Beetroot is coming into season now, so it is a great time to try out this classy vegetable. Beetroot adds a delicious vitamin-blast to salads, makes an unusual hummus and juices up well if you enjoy a vegetable drink.

The concept of mixing beetroot into cake may be a surprise – but the flavours and textures really do work well together to produce a wonderful moist cake.

This recipe is kept as simple as possible for time-poor cake makers, with easily available ingredients (here is a gluten-free alternative).

For a short-cut, buy your beetroot ready to eat in a vacuum pack and omit the first step. Using a food processor also reduces the mess from the beetroot. However it’s a good idea not to wear your best clothes when cooking this!

You get anti-oxidants from both the beetroot and the chocolate, so there’s a good excuse to give the cake a try. It will keep for a few days in an airtight tin – if it gets the chance!


3 medium beetroot, or a pack of pre-cooked beetroot – omit step 1 if the latter

200g self-raising flour

1 tsp baking powder

200g caster sugar, or fine brown sugar if preferred

3 eggs

200 ml sunflower oil

150 g cooking chocolate (70% cocoa or more), broken into pieces


  1. Place the raw beetroot in a small saucepan, add boiling water to cover and boil until tender, about 40 mins depending on size. Make sure the pan does not boil dry. Drain when soft and allow to cool.
  2. Chop the cooked beetroot into pieces and pulse in the food processor until smooth.
  3. Add the eggs one by one, blending between each addition. Then add the oil and sugar.
  4. Add the chocolate pieces, blending again.
  5. Finally, add the flour and baking powder and blend once more.
  6. Grease one deep baking tin (or two shallow ones) and tip the mixture into it, levelling off.
  7. Bake at gas mark 4, 180 degrees centigrade or 160 degrees fan for about half an hour. Cake is done when a skewer or knife pushed into it comes out clean.
  8. Cool on a wire rack. Serve as is, dusted with a little icing sugar or with crème fraiche or yogurt.

The Author

Jessica Ambrose

Jessica is a fitness writer who loves long distance running, yoga, strength training and healthy eating.


Matthew C.
24 July 2016

Matthew C.

You could also use spelt flour for a gluten-free version. I use spelt flour in most of my cakes/pastries and it works just as well.

Emma C.
22 July 2016

Emma C.

This is one of those cakes that sounds healthy, but actually it's still packed with sugar and if you calculated how much beetroot you actually got per slice it wouldn't be much. Halve the sugar and use wholemeal SR flour and you have a healthier cake!

Frank H.
21 July 2016

Frank H.

I've never been convinced by the veg-cake combo (I'm not one for carrot cake) but I've heard so many good things about how beetroot makes chocolate taste even better. I'm very tempted.

Trevor D.
20 July 2016

Trevor D.

at first look I thought 'hmmm....' but on reflection I think it could work. As soon as things cool off I'll be doing some baking.

Sasha B.
20 July 2016

Sasha B.

I have tried a similar cake but used raw grated beetroot. It's a bit messier but saves on cooking the beetroot. Might be even healthier too.

Peter W.
20 July 2016

Peter W.

Im going to try this on my kids, no way they'd touch beet normally but in a cake maybe...

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