This chocolate beetroot cake recipe has become one of my favourites. Chocolate and beetroots, who thought they would go together so well? But they do and very nicely indeed!
Food Critics No. 1 and No. 2 weren’t able to guess the secret ingredient in these rich and moist mini bundt cakes. I had to tell them but they couldn’t believe it was beetroots they were eating in their chocolate cake. Obviously, they loved it or I wouldn’t be posting this recipe now. I have since made this luscious cake several times and adjusted the ingredients to make the cake even moister and tastier.
The first time I had chocolate beetroot cake was at a coffee shop in London. I could hardly wait for my plate to arrive but was really disappointed when I had the first bite. The cake was too dense and dry and didn’t seem to have any beets in it. It was just a chocolate cake and not a very good one to be honest.
I love cakes that are light and have loads of fruit or veg in them. If you’ve been following my blog you probably know that most cake recipes I have posted have vegetable or fruits in them. Have you seen my Earl Grey Tea, Walnut and Carrot Cake for instance? Or my Spiced Squash and Pistachio Cake? Vegetables and fruit don’t only make cakes “healthy”, they make them delicious too.
The disappointment with the cake I had put me off for a while. Then one day I decided to give it a go myself. I figured the cake had been dry because there wasn’t enough beets in it and also because it was made with chocolate. That sounds stupid, but wait! I often use cocoa powder (cocoa solids) instead of chocolate in my cakes. Cocoa powder makes cakes much lighter than chocolate, even the best, because cocoa butter solidifies as the cake cools and makes the cake dense.
Cocoa powder is what remains after extracting cocoa butter from cocoa beans. It’s highly rich in antioxidants, has much more minerals than any type of chocolate and is absolutely delicious in cakes and biscuits.
I made these mini bundt cakes soon after I bought mini bundt tins and was having a bit of fun with them. The cakes looked pretty cute but I baked the batter in mini loaf tins too and they turned out really nice too.
Beets are the unsung hero of the vegetable garden. They are low-calorie, full of fibre and nutrients. I love to snack on cooked beets as they are and often make my Beetroot and Yoghurt Salad with Pomegranate seeds. I used deep purple beets for this cake but yellow beets will also work very nicely here too.
In the list of ingredients you’ll see olive oil (not extra virgin) and oat bran. These are two of my favourite ingredients. You can substitute flour for oat bran if you don’t have it in your pantry. Do I need to tell you how good olive oil and oat bran are for you? Probably not.
As if there wasn’t a lot of goodness in the cakes already I served them with strawberries. Strawberries and chocolate are the perfect match for me. Anything with strawberries immediately becomes special right away, don’t you think?
One more thing: Plan to make these beauties a day ahead if you can. The longer they rest, the better the flavour and texture will get.
To make 20-24 mini cakes or one regular bundt cake your will need:
- 70g cocoa powder
- 200g flour
- 2 tsp baking powder (preferably organic)
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp salt
- 80g fine oat bran (or add 3 tbsp flour)
- 300g sugar
- 300ml olive oil (or extra-virgin rapeseed oil)
- 4 medium eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 400g cooked beets, grated
- Extra cocoa for dusting the tins
- Lightly grease the bundt tins with vegetable oil or butter or spray them with cooking spray. Dust lightly with cocoa powder and shake out the excess.
- Preheat the oven to 190C/375F.
- Put all the dry ingredients in a bowl and mix well with a whisk or fork.
- Put the sugar in another bowl and add the olive oil. Beat on medium speed until sugar is completely dissolved (about three minutes).
- Add the eggs to the sugar and oil one by one and beat about a minute on medium speed after adding each egg.
- Add 1/3 of the flour mixture to the egg mixture and beat on low speed to incorporate. Add the rest of the flour mix in two batches and beat to incorporate in the same way. Then beat the batter for two more minutes.
- Add the grated beets to the batter and mix well.
- Divide the batter in tins. Bake for 20 minutes or until the tops are browned and a toothpick or cake taster inserted in the centre of the cakes comes out clean. Let cool in the tins for ten minutes.
- Turn the cakes out on a cooling rack and let cool completely.
- Dust with icing sugar or cocoa powder and serve with strawberries. Enjoy!