Chocolate beetroot cake

I recently consulted a herbalist to help improve my overall health. The recommendations included staying away from chocolate, coca and coffee, and increasing the amount of root vegetables I eat. I must have a real stubborn streak, because as soon as somebody tells me I shouldn’t have something I crave it so much more, so skipping my morning flat white and avoiding chocolate has been hard.

Tracking down carob buttons to take the place of my chocolate consumption has also been hard, even a couple of the health food stores and co-ops I tried don’t stock them. I did eventually manage to track down some carob powder and carob buttons, I think the last time I ate carob buttons was in primary school when they came in a packet of 10 in a twist of grease-proof paper.

To try and satisfy my chocolate cravings and increase my root vegetable intake (it still counts if it is in a cake doesn’t it?), I made a carob and beetroot cake. In the recipe below I’ve included details for a chocolate option for those of you that aren’t being deprived. The cake turned out to be deliciously moist with an extra depth of flavor thanks to the beetroot. When you are checking to see if it is cooked it may still feel a little squidgy, as long as the middle of the cake springs back when you touch it and / or a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean it is cooked. Carob powder is not as strong as coca powder so you need to use a bit more if you are substituting in recipes. You may want to wear plastic gloves when grating the beetroot so that you don’t end up with stained hands. You can use any vegetable oil you like, I used rice bran oil which had a neutral taste and is good for baking. I used edible red glitter to decorate my cake, but feel free to get creative with your decorating.

Chocolate beetroot cake

* This recipe was adapted from a carrot cake recipe in Leiths Baking Bible by Susan Spaull and Fiona Burrell. I have modified and adapted it to come up with the below reincarnation.



  • 250ml vegetable oil
  • 4 eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 225g brown sugar
  • 200g raw beetroot, grated
  • 225g self-raising flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • 50g coca powder or 80g carob powder


  • 200g dark chocolate or carob buttons
  • 50g coca powder or 80g carob powder
  • 200g icing sugar
  • 50g butter


  1. Heat oven to 180°C.
  2. Grease 2 x cake tins (I used 20cm round tins).
  3. In a large bowl, stir together the oil, eggs, vanilla extract, sugar and beetroot.
  4. Sift the flour, bicarbonate of soda and coca or carob powder into the bowl.
  5. Mix the dry and wet ingredients until combined.
  6. Divide the mixture between the 2 tins and bake in the centre of the oven for 25 minutes or until cooked.
  7. Remove cakes from the oven and cool on a wire rack.
  8. To make the icing, sift the icing sugar and coca or carob powder into a heat proof bowl. Add the chocolate or carob buttons and butter to the bowl.
  9. Place the bowl over a saucepan of hot water so that the bowl is not touching the hot water but is suspended above it.
  10. Stir the icing mixture occasionally until the chocolate and butter are melted and everything is incorporated.
  11. Remove the icing from the hot water.
  12. Once the cake is cool, place one cake on your serving plate, add half of the icing to the top of the cake, spreading until almost to the edge and place the other cake on top.
  13. Use the rest of the icing to ice the top and sides of your double-decker cake.
  14. Allow the icing to set. Your cake is ready to serve. Enjoy.

What is your favourite chocolate recipe? Has this post inspired any new ideas?



Filed under Baking, Beetroot, Cake, Caramel, Carob, Chocolate, Custard, Orange, Recipes, Sweet, Vegetarian

7 responses to “Chocolate beetroot cake

  1. Jen

    congratulations on coming up with an intriguing cake recipe to accommodate your dietary restrictions

  2. What fun. Thanks for sharing. If it looks like chocolate cake, I may even get my beet detesting daughter to eat some. 😉

  3. Pingback: The beet goes on « Cook Up a Story

  4. Pingback: The Queen’s Beets – Let Them Eat Cake « Cook Up a Story

  5. Pingback: Protein punch | The Passionfruit Project

  6. Pingback: Beetroot blast | The Passionfruit Project

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s