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

  • Monica Solvig Dahl
    I made this yesterday, from your, I think it must be the first, cookbook Green Kitchen Stories! It is soooo good. I had two pieces yesterday, one right after it was done, and one again in the evening with a thin layer of nutbutter and some cocoanibs sprinkled on top. Mmmmhm!
  • Stefania
    What of you want to make it gluten-free?
  • With this beet chocolate cake, the kids will never even know they ate some veggies;)
  • bernadette
    Love this cake and it's so simple to make. The earthy taste of beets is intriguing. Combining it with chocolate is absolutely amazing and is a wonderful surprise to those trying it for the first time. I have baked both vegetarian (with eggs) and vegan (apple sauce) versions. Hands down, my favorite is the apple-sauce cake. Although a bit denser, it is a touch sweeter. Adding a small swirl of coconut whipped cream, it is guilt-free indulgence!
  • Wow!! It looks so delicious. Will try this on this weekend. Thank you so much for sharing this yummy recipe with us.
  • Rachel
    Hey! This looks so awesome! Unfortunately I don’t own a budnt pan (I don’t think it’s common where I live). Can I use a different type of pan? I have square types, muffin tins, loaf pans and a springboard. Which type/dimensions should I use?

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