Last week I received three beetroots in my weekly vegetable delivery. Large, bulbous beets, still covered in their organic Scottish dirt. I knew I wouldn’t eat them – I just don’t like them much – but I knew I would save one to make juice, and at least one to make cake.
I’ve never made a beetroot cake before. I’d never even tasted one, but there was no doubt in mind that chocolate could make even this ugly root taste good. My first attempt was a failure – too dry, the cake collapsed, the texture was tough and dense – so I turned to the Internet. This recipe for fudgy vegan beetroot chocolate cupcakes from Minimalist Baker looked promising. It worked beautifully as a cake, as you can see for yourself.
This recipe totally delivers: it does what is says on the tin. Fudgy, moist but with a good crumb; a deep earthy note that the beets add to the chocolate and makes it just heavenly. No need for ground flaxseed since the beetroot puree binds the batter better than any farm fresh eggs could. But for all its delicious darkness, this cake cries out for a pop of colour, delivered in the form of a runny, bubblegum pink icing. No processed food colouring required; the bright pink comes from the beetroots.
Serve this cake to your friends and family without telling them it contains beetroot. If they guess, they’ll be suckered in already and won’t protest. In fact I bet they’ll go for seconds, and thirds, and then you’ll need to make another cake…
Note: If you pour the icing all over the cake, as in the photos above, the icing will seep into the cake after a few hours. Better to just pour it over each slice as you serve it.
Recipe adapted from Minimalist Baker’s Fudgy Beetroot Chocolate Cupcakes.
Fudgy Beetroot Chocolate Cake with Pink Icing
Tell me on unusual ingredient you’ve used in baked goods before, and which one do you think I should try next?