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Chocolate and beetroot cake

This may seem like an unlikely combination and to some even unappealing but believe me it’s wonderful – the beetroot adds an earthy tone and lots of moisture for a succulent deep brown chocolate cake. Cover in the cream cheese icing or for a dessert serve with mascarpone into which you have grated orange zest. Decorate with garden flowers, here I have used violas but marigolds and borage look so summery too. Jekkas Herbs sell an edible seed packet for a few pounds, I bought mine at Chelsea Flower Show and have had edible flowers all summer – you could even grow them in pots on a balcony! If you can’t get buttermilk – use 100ml milk with a squirt of lemon juice that you leave for 10mins before using. It will look curdled.

Chocolate and beetroot cake

Serves 8

  • 275g dark 70% chocolate
  • 250g dark muscovado sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 100ml buttermilk
  • 40ml sunflower oil
  • 100g plain flour
  • 1 medium cooked beetroot, grated
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder

Cream Cheese Icing

  • 300g icing sugar
  • 50g butter (softened to room temperature)
  • 125g cream cheese

Line the base of a 23cm cake tin with greaseproof or silicone and wipe sides with a little oil.

Preheat the oven to 180 °C.

Melt the chocolate over a bowl of simmering water.

Cream the sugar and eggs until light and airy.

Pour in buttermilk, oil and melted chocolate.

Stir in the grated beetroot.

Sieve in the last three dry ingredients and fold in.

Bake for approx. 45 minutes until an inserted skewer comes out clean.

An alternative is to make cupcakes, which would take about 25 minutes.

Leave to cool in the tin before removing.

Make the cream cheese icing by simply mixing the three ingredients together. Decorate with flowers – I used violas.

For a delicious dessert serve with a dollop of mascarpone cheese with grated zest of orange folded in rather than the icing.

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2 comments on “Chocolate and beetroot cake


17 Jan 2013

Unbelievably good even if I did have to keep the fact it had beetroot in a secret from the kids at first. Thank you.



24 Apr 2013

Made this last week. What a fabulous cake, tastes even better the next day. Will try it next time as a dessert with the orange mascarpone. Thanks Sally


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Through The Natural Pantry I hope to share with you some of the delicious recipes discovered whilst cooking in my kitchen with produce grown in our garden and the very best natural ingredients.