious, and my pick for this year’s best Valentine’s Day dessert.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I Use Only All-Purpose Flour?

Yes, you can swap the whole wheat pastry flour for all-purpose flour if you prefer.

Could I Top My Cake with a Chocolate Drizzle Instead?

Chocolate lovers, you can swap the cream cheese glaze in this recipe for a melted chocolate drizzle or chocolate glaze instead.

Can I Make Chocolate Beet Cake into Cupcakes?

While I haven’t tried making this recipe into cupcakes myself, other readers have done so with success. Bake the cupcakes at 350 degrees F for about 18-20 minutes. Make sure you watch them carefully towards the end of baking time to avoid overcooking.

Chocolate Beet Cake

4.78 from 9 votes
This chocolate beet cake has incredible moisture, thanks to beets and Greek yogurt, and a rich, yet balanced, fudgy chocolate taste.

Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 1 hour 35 minutes
Total: 2 hours 20 minutes

Servings: 10 servings*


For the Cake:

  • 3 medium beets, stems and tails removed
  • 1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup whole-wheat pastry flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 4 ounces unsweetened chocolate
  • 1/2 cup canola oil divided
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup plain non-fat Greek yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract

For the Cream Cheese Glaze:

  • 3 ounces reduced fat cream cheese (Neufchatel) softened
  • 3 tablespoons powdered sugar sifted, plus extra if needed
  • 2 tablespoons milk plus extra if needed
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract


  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  • Wash beets and place in a small roasting pan with 1/2 cup water. Cover and bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until easily pierced with a fork. Dunk the beets in cool water, then using your fingers, slip off the peels. Coarsely chop, then transfer to a blender or food processor and puree. Measure out 2 cups and set aside.
  • Reduce the oven temperature to 375 degrees F. Lightly coat a 10-cup Bundt or tube pan with oil and dust with flour. In a large bowl, sift together the all-purpose flour, whole-wheat pastry flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  • In a double boiler or a small pan over low heat, add the chocolate and 1/4 cup of the oil. Heat just until the chocolate melts. Remove from the heat and stir until well combined. Set aside.
  • In a large mixing bowl, beat together the eggs and sugar until fluffy. Slowly add the remaining 1/4 cup oil, Greek yogurt, vanilla extract, the chocolate mixture, and the 2 cups beet puree.
  • Gently add the flour mixture, stirring by hand just until combined.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
  • Bake for 45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Transfer the pan to a wire rack to cool for 30 minutes. Run a thin knife along the outer and inner edges of the pan and carefully invert the cake onto the wire rack. Let it cool completely before glazing.
  • For the glaze: Beat together the cream cheese and powdered sugar until smooth and light. Beat in the milk and vanilla extract. If desired, add a bit more milk or powdered sugar as needed to reach your desired glaze consistency. Drizzle over the cake, letting it run over the top and sides.


  • *SERVING SIZE NOTE: In order to make a cake sized for two, I halved the recipe and baked it for 30 minutes in a 5-cup Bundt pan.
  • TO STORE: Cover and refrigerate leftover cake for up to 4 days. 
  • TO FREEZE: Wrap the cake tightly with plastic wrap and freeze in an airtight, freezer-safe storage container for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating. 


Serving: 1(of 10)Calories: 458kcalCarbohydrates: 66gProtein: 8gFat: 20gSaturated Fat: 6gPolyunsaturated Fat: 4gMonounsaturated Fat: 10gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 54mgPotassium: 362mgFiber: 4gSugar: 42gVitamin A: 142IUVitamin C: 2mgCalcium: 60mgIron: 4mg

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Erin Clarke

Hi, I'm Erin Clarke, and I'm fearlessly dedicated to making healthy food that's affordable, easy-to-make, and best of all DELISH. I'm the author and recipe developer here at and of The Well Plated Cookbook. I adore both sweets and veggies, and I am on a mission to save you time and dishes. WELCOME!

Learn more about Erin

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  1. I just did the cake and it is really good! It was a little work to do it, but its totally worth it! Its smooth, fluffy and not too sweet! =) Great recipe!

    1. Denise, I’m so happy that you tried this cake and enjoyed it!!! It’s one of my favorite chocolate cake recipes, and it makes my day to hear that you liked it too :-)

  2. Hello. If I don’t have a bunt pan could I use a plain 9×13 pan or an angle food cake pan? I want to try it sounds delicious!

    1. Hi Rachael! I think a 9×13 inch pan would be prefect, though you will have to watch the baking time carefully. (I would guess about 35 minutes, I can’t confirm, since I’ve only baked this cake in a bundt pan.) Just so you have it for future reference, I love this baking pan conversion chart: Hope that helps that you love this cake! It’s one of our favorites :)

  3. In a very roundabout way I found your blog via Pinterest (link-to-link-to-link). And I’m pinning this recipe to try, because it sounds like a can’t fail combo!
    I’m from the south and remember my aunt making a cake that included mashed pinto beans. Sounds weird but it was moist and delicious!

    1. Kim, I’m so happy that you and this cake are united. It really is wonderful! Also, I would totally be down with a bean cake. I bet it’s wonderfully moist, and the protein factor means I can have at least three slices, right? ;-)

  4. Made this cake yesterday as written except I used sugar to coat the bundt pan instead of flour. All of my five children and husband loved it and raved over it! It is super moist. A little disappointing because I thought it would be more red in color, but it really just looked like a dark chocolate cake. Really good flavor and texture. Will definitely make again! Yum yum yum!! Icing is also delicious and I added shaved chocolate curls. Also wondering Erin, if your recipes have nutritional information?… Am I just not seeing the link? Thanks!5 stars

    1. Hi Erin, I’m SO happy to hear that this recipe was a hit! Nutritional information is something I started adding to recipes in January 2016. Unfortunately, it’s a time-consuming process, so I’m unable to go back to all my past recipes to add it. The good news is that you can calculate the calories for free at My Fitness Pal (there are other similar sites too). I hope that can be a helpful resource for you!

        1. Hi Barbara! I haven’t tried this swap myself, so it would be an experiment. If you decide to try it, I’d love to hear how it goes!

        2. I made the cake today with a few changes as follows, and it is absolutely delicious! I used butter rather than oil; I used full fat plain yogurt; I substituted one can of beets which measured 1 cup once it was puréed; I left out the 1/2 cup whole wheat flour since I was short on beets.5 stars

  5. I got beets in a box of vegetables. I roasted some (and I thought they were delicious) but no one in my family is a fan. What to do? This recipe was just what I needed! It was light, moist, and delicious! I did make a couple of changes. I added a couple of tablespoons of dark cocoa to the flour mixture to make it a extra chocolatey and I was out of greek yogurt, so I used sour cream instead. Thank you!5 stars

  6. I’m somewhat a chocoholic (if it’s there, I will overeat it). We are both prediabetic and watch our carbs. Is there a substitute sugar you suggest? The whole wheat flour gives great fiber to help with glucose overload, but, the combination of flour, sugar(s) and beets is too heavy in carbs.

    1. Hi Marge! I’ve only tested the recipe as written. If you decide to experiment with sugar substitutes, let me know how it goes!

  7. This was an amazing dupe for red velvet!! I agree it took a while last night after the kids went to bed, but it was a dreamy worth-it Sunday morning breakfast. (Beets make it okay, right?) It took me 53 minutes in a glass 13×9 and I doubled the glaze for that size too. Like with Erin’s risotto, I used those precooked “Love Beets” from Costco and it saved some time.5 stars

    1. Hi Judith, while I haven’t tested it out myself, I’d say no. The chocolate goes in as a liquid because it has been melted. Cocoa powder goes in as a powder and would change the texture of the cake. If you decide to experiment, I’d love to know how it goes!

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