When life gives you beets... make a cake!

This cake, adapted from Farmer John’s Cookbook: The Real Dirt on Vegetables, is chocolate heaven. When my uncle (a self-proclaimed beet-hater) tasted it, he kept asking my mother how she got it to be so moist and delicious. She tried to dodge the question, but he kept at it until she admitted the secret ingredient: beets! He was certainly surprised, but that didn’t stop him from going back for seconds. I always ask for it on my birthday because it’s just that good.

Cary Chapman
BMSP Volunteer Fall 2014

Chocolate Beet Cake


3 or 4 medium beets (becomes 2 cups pureed cooked beets)
4 ounces unsweetened chocolate
1 cup olive oil or canola oil
3 eggs
1 ¾ cups sugar
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
½ cup whole wheat pastry flour
½ cup unsweetened cocoa
2 teaspoons baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
powdered sugar

1. Cook the beets: in a saucepan, cover beets with water and boil 30-45 minutes. Remove the skin, quarter the beets and puree them in food processor with a little bit of the water they cooked in. You should end up with 2 cups of pureed cooked beets.

2. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Lightly coat a 10-cup Bundt pan or tube pan with oil and dust with flour.

3. Combine the chocolate and oil in a Pyrex liquid measuring cup. Microwave on the defrost setting just until the chocolate melts.

4. Combine the eggs and sugar in a large bowl and beat with an electric mixer until fluffy. Slowly beat in the oil/chocolate mixture, beets, and vanilla.

5. Whisk the flours together and stir in the baking soda and salt. Gently stir the flour mixture into the egg and chocolate mixture just until the flour is mixed in. Pour batter into the prepared pan.

6. Bake until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean, about 40-45 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and set it on a wire rack to cool for 30 minutes.

7. Carefully remove the cake from the pan and let cool on the rack. When completely cool, dust with powdered sugar, and enjoy!


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