Monday, October 1, 2012

Double Chocolate Beet Cake

First there was Prune Cake.  That was a huge hit, and no-one was the wiser for it having a undeservedly unpopular fruit in it.

Then there was the Black Bean Brownies - even my discerning husband had no clue what those were hiding.

But these took me into a whole new territory.  I'm not sure if I've ever even tasted beets before, but I've been convinced for as long as I can remember that "I don't like beets", so I've never bought them, cooked them, sampled them, or anything.

I can't really say why a recipe for chocolate beet cake jumped out at me....but I just couldn't resist the urge to give it a try. Living on the wild side, watch out. 

It was kind of funny - when I was checking out at Wal-Mart, the cashier looked at the beets and said, "So how do you cook these, anyways?"  My reply: "I have no idea. (I hadn't read the recipe fully yet).  I guess I'll figure it out!"

My family saw me cooking the beets, so there was no surprise element this time, and we were all amazed at the vibrant color of the cooking looked just like deep red grape juice or wine.  Almost made you wanna grab a glass and down a cup full.....but it most certainly does not taste like grape juice.

I actually had only bought 3 beets, so my puree amount was a little short - I made up the difference with applesauce.  The cake batter was a dark purplish color - but the finished cake just looked the normal chocolaty brown.

The taste - Amazing.
Now, Grant said it wasn't his favorite chocolate cake, and I guess I agree....but it is wonderfully moist and rich, has a nice texture and lots of chocolate flavor and you can't taste the beets at all.  The children kept begging for more pieces - they were huge fans.  I LOVE that we're getting a nutritious vegetable that I don't think any of us would eat otherwise.....I love the gorgeous color of the beet drizzle.....I love chocolate cake.....and I will totally make this again.

Note: The ganache isn't necessary  - you could just dust the cake with powdered sugar or use the beet glaze - but I couldn't pass up a chance to make ganache.  It is so good.   

Double Chocolate Beet Cake (adapted from Straight from the Farm)

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
1-1/2 cups packed dark brown sugar
3 eggs, room temperature
3 oz. unsweetened chocolate
1/2 cup expeller pressed coconut oil (or 1/2 cup butter)
2 cups pureed beets (from 5 medium beets)**
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg

2/3 cup heavy cream
1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips

Optional Beet Glaze
1 tsp. beet puree
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp. milk
1/4 tsp. vanilla

**To make beet puree, trim stems and roots off beets and quarter them. Place in a heavy saucepan and cover with water.  Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer for 50 minutes or until the beets are tender.  Drain off the remaining liquid and rinse beets in cold water, as they'll be too hot to handle otherwise.  Slide skins off and place beets in blender. Process until a smooth puree forms.  Let cool slightly before using in cake.  You can make the puree ahead of time and store in the fridge for several days if necessary.

Preheat oven to 325°.
In a mixing bowl, cream 1/2 cup butter and brown sugar. Add eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition.  Melt chocolate with coconut oil on the stove top or in microwave until completely smooth.  Cool slightly. Blend chocolate mixture, beets, and vanilla into the creamed mixture.  The batter will appear separated or curdled, this is normal!!

In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg.  Add to creamed mixture and mix well. Pour into a greased and floured bundt pan and bake for 50-55 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.  Cool in pan 15 minutes before removing to a wire rack.

To make glaze, place chocolate chips in a bowl. Heat cream to a simmer (but not a boil) and then pour over chocolate.  Let sit for a few minutes, then stir to melt completely.  Allow to cool to room temperature (stick in the fridge to speed it up if necessary) before drizzling/pouring over the cake.  If topping with beet glaze, I recommend refrigerating the cake to firm up the ganache first.

To make beet glaze, combine beet puree with powdered sugar, milk, and vanilla.  Stir well.  Add a few drops more of milk to desired consistency.  You don't want it thin and runny, but it needs to be drizzleable.
Spoon into the corner of a sandwich bag and snip off a tiny corner.  Drizzle glaze over top of cake.

Linked to Trick or Treat Tuesday and Crazy Sweet Tuesday and Finding Joy in my Kitchen


  1. Sounds delicious! Beets are a big staple for the locals here. Never heard of a cake though. Someday I hope to locate a tomato soup cake recipe I had ages ago. Any idea where to start?

    1. Well, that's kind of funny to me, because my mom tells the story of making a tomato soup cake years ago (I think before I was born) and says it was the worst thing she ever made. Tasted terrible!
      I can't say that I've ever even seen a recipe for it....but I could certainly look. :)

  2. Wow! That cake looks delicious! Beets are sweet, so I bet they make a tasty cake. Thanks for visiting me and commenting at I'd love it if you linked up some of your great ideas at One Creative Weekend on my site. The party is open Fridays-Wednesdays every week. Hope to see you there!

    (For the month of October, there are two parties--one for Halloween, and one for everything else.)

  3. Sounds interesting. The heading caught my attention. I actually love beets, and so does my family. I like them as pickled beets and harvard beets!! Yup that are yummy. So I'm assuming there was not a beet flavor in the cake...that would be interesting. Maybe I'll give it a try.

  4. I never pass up a chance to make ganache either:-) I love how pretty pink that beet drizzle is...LOL that is something I never thought I would say!!!

    1. I know, me neither! I just loved the color the beets gave the glaze, and you really couldn't taste it, I promise!

  5. Looks delicious!! I think I will just start adding beet puree to lots of recipes: pancakes, sweet breads, waffles, etc.

  6. Rebekah, loved loved loved making this cake for SRC this month! My toddler gobbled it up and begged for more, and my husband's coworkers raved over the leftovers! Thanks for sharing!


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