September 17, 2015


chocolate beetroot cake

For our last Clandestine Cake Club meeting in the Loire the theme was “guess the mystery ingredient”.  Putting weird vegetables and odd spices in a cake is common place these days.  Parsnips, carrots, courgettes and other unlikely things were unheard of when I started baking properly (as a grown up) in the 70’s.  Nowadays there are plenty of recipes around to include something out of the ordinary.

I decided to make a cake I’ve had a hankering to bake for quite some time.  It first appeared in Dom’s Bellau Kitchen blog here and he recently made it again and decorated it even more fabulously here.*

chocolate beetroot cake2chocolate beetroot cake3

I stuck to Dom’s recipe apart from the fact that I increased the amount of apple and reduced the amount of beetroot.  The theory being that I would label my cake as a chocolate beetroot cake, as I thought the beetroot might be an easy guess, leaving the apple as the “mystery ingredient”. 

I was wrong!  Both the beetroot and the apple were impossible to detect in the cake and nobody guessed it.  It was however beautifully moist and incredibly chocolatey.  I would guess that you could disguise anything with that amount of chocolate in a cake – it would be a very good contender for a murder mystery!

chocolate beetroot cake4

I didn’t quite achieve the depth of pink in the icing of Dom’s cakes, even after adding a splash of pink colouring, but it looked very pretty all the same.  Definitely a cake I shall be making again.

My one tip to add to the recipe is that if you put a dinner plate under the cooling rack when you drizzle the melted chocolate over the cake, any that runs off can be spooned up and drizzled again.

mystery 8

There were, as always, some splendid cakes on the table at the Loire Valley CCC meeting and you can read all about that here.


I am being really cheeky this month and sending Dom’s own cake to his monthly “simply eggcellent” challenge, which this month is “cakes”!  You can see the details here.  Well, he asked for it really, didn’t he, n’est-ce-pas?!


*One of the original links has disappeared so, in case they both disappear, here is the recipe:

For the cake

250g plain chocolate, broken into chunks

3 large eggs

200g light muscovado (or light soft brown) sugar

100ml sunflower oil

1 tsp vanilla extract

100g self raising flour

1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda

1/2 tsp baking powder

50g ground almonds

200g raw beetroot finely grated and squeezed to remove most of the juice (reserve the juice)

200g dessert apples, finely grated

For the icing

100g icing sugar

100g cream cheese

50g plain chocolate, melted


Preheat the oven to 170C /150 fan.  Prepare a large ring or Bundt tin using the method here.

Melt the plain chocolate either in a bowl over a saucepan of simmering water, or in a microwave.

In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, sugar and oil until smooth.  Stir in the vanilla then fold in the dry ingredients.

Add the beetroot, apple and melted chocolate and fold in.

Transfer the mixture to the tin and bake for 40-60 minutes.  Cool in the tin for 10 minutes before turning out carefully onto a wire rack.

Make sure the cake is completely cool before icing.

To make the icing, beat together the cream cheese and icing sugar, adding enough of the reserved beetroot juice to get a nice pink colour (or use some pink food colouring).

Pour the pink icing over the cake and when it's set drizzle with melted chocolate.

Cuts into 18-20 slices.


  1. I thought your decoration was beautiful! I'm amused by you passing his own cake back to Dom for simply eggcellent. I bought a ring tin today -- €3 for a professional quality aluminium one that looks hardly used, from our friend Fabien who runs a brocante shop. We seem to have wanted to make ring cakes sufficiently often recently that I could justify the purchase.The profile looks much like your cake above, so expect a ring cake at the next cake club from one of us!

    1. Susan, turning out a ring cake is always a bit nerve wracking - you can't really line it with baking paper! Lots of butter or cake release spray is the way to do it.

  2. I love the shade of pink that you've used. This is one gorgeous looking cake. I'm a recent convert to Bundt baking and I have to say I'm loving it. Deliciously moist apple and beetroot in a chocolate cake. Yummy. Sammie x

  3. oh my gawd!!!!!! I've been so busy this week I totally missed this... what a stunning cake (even if I do say so myself...) It is one of my favourites and I love it. Interesting that you upped the apple and reduced the beetroot, I must try that too. I love that this cake gets moister each day (if it lasts more than one!) A brilliant link to Simply Eggcellent. I will humbly accept it! So lovely of you to make this cake!

    1. I also baked one to take to the CCC book launch party this afternoon!

  4. That's a very fine cake - if it's a Dom recipe then, of course, it could be nothing else. Love the icing. I can remember carrot cake in the 70s but it was viewed with a certain suspicion at the time. I seem to remember that it was always decorated with almond paste carrots as a sort of warning to the unwary.

    1. Phil, I had forgotten about those faux carrots.
      Maybe I should do faux beetroot for the top next time!