Cakes, Cakes and Desserts, Food, Recipes, Vegetables

Beet-Chocolate Cake

Beet-Cocolate cake Ronit PensoThere is something fascinating about the American way of adding all kinds of slightly sweet vegetables to a cake batter, mainly for frugal reasons, but also for the moisture and the unique flavor the vegetables add to the cakes. The most common vegetable cake is, of course, the carrot cake, but the list goes on – from zucchini to pumpkin, sweet potatoes, butternut squash and even tomatoes, in the form of a soup…
Adding beets to a cake is less popular, but I’m sure that once you’ll try it, you’ll love the results. The beets add a lovely flavor and color to the cake, and the enriched nutritional value is an extra bonus. Some of such cake recipes call for cooked puréed beets, but I find that fresh beets results better texture and flavor. As I was developing this recipe for a health food magazine, I have also replaced most of the white sugar with brown sugar, and part of the white flour with whole wheat flour, but you can use all white flour if you prefer. I’ve also added spices, chocolate chips and chopped pecans – and ended up with the following tasty version. Try and and enjoy.

Makes: 12-16
Prep time: 30 minutes
Baking time: 45 minutes

For the cake
3 medium size beets
2 L eggs
1 cup brown sugar
½ cup white sugar
¾ cup oil
½ cup milk
1 tsp vanilla
1½ cups flour
1 cup whole wheat flour for cakes (or regular flour)
2 tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp salt
2 Tbs dutch processed cocoa powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ginger powder
½ cup mini chocolate chips
1/3 cup chopped pecans
For the icing (optional)
1 cup powdered sugar
2-3 Tbs milk

1. The cake: peel and grate the beets (food processor makes it easier). You should end up with about 2 cups of grated beets.
Beet-Chocolate Cake Ronit Penso
2. Preheat the oven to 355F (180C). Brush a 9½” (24cm) baking pan with oil and dust with a bit of flour.
3. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs with the sugar. Add the oil and mix well. Add the milk and vanilla, and mix again. Add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and ginger powder. Mix to a smooth batter.
Beet-Chocolate Cake Ronit PensoBeet-Chocolate Cake Ronit Penso
4. Add the chocolate chips, pecans and beets and mix lightly, using a spatula. Pour  the batter into the prepared pan.
Bake for 45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted to the center of the cake comes out almost clean.
5. Let cool in the pan for 5 minutes. Transfer to a rack to cool completely before adding the icing, if using.
P1000476P1000478Beet-Chocolate Cake Ronit Penso

The icing: put the powdered sugar in a bowl. Add the milk, one tablespoon at a time, and mix until you reach a spreadable but not too runny consistency. Drizzle over the cake. Let it set before cutting.
P1000488P1000516 Beet-Cocolate cake Ronit Penso

18 thoughts on “Beet-Chocolate Cake”

  1. it really is a strange combination, but quite creative!
    It doesn’t look like a typical chocolate cake, more like a carrot cake.
    I guess whoever loves chocolate cakes might be disappointed, even though this is obviously healthier and I’m sure, tastier.
    It will be interesting to try the combined flavor of of beets and chocolate, as the beet has such a unique type of sweetness.


    1. I know it sounds a bit strange at first, but I’m sure once you’ll give it a try, you’ll see that the beets actually enhance the chocolate flavor.
      It definitely is healthier than most chocolate cakes, though I also love the less good-for-you-decadent ones, and intend to post a recipe for one in the next few weeks, so keep following… 🙂


  2. I already had pre roasted beetroot hanging out in my fridge (love to eat it just like that), but interesting to see you can use grated raw beetroot instead. What do you think it brings to the texture of the cake as opposed to pureed, out of interest?


    1. I too love roasted beets as is. 🙂

      Your version sounds much richer and the cooked beet seems to blend better with the other ingredients.

      I developed the recipe for a health food magazine, so my thought was (though I’m not sure how accurate it is from scientific point of view) that the raw beet would have more nutritional value if not cooked and then baked.
      Using raw beets also shortens the preparation time, so that was an extra bonus. 🙂


  3. Wow! Your recipe is inspiring me to make a new version of my gluten-free chocolate beer cake: I love the idea of not having to cook the beet first. Plus I need to rethink my flour blend and write a translated version for my English readers. Ok, it’s on my to-do list!
    Thank you for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

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