Chocolate & Beetroot Cake

One way to eat your vegetables! ha ha


For the cake:
2 cups plain flour
1 ¾ cups sugar
2/3 cup cocoa powder
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
¾ cup unsalted butter at room temperature, cut into pieces
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 large cooked beetroots, finely grated
1 ¼ cups hot water

For the frosting:
½ cup + 2 tbsp unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
¾ cup cocoa powder, sifted
¾ cup whipping cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
½ tsp salt


To make the cake

  • For the cake, preheat the oven to 180°C.
  • Grease two 8-inch round cake pans.
  • Line the bottom of the pans with parchment paper and dust the sides with flour, tapping out any excess.
  • Sift the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt into a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.
  • Add the butter and mix on low speed until the butter has been worked into the flour (it will seem dry and crumbly).
  • Add the eggs and vanilla and mix in slightly, then mix in the beets.
  • Add the hot water while mixing on low speed, then increase the speed to medium high and continue to mix for 2 to 3 minutes, until the batter is thick and fluffy.
  • Scrape the batter into the prepared pans, spread to level the batter and tap the pans on the counter to knock out any large air pockets.
  • Bake the cakes for about 35 minutes, until a tester inserted in the centre of the cake comes out clean.
  • Cool the cakes in their pans for 30 minutes then turn them out onto a cooling rack to cool completely.

To make the frosting

  • For the frosting, melt the butter in a medium saucepan, then whisk in the sugar and cocoa powder.
  • Continue to whisk this over medium heat until the mixture begins to bubble, then whisk in the cream.
  • Continue to whisk until the mixture returns to a simmer (gentle bubbles) and whisk  for an additional minute.
  • Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the vanilla and salt.
  • Cool the mixture (it will look like a thick fudge sauce) to room temperature, then chill for about 1 hour, stirring occasionally while chilling.
  • This will set the frosting to a spreadable consistency.
  • To assemble, peel the parchment from a cake layer and place it on a plate or platter.
  • Spread an even layer of frosting over the top of the cake and place the second cake layer on top.
  • Frost the top and sides of the cake, spreading until desired effect
  • Chill the cake to set, but pull the cake from the fridge an hour before slicing and serving.