Chocolate Beetroot Cake

Chocolate Beetroot Cake – Gluten Free

Five years ago, I came across a strange combination at an organic cafe that caught my eye. It was a Beetroot and Chocolate cake. I was intrigued and had to sink my teeth into a slice. I am so glad I did, as it was one of the most heavenly delights I had ever tried. The combination of sweet earthy beetroots with the familiar taste of chocolate was just heavenly. I returned a week later to find that it was no longer on the menu (unfortunately not enough patrons had crazy or adventurous taste buds like me). I searched online and tried several recipes to try to replicate the creation although they never quite hit the mark.

So, I developed my very own. And here it is, for your crazy and adventurous taste buds to delight in.


With the addition of nuts (ground almonds) and beetroots, this is a healthier cake than your average chocolate cake.

Packed full of fibre, vitamin E, and antioxidants, it can also be adjusted to be gluten-free very easily. It does contain sugar and fat, although we have used olive oil (a heart healthy oil) as a substitute for butter.

Cake Ingredients

  • 85 grams dark chocolate
  • 3 medium eggs
  • 300 grams rapidura, coconut or brown sugar
  • 200 ml olive or sunflower oil
  • 300 grams cooked beetroots (see method below for how to cook the beets)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (or 1tbsp vanilla essence)
  • 30 grams cocoa or cacao powder (you choose)
  • 200 grams almond meal (or plain flour)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder (or gluten free baking powder)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt


  • Pre heat oven to 180 degrees celsius.
  • To cook the beetroots, wash thoroughly and place in a pot full of cold water. Bring pot to the boil and cook the beets until soft when poked with a knife (approx 30 minutes though this depends on the size of the beets).
  • When cooked, run the beets under cold water in the sink and rub off the skins.
  •  Blend or mash the beetroots until slightly smooth but still some ‘chunks’ remaining.
  • Reserve the water that you cooked the beetroots in (it will be bright red!) and re-use to cook rice, lentils etc (it will turn rice a lovely fun red colour). It will not be added to the cake though.
  • Melt the chocolate (85grams) over a double boiler (or place the chopped chocolate in a bowl, cover with cling film and microwave on low for approximately 1 minute until chocolate has just melted. When you remove from the microwave, stir quickly to melt any pieces that are still solid).
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, sugar and oil.
  • Slowly add the cooked beet puree , the melted chocolate and vanilla into the egg mixture.
  • Beat just until combined. Don’t over work it.
  • Sift the cocoa. Add this and the almond meal (or plain flour), baking soda and salt to the beet batter.
  • Fold just until everything is combined. Don’t over mix the batter.
  •  Spread a teaspoon of butter or oil over the surface of a 10 inch cake pan. Sprinkle some flour all over, and tap out the excess. Pour the cake batter into the prepared cake tin.
  • Bake for approximately 50 minutes.
  • Cake is ready when a tooth pick or skewer inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean. Baking time may vary depending on the pan and oven you are using as well as the freshness and water content of the beetroot. You may need to cook for approximately 1.5 hours. Keep checking every 10 minutes.
  • Remove from oven and leave to cool in the pan.

While the cake is baking, work on the  frosting:

Ingredients for the cream cheese icing (optional)

  • 1 cup cream/reduced fat cream/light cream
  • 1 cup of  Cream Cheese/ reduced fat cream cheese such as Philadelphia ‘5% fat’
  • ½ cup Icing Sugar or honey
  • Plain chocolate bar for chocolate shaving decorations


  • Place the cream in a bowl and whip to soft peaks.
  • Add the icing sugar and cream cheese and beat until combined (Add more or less sugar until the desired taste).
  • You can also use variations of this icing, by adding 1/2 cup cocoa or half a cooked blended beetroot.
  • Using a potato peeler, hold the chocolate bar in one hand and use the peeler to shave off curls of chocolate. Sprinkle these on top of the cake to decorate.


If you enjoy baking with vegetables you might want to take a peek at our Healthy Pumpkin and Olive Oil cakes

Or how about our Berry and Beetroot Smoothie?


43 thoughts on “Chocolate Beetroot Cake

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    • Hi Alona, thanks for your feedback! You could try using half a cup less oil, but I would think it maybe needed an extra 5 or 10 minutes cooking in the oven? Maybe give the longer cooking time a go. Everyone’s oven is different and maybe my oven was a little hotter. Let me know how you go next time! Thanks for giving the recipe a try, have you tried any others?

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  6. excellent recipe but my cake didn’t rise much. I was maybe thinking about adding a little more baking powder, and maybe some more plain flour for added structure. What do you think? Amazing flavor by the way!!!

    • Hi Thomas! Thanks for trying the recipe! Sorry to hear that it didn’t rise much, that is ashame. Did it rise less than the one in our picture. Your right, try adding another 1.5 teaspoons of baking powder. Also make sure that the oven is at the correct temperature before putting it in, as it is that initial heat that will help it to rise.

      We haven’t had a problem with it rising, so could you let us know how you go if you make it again as we are very interested to know what you come up with! You’ll be able to share your wisdom with us!

      Happy cooking!

  7. do you think it would work with raw grated beetroot instead of cooked beetroot? (carrot cake recipes use raw grated carrot)

  8. hi… have tried this once (used butter instead of olive oil) and it turned out AMAZING!!! i want to try again but i’m wondering if buckwheat flour would work instead of the almond meal/ flour… thanks! :>

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  10. Forgot I’d been here before! Your recipe must have stayed in my mind then when I wanted to make it I found another recipe. Not making the same mistake again! copying now and saving!
    Love the idea too of keeping the red water for rice etc!

    All the best 🙂

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  14. Gosh I love this cake – I made a few changes:

    Used tinned beetroot
    Reduced the oil and top it up with milk instead
    Used 50g of sr flour with 150g of ground almonds
    If I don’t have chocolate I use extra good quality cocoa
    Reduced sugar to 200-250g instead
    I had small eggs 50g do I used 4 instead.

    Worked beautifully!

  15. I can’t wait to try this! I do have one question. I have insulin resistance and wanted to know if I could replace the sugar with honey and if so how much should I use?
    Thank you

  16. Wanted to let you know we made this cake and loved it! Substituted coconut oil for the olive oil as my son has dietary restrictions, and used 50g plain flour and the rest wholemeal plain as we ran out, and it was perfect. A few mins extra in my oven which runs cold, and it developed a lovely crunchy crust, no need for icing. Will definitely make again!

  17. Made it with a mixture of sugars as I was running out and about 3/4 of the oil you suggested, Also my own ground toasted almonds. beautiful and delicious. Thank you.

  18. Made this cake about an hour ago. Got to say I’m pretty heartbroken. The outside of the cake was cooked and crunchy and the second I touched it or let the collar off the mould the entire thing was a sloppy oily mess. Pretty gutted

      • After the 50 mins it was still a little undercooked so we put it back in for another 10 and it came out clean. As it sat to cool I guess the oil all settled to the bottom and it just fell apart. Would like to give it another go but will use much less oil

  19. I am definitely going to give this one a go! Just curious, can the cake be frozen? I prefer to make mini muffins out of it, or portion out the cake and freeze it so I can throw it in lunchboxes..

  20. Just made this cake today – wanted to try something a little different. As per the review above, at 50 mins I popped a skewer in and it wasn’t quite ready so put it in for another 10 minutes. The skewer came out clean from a few prods, so I took the cake out to let it cool. It sank in the middle and has stayed very dense in the middle.
    I had trouble with the cream cheese icing, I tried it with the honey as an alternative to the icing sugar… big no go. Lost the delicious cream cheese flavour as it was a dominant honey flavour. Also couldn’t get it to set, even added icing sugar and it just stayed runny : (

    It had to be tried, shame it wasn’t successful. Would been keen to give it another go but will review some of the feedback for alternatives and fixes.

  21. I have had nothing but sucess with this divine recipe, my 10 year old daughter also joins in with the cooking fun. I’ve passed it on to my mum who has also loves it and it has become her new favourite cake to make for visitors.

  22. I’ve been meaning to try this recipe out for months and finally got around to it today…I’m so glad I did! I made a few minor deviations from the recipe (I used raw grated beetroot, 2 extra-large eggs and only 150 mL olive oil), but the mixture made 12 absolutely delicious muffins. Thank you – I’ll definitely be baking this one again!

  23. Found that cake in a cafe in Manly and thought I’ll look for the recipe and try and bake it myself. Gonna try the beetroot and choc cake right the way! Thanks for sharing the recipe! 🙂

  24. I was wondering about the coconut flour option…. is there any way or substitue to make it a gluten and nut free cake…. also could i use coconut oil instead of the olive oil? I was thinking of replacing the cocoa with cacao and the brown sugar with rice malt syrup……… trying to make it as healthy as possible without killing it……

    • Hi Ami, I would suggest simply using a gluten free flour in equal quantities. You can use coconut oil if you wish. You can also use cacao if you wish, although will waste your money as heating the cacao in the baking process will destroy the nutrients. You can also use rice malt syrup although I don’t consider this a healthier option as it is not as sweet, you use twice as much and therefore twice the calories. It is also high GI. Use rapidura or coconut sugar as an option.

      Let us know how you go!

  25. This cake is beautiful, ive made it with Almond meal & plain flour & both times it was delicious. I want to make it for my daughters birthday – has anyone made it in a large quantity before? Im assuming I just triple the recipe but keen for feedback?!

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