Decadent Beet & Chocolate Cake

Luise is without doubt the more talented kitchen wizard of us two. She constantly surprises me with delicious and creative dinners from what for me seemed like an empty fridge. Her skills has made me less active in the daily dinner making. Errgh, that didn’t sound right. We still have somewhat equal rolls in the kitchen  – and I love cooking! – but I tend to ask her for help whenever I see an empty shelf in our fridge.

However, there is one area where I feel more comfortable and experienced than Luise. Baking. And specifically, Baking Chocolate Cake. If you ask my parents that hardly comes as a surprise to them. I spent my teenage years baking moist and rich chocolate cakes 2-3 times every week for several years (not exaggerating). I ate most of them myself. I even ate the whole batter – unbaked(!) – one time. How I didn’t end up looking like a balloon is a miracle. One thing I learned through those years is how a chocolate batter should look, feel (and taste) to become a decadent moist chocolate cake.

Back then, I used heaps of refined sugar, wheat flour and margarine. Those are ingredients that we don’t even keep in our pantry anymore, so I have quietly forgotten all about my old cakes. Until Luise a few weeks ago started experimenting with a beet cake. It tasted alright but she never really nailed it. And as I stood there looking at her batter, my past hit me. BAM! ”I know what kind of chocolate cake we should make!”

I had to tweak it quite a bit. Using spelt flour, maple syrup (or honey), oil and beets. But it didn’t change much. We still ended up with a super indulgent cake with a very rich chocolate taste. The beets add sweetness, moist and taste to the cake. We grated them quite rough, so they definitely also affect the texture.

You can eat this just as it is. But if you want to make it a little prettier you could serve it with a dollop of yogurt and some fresh fruit on top.

The cake you are looking at is our forth version in two weeks. I am definitely getting in to my old habits again. Can someone please just stop me from eating the batter.

Beet & Chocolate Cake

Since we have made this cake quite a few times during the last weeks we have been able to try a couple of different versions. Maple syrup and honey both tastes good as sweetener in this cake. I prefer maple syrup, but that is more on a personal level. We have also tried it with sunflower oil, olive oil and coconut oil. Again, they all work, but the olive oil adds more flavor than the sunflower oil. And the coconut oil makes the cake very dense if you put it in the fridge, so then you might want to reheat it before eating it again. We haven’t tried it without eggs, but I’m guessing that you could replace them with apple sauce (as in this recipe) to make a vegan version. Next time I’m going to try adding some coffee as well.

2/3 cup (100 g) sunflower oil (coconut oil or olive oil)
1/2 cup (125 ml) maple syrup/honey
50 g dark chocolate (70%), broken into pieces
250 g (around 2 cups) raw beetroots, grated
3 eggs

1 ½ cup (375 ml) spelt flour
2 tsp baking powder
5 tbsp cacao powder
a pinch salt
1 tbsp dried shredded coconut (unsweetened) 

Preheat the oven to 350F/175°C. Warm the oil in a medium size sauce pan on very low heat. Add maple syrup and chocolate and stir until the chocolate is melted. Remove from heat. Add the grated beets. Whisk the eggs in a small bowl and then add them to the sauce pan. Sift flour, baking powder, cacao powder and salt together and stir into the beet mixture. Grease a bundt pan or a cake tin with oil and add shredded coconut to prevent the batter from sticking to side of the pan. Bake for 25 minutes or until slightly dark and crackelated on top and still a little sticky inside. Enjoy!

Ps. Cook Vegetarian Magazine has a large (and very flattering) piece about us in their March issue. You can read a pdf of the article here.

189 Comments

  • This looks delicious! And I love how few, whole ingredients it takes! I've been getting into beets lately (and unfortunately discovered their dye power via my fingers). I will try this one! xo
  • yum! Beet cake is next on my list of things to make. This looks so moist and delicious.
  • Rachel Frontino
    I absolutely love your site and all your recipes! A question for you two: how would you substitute vegetable glycerin for the sweeteners, say in your beet chocolate cake? I just discovered using this combined with stevia/beet powder is just a delicious and sweet as honey. I am sugar intolerant (as far as refined, maple syrup, even honey :( ), but I just can't live without something sweet! In my opinion we get enough natural sugars from fruits, veggies, and grains and my palette has drastically changed since I cut out sugar. But just thought I would ask what you thought or if you have ever used vegetable glycerin in anything? Thank you and blessings from Pennsylvania, USA!
  • Great recipy. I used agave syrup becausebi didn't have honey or mapple syrup. It turned out perfect, mooist, not too sweet and full of chocolate taste. I wonder if you can advice me some alternative for the shredded coconut. It becomes brown after baking and because of that it looks a bit less pretty. I love your blog!
  • vilma
    Thank you very much for this recipe, it's already the second time I make this cake and it's become my absolute favourite!
  • Tusen tack för ett bra recept! En chocoholic som jag är, lade jag i lite mer choklad och en skvätt starkt kaffe, som ni tipsade om! Mums mums!
  • This cake is a winner! I'm not much of a baker (I can relate very much to Luise), because I cannot follow recipes. I need room for experimentation, which baking does not allow. However, even though I made several changes to this recipe, it STILL turned out amazing! - Instead of spelt flour, I used 1 cup vetemjöl from Saltå Kvarn (we are not gluten intolerant). - Instead of dark chocolate bar, I added 2 extra tablespoons of cacao powder and 1 extra tablespoon of coconut oil. _ Added 1 teaspoon vanilla extract to wet ingredients before stirring into the dry ingredients. - Only used 1/3 cup maple syrup + 2 tbsp applesauce. Sååååå decadent. Jag kommer att göra denna igen och igen. Tack så mycket, GKS.
  • Riin
    I just finished a piece of this heavenly cake and must admit that it was one of the best chocolate cakes I've ever had. And I don't feel any guilt for this piece being very big. I topped it with some smooth plum jam and enjoyed the blissful mixture of sweet and bitter in my mouth. Thank you for this recipe. Will definitely be making this again.
  • Karina
    Ok... So I am making this cake for a dinner party and I cannot stop licking the bowl! I did add a bit more chocolate (since I love really dark chocolate) and a bit of strong coffee. Oh my... This is amazing and I have not even baked it yet!
  • Suzie
    Your recipe and photos also here? http://www.zelenetrhy.cz/recepty/cokoladovy-dort-s-repou/
  • I just made the cake tonight... it is AMAZING!!! Thanks so much for the recipe :)
  • I love the idea of beetroot and chocolate. I would definitely try this and for sure my kiddos would love this. Thank you for sharing and your pictures are amazing!
  • I've made a vegan beetroot chocolate cake before. It's a very moist cake, absolutely amazing. Instead of egg I used oatmilk + apple vinegar, I also used coconut oil (it worked really well) and I sweetened with honey and maple syrup. You can find the recipe here: http://bit.ly/nVxN7Z. The photos are beautiful as always!
  • Love you blog and the work and fantasy you are putting into it! I will try the chocolate cake today... I was also wondring if you could recommend any a good adress to make a blog? I am not yet so much into this so ir would be great with some good guidance by you guys! Keep on you beautiful work and lots of luck with your book!! Anna
  • Kathleen
    I made this cake today using apple sauce instead of the eggs and it turned out great. Thanks for the recipe!
    • Natasha
      How much applesauce did you use?
  • Great work and great ideas to learn about some delicious recipes
  • mmm, this sounds really good. i'm def making it next week
  • Ketmala
    Made your delicious cake and both of my kids asked for a second serving even though they are usually not big fans of beets. Thank you much for sharing with us as always! :-)
  • Sanna
    This cake looks amazing. I am just wondering: Do you use whole spelt flour or dinkelsikt? /a big fan
    • Hej Sanna, vi har testat med båda olika mjölsorterna. Den blir luftigare med dinkelsikt men nyttigare och lite mer kompakt med fullkornsdinkel. Hälften av varje brukar alltid bli bra. /David
  • Laura
    Gorgeous recipe. Have been looking forward to making this all day! Had a lovely warm slightly gooey yet light slice with some vanilla icecream and a glass of wine, gets the thumbs up from me & my housemate! Sharing the rest with friends tomorrow. It wont last long which gives me the excuse to make it again :) Next im trying it with dark orange chocolate and maybe some zest. Delighted beetroots are plentiful in NZ at the moment. Thank u for sharing this!
  • jenna
    I haven't tried this recipe out yet, however I've definitely experimented a lot with sugar free cakes, fat free, gluten free, etc and I used to be quite the obsessive cake baker. Just thought I might throw a few things out there you might consider trying if you haven't already: add baking soda in addition to the baking powder, nobody quite knows why having both in your cake makes the texture better, but it does. Try adding vinegar or some other kind of acid to your cake - this should make it fluffier (however you might need to adjust baking powder/baking soda ratios). At the very last step of your cake making process, beat on high for a few minutes until the mixture becomes visibly lighter in color - this should make the cake less dense. Something else I like to do in sugar free cakes is use overripe bananas, however you're already using beets so that might not be necessary (however bananas are a common vegan substitute for eggs, so keep that in mind). Also, as a final note, you could always use the sponge cake approach where you separate the eggs and fold in the egg whites separately. So there you go, just a few things I've done with cake that have interesting results (in addition to adding coffee), but definitely try adding the baking soda because it makes a world of a difference.
    • Hi Jenna, thank you for all your advices. I was a bit surprised to read all these suggestions from you without you having tried the cake first. I am very pleased with this recipe already, but we are always grateful for all kind of input. Much obliged. /David
  • this looks so lovely...have a real thing for chocolate cake at the moment, seem to make one on a weekly basis, this definitely goes on the list of recipe's to try xx
  • Sanna
    Made the cake yesterday for a friend who then took a few slices to some other friends and now there are a few beetroot-chocolate cakes being baked around Helsinki today! Absolutely delicious!
  • I can't stop staring at this lovely piece of art! I don't know if beets make chocolate sexy or if chocolate makes beets sexy...in any case, I cannot wait to make this!
  • What a beautiful article about your blog and family, thanks for sharing the link!
  • Solvej Karlslund
    This cake is soooo good! I made it with bananas instead, because I didn't have any beets. Exactly the naturally sweetness I wanted. Was the perfect combination of soft, light, spongy and oh so tasty.
  • Sanna
    Made it today, delicious! Thank you for all the beauty and inspiration :)
  • Love beets. Love chocolate. Love this! Happy to have discovered your blog via My New Roots!
  • I have been looking for a respectable beet chocolate cake to sub for my beloved red velvet. Most I have found are still full of refined sugar and flour, so I am so excited to find a healthier recipe! I also love that you made it a bundt cake!
  • LilleMy
    WOW! What an inspirering and beautiful blog. Just found you and I will return!Thank you so much for sharing. Namaste =)

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