Double chocolate beetroot cakes

Delusion is a wonderful thing. It’s why dress shops have flattering mirrors, why cosmetic counters have soft lighting and why a whole industry has sprung up around ‘healthy’ baking.

There are two ingredients required for ‘healthy’ baking – either fruit and vegetables (hello, carrot cake) or oats (to whit, the entire British flapjack industry). Now, few people will dispute the merits of vegetables or whole grains, but they’re not enough to mitigate the ingredients needed to turn them into cakes or biscuits. Far better, I think, to concentrate on the deliciousness imparted by a couple of juicy beetroots to a trayful of chocolate-studded cakes than angst about whether they’re good for you or not.

Double Chocolate Beetroot Cakes With Cream Cheese And Honey Frosting

Double chocolate and beetroot cakes
This is a good school holiday activity for idle hands – especially if you can get them involved in the dishes afterwards. This recipe makes around 18 cakes, which keep well in an airtight tin and can be frozen very successfully for lunchboxes or unexpected visitors.

It’s also a fitting entry for October’s Tea Time Treats, a blogging event run by Karen of Lavender and Lovage and Jane of The Hedgecombers. This month, they’re looking for recipes containing fruit and vegetables. If you subscribe to the theory that chocolate is derived from a fruit, then this fits the bill on both counts.

2 cups wholemeal flour
3/4 cup caster sugar
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
4Tbsp good quality cocoa
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 cup coconut
3/4 cup roughly chopped dark chocolate
3 eggs
3/4 cup caster sugar
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
2/3 cup oil
1/4 cup yoghurt
3 cups finely grated raw beetroot (about 2 medium beetroots)

Heat the oven to 160C (fanbake) and line 18-muffin pans with cupcake liners (not essential, but makes for easier cleaning up and no anxiety when it comes to getting them out of the tin).
Sift the flour, cocoa, spices and baking soda into a bowl. Stir in the coconut and chopped chocolate and set aside.
Beat the eggs, sugar, yoghurt and oil together until thick and pale. Fold in the dry ingredients, then the beetroot. Divide between the prepared tins – each one should be about two-thirds full – and bake for 20-25 minutes.
I like these just as they are, but they’re also very good with a simple cream cheese icing (beat together 1 cup soft cream cheese with 2 Tbsp honey and 1/2 tsp pure vanilla) and a scattering of chocolate. (That does make them less ‘healthy’ though!)

What’s your favourite ‘healthy’ baking treat?

Easy Beetroot And Chocolate Cakes



  1. October 7, 2014 / 6:17 am

    I agree entirely. But then I live in a world where butter, sugar and eggs are a superfood. Love beetroot and chocolate. Your little cupcakes look adorable.

    • October 16, 2014 / 2:57 am

      Thank you – my motto is, if it makes you feel super happy, it must be a super food!

  2. October 7, 2014 / 7:25 am

    I'm totally with you on this! And these cakes look lovely and perfectly formed. That ginger cream icing sounds wonderful!

  3. October 9, 2014 / 1:37 am

    These sound delicious and I quite fancy the honey and cream cheese frosting. I guess it is a good thing if we just start to love vegetables because they are yummy rather than because they are healthy.

    • October 16, 2014 / 2:58 am

      Yes, that's a very good reason (re the veges). A good lesson for kids too, I think…

  4. October 12, 2014 / 4:19 am

    Chocolate and beetroot cake is once of my favourites, and definitely qualifies as health food in my opinion – could even pass as breakfast food I reckon. Love the idea of making individual cakes – nothing like a bit of "healthy" portion control xo

    • October 16, 2014 / 2:56 am

      Yes, re portion control (but it doesn't stop you eating more than one at a time, oops!)

  5. Anonymous
    April 8, 2015 / 2:02 am

    Re the recipe in The Press 8 April 2015 for a Coffee Banana cake. What is the real quantity of cold coffee needed? The ingredients state 3/4 cup but the text says add 2 teaspoons to the cake mix and then 3-4 tablespoons to the icing. What happens to the rest or is this a misprint?
    Thank you

    • April 9, 2015 / 2:04 am

      Hi there, thanks for your query. Those amounts are all correct – I suggest making 3/4 cup of coffee rather than trying to mix the correct quantity of coffee and water for those smaller amounts. There is a little bit of wastage, but if you're using leftover coffee in the plunger anyway, this isn't much of an issue. Hope that helps and that you enjoy the cake!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *