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.
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.
- 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).
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.
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.
YOU CANNOT TASTE THE BEETS.
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.
- 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.
- Roast and puree the beets.
- Sift the flour, baking soda, and salt together.
- Melt the chocolate in a double boiler or a small saucepan over low heat.
- Beat the eggs and sugar together in a bowl. Stir in part of the wet ingredients and beets.
- Stir in the dry ingredients.
- Pour the batter into the cake pan.
- Bake chocolate beet cake at 375 degrees F for 45 minutes. Let cool completely on a wire rack.
- Prepare the glaze. Drizzle it over the cake. ENJOY!
- 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.
Recommended Tools to Make this Recipe
- Bundt Pan. Perfect for making this chocolate beet cake.
- Food Processor. Great for pureeing the beets.
- Spatula. My favorite all-purpose spatula.
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
Yes, you can swap the whole wheat pastry flour for all-purpose flour if you prefer.
Chocolate lovers, you can swap the cream cheese glaze in this recipe for a melted chocolate drizzle or chocolate glaze instead.
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
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.
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