Beetroot Cake

Moist, dense and hiding beetroot, you could be forgiven for thinking this Beetroot Cake was a good take on “death by chocolate”.

I was stuck for a minder for an hour and my sister offered to help me out. So I figured what better way to say thank you than with a hunk of chocolate cake?

Having dropped the cake over to her along with the toddler, I headed off to do my task and came about about 90  minutes later to crumbs on the plate. Which was when my brother in law asked me why the 3 year old kept on talking about beetroot. My brother in law is the type of guy who would go to a Chinese restaurant and order oxtail soup, followed by steak and chips and finish with jelly and ice cream. He’s a creature of habit, loves his food, but likes to know what he’s eating.

With a big grin I told him that they had all eaten beetroot in the cake. He looked at me in suspiciously, because I’d managed to hide a decent vegetable in something as delicious as a cake. It wasn’t that I set out to hoodwink him, after all the toddler was happily telling everybody that he liked beetroot (who wouldn’t if it was in a cake?). Anyway I’m not sure if he will trust me again unless I detail all the ingredients and a photograph of the cake so he knows that I’m not kidding him.

This cake is dense and moist, it also doesn’t rise so you don’t need to add a raising agent however a small amount of baking powder does seem to help with the flavour. I used my trusty 20cm cake tin to bake it but you could just as easily make it in a loaf form. I like the fact that there is no creaming as you’re not trying to introduce air into the mixture and if you don’t have a stand mixer or hand whisk you can make this cake with ease.

To prepare the beetroot follow steps 1-8 from my blogpost on pickled beetroot or buy beetroot precooked in a vacuum pack before grating on a medium grade.

Ingredients

  • 150g caster sugar
  • 100g butter
  • 65g grated beetroot
  • 60g plain flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 heaped tablespoons of good quality cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder

Equipment

  • Medium saucepan
  • Weighing scales
  • Mixing bowl
  • Large wooden spoon
  • 20cm springform cake tin
  • Baking paper (greaseproof)

Method

  1. Preheat a fan oven to 200 degrees Celsius.
  2. Line your cake tin well using the baking paper.
  3. Place the saucepan on the weighing scales and weigh out the butter and sugar into the pan directly.
  4. Put the saucepan on a low heat and keep an eye on it, stirring every now and again.
  5. You want the butter to melt and the sugar to melt as well so that you have a smooth syrup.
  6. Put the bowl onto the weighing scales and weigh out the flour, baking powder and cocoa powder (dry ingredients).
  7. Grate the beetroot and leave it to one side – don’t add it to the flour now as it has a high water content and will make the final cake lumpy.
  8. Turn off the hob and make a well middle of the bowl of dry ingredients.
  9. Pour the melted butter/sugar syrup inside and mix well.
  10. Crack in your 2 eggs and mix again until part of the batter (you don’t add the eggs until after the butter is mixed into the flour as otherwise you could get scrambled eggs).
  11. Stir in your half teaspoon of vanilla extract and finally then the beetroot.
  12. The batter is quite thick. Make sure the beetroot is well coated in the batter.
  13. Pour into the pre-lined cake tin.
  14. Bake in the oven for 40 mins.
  15. Once baked, leave to cool completely in the tin before removing the paper and serving.

The cake is moist enough that it doesn’t need a frosting but I did serve this with a delicious ganache made the quick way by scalding (not boiling) 100ml of full fat milk in the saucepan and melting 200g of milk chocolate in the milk then pouring.

  • http://cityofblackbirds.com/ Eadaoin

    Oh wow that looks absolutely divine! I love a nice moist sponge, and this one looks like it would be perfect. Plus I love how the chocolate is draped deliciously over the top! I bought a gluten free cake mix, I wonder if I could use that in place of the plain flour here? Might just give it a try!

    • http://wholesomeireland.com/ Wholesome Ireland

      Hi Eadaoin I was only just discussing with a friend that because the cake doesn’t need to rise you could use a gluten free flour instead. Spelt should work very well in this cake instead of plain flour either. She also pointed out that with the beetroot it makes the cake low GI!

      • http://cityofblackbirds.com/ Eadaoin

        Brilliant, I will give it a try in a coupe of weeks when I can gorge on chocolate again!! I’ll let you know how I get on :)

  • kat laing

    looks lovely my friend and I were just talking about things we could do with beetroot yesterday this is a new one on me!!

    • http://wholesomeireland.com/ Wholesome Ireland

      You can also tie die with beetroot juice Kat. ;-) It is delicious.

  • http://www.facebook.com/brenda.mannion1 Brenda Mannion

    That looks really good Catriona. I see you have made some lovely changes to the blog since my last visit, it looks great ! I love beetroot too, how clever to add it to a cake !

    • http://wholesomeireland.com/ Wholesome Ireland

      Thanks Brenda, yep just a few small changes but it’s a bit easier to navigate now. Still a work in progress!

  • kara_lamb

    This was such a lovely cake to enjoy today; Micah, our youngest son, couldn’t believe there was beetroot in the cake. He said ‘…but I hate beetroot, mum’! :) The chocolate ganache was amazing. Thanks again for such a delicious recipe, Catriona!

    • http://wholesomeireland.com/ Wholesome Ireland

      I’m delighted it was a success for you Kara!

  • Áine at andmybaby.ie

    Oh yummy! Would make a nice change from making carrot cake too! You take gorgeous photos!!

    • http://wholesomeireland.com/ Wholesome Ireland

      Thank you Áine!

  • Marie-Louise

    I made this cake and it was amaaazzing!! Definitely recommend trying it.
    Thanks so much for the recipe.

    • http://wholesomeireland.com/ Wholesome Ireland

      Oh brilliant thanks Marie-Louise I’m delighted you like it!