Monday, September 19, 2011

Un-beet-able chocolate cake

13-14 September, 2011
While Steph has already posted the first round-up for 'that recipe seems very familiar...", there's a bonus post-picnic round to come! And we're cramming in a few more blog tributes. This chocolate beetroot cake appeared about a year ago on The Fat-Fueled Vegan, and originates from The Fairest Feed. The Fairest Feed is no longer updated but I'd highly recommend a browse through its archives. Pip has published some beautiful vegan recipes there, with homegrown whole ingredients aplenty.

With plans to share it around at work, I multiplied the original recipe by 1.5 and still it all disappeared rather rapidly! Dark and moist, it's almost like a cakey brownie with very subtle earthy undertones. The icing is tinted pink with beetroot juice but just tastes of sugar - I'd be inclined to flavour it with a bit of pomegranate molasses in future, as I've tried previously. I bet rosewater would be lovely too. (I'm getting a bit predictable in my chocolate pairings, aren't I?)

Regardless, this is a wonderful recipe straight up and very easy to put together once the beetroot's grated.

Un-beet-able chocolate cake
(adapted slightly from a recipe on The Fairest Feed,
renamed by The Fat-Fueled Vegan)

1 generous cup grated beetroot
1 1/2 cups plain flour
2 1/4 cups sugar
1 generous cup cocoa
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup sunflower oil
1 1/2 cups soy milk
3 teaspoons vanilla

1 1/2 tablespoons margarine
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1 1/2 teaspoons beetroot juice
1 1/2 cups icing sugar
~2 teaspoons soy milk, as needed

Preheat an oven to 180°C. Line a large baking dish with paper.

Start by grating the beetroot into a bowl, doing your best not to stain anything precious with the juice. Set aside.

In a separate large mixing bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder and salt. Add the oil, milk and vanilla, stirring until just combined. Transfer the beetroot into the batter, giving it a squeeze over its holding bowl to reserve some beetroot juice for the icing. Fold the beetroot into the cake batter, then pour it all into the baking dish. Bake the cake until it passes a skewer test, about 50 minutes. Allow the cake to cool completely before icing it.

To make the icing, beat together the margarine, vanilla and beetroot juice. Gradually beat in the icing sugar. You may like to additionally beat in a little milk to loosen up the icing and make it more spreadable. Spread the icing in a thin smooth layer over the cake, or slice the cake through the middle and spread the icing there.


  1. love that pink icing! love beetroot and chocolate! how does it compare to karen martini's - that is now my benchmark!

  2. the name of the cake is so funny haha... ive only had beetroot cake once and wasn't really sure what to expect but must say i REALLY liked it! must try this recipe sometime =]

  3. I do like the pink icing, that's a new twist on the chocolate beetroot thing.

  4. Johanna - I think it is closer to a straight-up chocolate cake than my memory of Karen Martini's recipe, which I recall having subtle almond and spice flavours. I should make it again to compare properly. :-)

    Winston - it is surprisingly good, isn't it? I was very pleasantly surprised the first time I tried one.

    Kathryn - indeed! It wasn't too difficult, either, just a teaspoon of juice from grated beetroots. Best not to wear your favourite shirt, though. :-)

  5. I think I've blogged about this recipe twice now, and I still love it. It really was the most moist and delicious chocolate cake I've ever baked. Yum :D

  6. Vegiebug - I agree! I would even make the cake without the beetroot for other purposes I reckon. :-)

  7. Replies
    1. Hi Johnathan! I still make it on occasion too. :-)

    2. I've just shared the recipe over here (with a few minor alterations):

    3. Yay, thanks for sharing the recipe on. :-)