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

  • Claire
    A really successful recipe. Simple, reliable and really really yummy. I usually reduce the sugar in recipes but no need to with this one. Sweetness just right. Definately a keeper. Baked in my loaf tin same cooking time. Perfect! Thank you.
  • Holly
    Hello, thank you for the recipe! I filled the middle with frozen raspberries and it was delicious xxx
  • Melanie
    May I ask, how big the cake tin or the bundt form should be? 25 minutes baking time sounds like you took a smaller one...? Thanks for your respond. All the best, Mel
  • Farah
    Delicious. I had to cook it for a bit longer then suggested but it's a really moist flavorful cake. Next time I'd like to leave out the 85% dark chocolate I used and see if it's still as good without the refined sugar! Thank you for a lovely recipe!
  • Colleen
    Most delicious chocolate cake ever! I couldn't believe how moist it was. Not too sweet either. I love this cake. Can't wait to make it again!
  • Ida Amalie
    Hi GKS! I was wondering if you could could substitute the eggs with something vegan? Chia-eggs e.g.? I am a BIG fan of your books btw :) Love, Ida Amalie
  • Terri
    Just made this and ate a piece while still warm--oh my good!! Thank you for a winning recipe that I will make a lot.
  • Elisabeth
    Hey , Can you substitute the speltflour for buckwheat flour?? I love your recipes. Greetings from Belgium 👋🏻
  • Christine
    This cake was so good! Thank you for sharing this recipe. I mashed a cooked down a bit of fruit and served that drizzled over the cake with a few berries. Everyone loved it!
  • I haven't thought of using beetroot in cakes ever. It's an intriguing idea I must try. Luckily I still have some spelt stocked up so nothing can stop me!
  • Kat
    Hello, Just discovered your amazing blog and am making this recipe. I was wondering if you know approximately how long to bake the mixture in a loaf tin? I'm cooking it now and it was the only tin I could find! Would it be better baked longer, say 50-60 mins? Thanks so much.
  • Erin
    Made this with mashed cooked beetroot and added about a tbsp of finely chopped fresh ginger - amazing. So dense and moist and chocolatey! Making it again tonight with even more ginger.
  • Patricia Santos
    Hi there, I just made these as cup cakes and my children loved it!! I am so please. Thank you so much!! Tip: for a great and healthier icing option I just use quark and a little bit of icing sugar and a dash of the beetroot juice for a funky pink color, this was a hit!! x P
  • Morgane
    I just made it and it is delicious! I used maple syrup and coconut oil and it is great! Thank you for this awesome recipe and the beautiful website!
  • Laura
    I've made that cake at least 4 times, and I really love it!! Actually I've made it just today and it is still warm, sitting on my kitchen counter ;-) This time i mixed spelt and buckwheat flower and sweetened it with a thick date sirup. Turned out wonderful <3 Thank you for the recipe
  • Your recipe is just what I was looking for I tried today and follow your recipe. But I cook the grated Beetroot for like 10 minutes. It turn really moist I love your recipe. It's so simple and to die for Thanks for sharing I ll follow your other recipes soon
  • Audrey
    Amazingly good. I baked a few extra minutes, added dark chocolate chunks, and topped with a dusting of confectioners' sugar. I know that defeats the "sugar free" idea, but it was pretty. I'm so excited to have another way to use up my surplus of beets! Do you think that this would work if I grated and froze raw beets, to defrost and use later?
  • Alexa
    Wow! I just made this (again). This time, I used 100 % whole wheat spelt flour - and the cake still tastes amazing! I stuck with the maple syrup as a sweetener. Is there a particular reason, why you decided to use maple syrup? I was thinking that maybe I could use coconut sugar instead. Have you experimented with that? Do you think it would work? Or would the cake maybe not turn out moist enough? Maybe you have tried it and can give me a tip.
  • Chris
    Fantastic. I made with slight variation according to my cupboard contents (black cherries instead of chocolate) but still great. Only problem is I cant stop eating it. Thanks
  • Lara Hundermark
    This is such an amazing cake! I adapted it a little with dates (and less maple syrup), apple sauce, coconut oil and coco nibs to make it into brownies. So delicious, filling and feel-good. Sending lots of love for this amazing blog from my husband and I in Cape Town , South Africa.
  • sidsel
    This has become The Cake, although I dont eat cake much. We have tried with Zuccini, as no Beets where there, it works and tasts, but beets are the best. There is nothing to crumble about, this recipe is good a it is, with the cocnut, which matches wonderfully. So I eat this cake, every day that its there, not much, I only need one slice, its like Sachertorte. And it stays good and healthy for more than a week in the fridge, what a typically danish worry... Thank You for sharing all this with us. Sidsel
  • Adrienne
    Hi, wondering if it might make more sense to coat the oiled pan with cocoa powder to prevent sticking? I love coconut in all its forms, but it seems a little inconsistent with the rest of the recipe... unless you use coconut oil as the oil of choice in the batter, then I suppose it jives. Happy to go with the coconut it if you think it's the best method!
  • Kate
    I just made these as cupcakes and they were perfect! I used half coconut oil and half olive oil (I didn't have sunflower oil and I thought combining the other oils would reduce the density/strong flavour issues they can have). I also used half spelt and half white flour (it was all I had). The batter made 12 large muffins. I didn't need to add coconut to the pans I just greased them well. They slipped out nicely after about 15 minutes of cooking and 5 minutes of resting.
  • Jenni
    Does anyone know yet whether it still works by replacing the eggs with applesauce?
  • Dominika
    I just made this cake and honestly...DELICIOUS! :-) Love it, turned out perfect! Not sure how am I not going to eat it all, lol :-)
  • Alana
    What size cake tin do you use??
  • diana
    Hey David And Luise, I Would like to know If it is possible to use buckwheat Flour. I want to trY this cake Natural glutenfree?! Would be Nice to know of u have a idea
  • Rachel
    Hi ... love your blog and have finally made this recipe today. I used half coconut oil and half hazelnut oil (but was really careful not to heat this much at all) and then used a mix of chestnut and wholemeal spelt flour. My 21 month old daughter ate it up and I love the texture. Thinking of trying with the beets grated smaller or maybe cooking them a little but the contrast of textures is good. I know how much work goes into each post so HUGE thanks from those of us facing health challenges and eating well to conquer them! I'm a big foodie and really appreciate your site - it is helping make my life and health better.
  • Lydia
    I just polished off the last slice of this and it was absolutely delicious! I think vegetables in cake are my favourite thing, it was super moist and yummy! I did add 1/4 cup less flour than stated, but possibly my beets were not as moist as yours?! who knows! it was thoroughly enjoyed- thank you :)
  • Katie
    I was looking for a healthy alternative to cake for my daughter's 1st birthday. I did a trial run today and it is very good! I baked it in a 9x9 cake pan for about 25 minutes until it cracked on top. The only change that I am planning on is grating the beets finer. Now for frosting! :)

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