Iron Chef Shellie

Beetroot & Chocolate Cake

“I'll give anything a go once, but beetroot and chocolate? Is it a winning combination?”

Beetroot & Chocolate Cake

Beetroot & Chocolate Cake

My friends had bought me a chocolate cookbook a few years ago, and there was a recipe in there for chocolate cake with beetroot. It’s been on my list for a while, and I also found this recipe in an issue of BBC Good Food magazine. What made it happen was I was given a couple of fresh beetroot and wasn’t sure what to do with them. I didn’t feel like roasting them or making them into one of my favourite salads, so the answer always comes back to… can I put it in a cake?

If there is a chocolate cake recipe with a twist, be sure I’ll try it out. I did try a chocolate cake with mayonnaise a while ago… which isn’t a pleasant memory, so I was hoping this one would be better. Hamsely usually quizzes me what’s in a dish before he eats it, and I went to great lengths so he wouldn’t find out there was beetroot involved until he had at least taken a bite. I did succeed, and as he chomped down a bite, I blurted “It’s got BEETROOT inside!!” … of course once he knew that he was adamant to eat anymore.

It was a very moist cake, and an old school friend of mine also made this cake after seeing I made it. She enjoyed it, and I didn’t mind it. Next time I will try Joy The Baker’s recipe, which involves cooking the beetroot instead of using raw beetroot.

Beetroot & Chocolate Cake

BBC Good Food Magazine

  • 1½ cups (225g) plain flour
  • 1 cup (150g) self-raising flour
  • 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • ½ cup (50g) Dutch cocoa, plus extra to dust
  • 1½ cups (330g) caster sugar
  • 4 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup (250ml) light olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
  • 360g beetroot, peeled, coarsely grated
  • ½ cup (75g) dark chocolate melts, coarsely chopped


  • 250g reduced-fat cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup (120g) icing sugar mixture
  • ½ cup (50g) Dutch cocoa
  1. Preheat oven to 160ºC or 140ºC fan. Grease and line base and side of a deep 22cm round cake pan with baking paper.
  2. Sift flours, bicarbonate of soda and cocoa into a large bowl. Stir in sugar. Make a well at centre.
  3. Whisk eggs, oil and vanilla in a large jug until combined. Pour egg mixture into dry ingredients and stir until just combined. Stir in beetroot and chocolate until combined. Spoon into prepared pan and smooth surface. Bake for 1 hr 30 mins, until a skewer inserted at centre comes out clean. Stand in pan for 5 mins, then turn cake out onto wire rack to cool completely.
  4. Meanwhile, to make icing, beat cream cheese and vanilla in a small bowl until fluffy. Add sifted icing sugar and cocoa, and beat on low speed until combined and smooth.
  5. Spread icing over top and side of cooled cake. Dust with extra Dutch cocoa powder.

Serves 16.

Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to three days. Serve at room temperature.


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Beetroot & Chocolate Cake

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7 comments on “Beetroot & Chocolate Cake
  1. Vien @ We Dare Food - May 28, 2012 at 5:00 pm

    A friend of mine made a choc mayo cake not too long ago and it actually tasted good! Though, she used zumbo’s recipe and kewpie mayo instead. Maybe that made the difference! Your choc beetroot cake looks really yummy! 😀

  2. Leah - May 28, 2012 at 5:23 pm

    I’ve made a Chocolate and beetroot cake before and love it. But yeah I think it makes a huge difference if you cook it first, it sweetens it.

  3. abigail wilson - May 28, 2012 at 5:34 pm

    Who wouldn’t want to try and eat that Beetroot chocolate cake. Just by looking at it, you will be tempted to have a taste of it. It seems that its easy to make though of course it will be hard during the first try.

  4. Michelle - May 28, 2012 at 8:42 pm

    I personally dig into beetroot so this would not be an issue. kekekeke

  5. Daisy@Nevertoosweet - May 28, 2012 at 10:50 pm

    I’ve never made a beetroot and chocolate cake :) But I’ve seen these recipes around but never had the courage to make it because lol I don’t even like beetroot as a vegetable so I don’t think I’ll like it more if it was in a cake 😛 but maybe I should try… lol it sounds interesting ~ And like i said on Twitter love your photos! Need to try harder with mine hehe 😀

  6. Anna - May 30, 2012 at 12:34 am

    Hi Chef,

    I love cooking and baking… I even watch cooking shows and get ideas about cooking… makes me relaxed everytime I cook and bake. Thank you so much for sharing the recipe… I will surely try this!

    Hopefully you continue to share more mouth-watering recipes… sweets!!!

  7. Heidi - Apples Under My Bed - June 5, 2012 at 5:22 pm

    yum!! But yes, I think joy the baker’s recipe will be the way to go! Love the idea of it…
    Heidi xo

Shellie Froidevaux

All content on this site by Shellie Froidevaux, otherwise known as Iron Chef Shellie. Her skills include food styling in her kitchen studio, lifestyle and travel photography across Australia, restaurant photography on location, styling and shooting social media for her clients, recipe development with love and photography workshops for people with discerning tastes :)

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