Beetroot and Chocolate Cake

29th March 2012

My obsession with beetroot continues! I first tried this vegetable one year ago: I was bored of the usual salad combinations and wanted to experiment with new ingredients. So I bought the cooked beetroot vacuum pack from Tesco and entered the world of beets!

Of course now I wouldn’t dare eating packaged beetroot and rather buy them fresh from a food market.

Isn’t it good to be obsessed with something that is also healthy? ;) Beetroots are a great source of antioxidants (all coloured fruits and vegetables are), as they contain betacyanin, which speeds up detoxification in your liver (this makes them good a hangover cure).

I have already written about my love for beets when I made the Beetroot Hummus. I have also been cooking Beetroot Risotto regularly and it’s now become one of my signature dishes! This week I made the jump from savoury to sweet and baked a Beetroot and Chocolate Cake.

Surprised at the idea of eating beets with chocolate? Beetroot has a higher sugar content than most vegetables (10%) and it’s also very low in calories.

I used a recipe from BBC Good Food, which is a reliable source of easy-to-make recipes. Unlike other recipes I found online, this doesn’t include butter and demands chocolate in a bar as well as the powder. As a result, the cake has a strong dark chocolate taste, however I do think that a bit of butter would improve the cake and make it soft and gooey. Gin and Crumpets’ recipe for Chocolate Beetroot Cake with frosting might just be the  perfect one!


* 1 large fresh beetroot (about 200g)
* 200g plain flour
* 100g cocoa powder
* 1 tbsp baking powder
* 250g caster sugar
* 3 eggs
* 2 tsp vanilla extract
* 200ml sunflower oil
* 100g dark chocolate


Wash the beetroot gently, trim the stalks to about 2cm above the bulb, leave the root and skin on. Boil is for 60-80 minutes, then peel it and chop it roughly. Use a food processor to make a paste.

Pre-heat oven to 190 °C. Mix the beetroot cream with a pinch of salt, flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, sugar, eggs, vanilla extract.When completely mixed, add the oil in a steady stream.

Chop or grate the dark chocolate into small flakes, add to the rest and mix well using an electric beater. Tip the mix into a brownie cake tin (though the original recipe suggest using a loaf tin). Cook for 1 hour or until a skewer comes out dry.

Leave the cake to cool on a rack. Serve in slices with the clotted cream ice-cream.

I bought my beetroots from Perry Court Farm at Brockley Market.

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  • Gorgeous! Could be a fun and much healthier twist on the American obsession with Red Velvet Cake. Brava!

  • This looks delicious! I made beetroot brownies a while back and loved all the bright pink liquid that seeps out – although the kitchen did look a little like a bloodbath!

  • That’s a beauty! Have used beetroot in baking yet but I’ve made Aubergine brownies before and the results were surprisingly good!!!

    • Aubergine Brownies?! Woah, I want to try!!

  • Belugh, beetroot! :P. I have made chocolate and beetroot cupcakes though and everyone but me adored the, so – great combination.

  • livinggolden

    looks very delicious

  • Maria Cristina

    It didn’t sound appealing at all in the beginning but the last picture has made me change my mind: I will definitely try the beetroot and chocolate cake!

  • they look really spongy and moist in the pictures! Great presentation :)

    • Thanks Seline, they are really moist, even after a week!

  • These brownies look delicious and as always your photography is stunning. Can’t wait to try this recipe out for myself and see if I can get my brownies as deliciously gouey as yours. Is the cooking time fairly crucial for this?

    Also, I thought I’d let you know that I’ve nominated you for a Liebster blog award for your utterly fantastic blog. You really deserve some recognition for how great it is

    • Thank you for such a nice comment! I made this cake twice already, the first time I cooked it for 1h and it came out a bit burnt on the edges, so the second time I cooked it for 55′, but I suppose it really depends on your oven!

  • I love your photography, and your post makes me want to revisit using beets in baking. I tried to adapt an american red velvet cake using beets instead of food coloring once and it wasn’t to my liking, but I think I should maybe try again using someone else’s recipe before giving up on them!
    Best, Jodi

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