Wednesday 15 October 2014

Chocolate and beetroot sandwich cake

Those of you who have been following my Kitchen Garden Notes series will know that I've been growing some beetroot this year. I've never tried growing it from seed before and like most of my crops they have been sowed in a container. When the theme for one of the Clandestine Cake Club groups I belong to was announced as 'Market Fresh/Seasonal' I decided straight away that my beetroot would be sacrificed for the cause. However upon inspection of the said beetroot they didn't seem big enough for the amount I needed so Mr JibberJabber was dispatched to the Moor Market in Sheffield for a bunch of beetroot!

I've had a look through several chocolate and beetroot cake recipes and they all seemed to require the beetroot to be be boiled first. I can't understand this as when I have used other root vegetables such as carrots and parsnips in cakes I just grate them. So being 'time efficient' the beetroot was prepared in just the same way. I would advise you to use the grating plates on a food processor if you have one as grating on a box grater will have you ending up looking like there was been a blood bath in the kitchen.

For the filling I used my homemade blackberry and apple jelly but any dark fruit jelly or jam such as blackcurrant or damson would work well. I can't take the credit for the decoration idea. Whilst searching through cookbooks I came across a chocolate and beetroot cake in Fiona Cairns' Bake and Decorate. She used the beetroot boiling water to create the shocking pink colour but of course I didn't have of that so I resorted to pink food gel colouring.

I did want to a take a photo of it sliced but I didn't get the chance. Although there were only six of us at the meeting I came home with an empty plate. It seemed to go down very well with one happy chappy whisking off with three slices of it!

Equipment: 2 x 8in (20cm) sandwich tins greased and lined, food processor with grating plates or box grater, electric whisk/beaters.


2oz (55g) Cocoa powder
6 tbsp (90ml) Boiling water
6oz (170g) Plain flour
1½ tsp (7.5ml) Baking powder
½ tsp (2.5ml) Bicarbonate of soda
8oz (225g) Caster sugar
4oz (115g) Unsalted butter, softened or baking spread
3 Large eggs
5 tbsp (75ml) Milk
1 tsp (5ml) Vanilla extract
8oz (225g) Beetroot, peeled and finely grated
3oz (85g) Dark chocolate, chopped


2-3 tbsp (30-45ml) Dark fruit jam or jelly such as blackberry, blackcurrant or damson.


7oz (200g) Icing sugar
Pink gel food colouring
1oz (25g) White chocolate, broken into small pieces
1oz (25g) Dark chocolate, broken into small pieces


1. Pre-heat the oven to 180°C/Gas mark 4.
2. Make up the cocoa powder by mixing in small bowl or jug with the boiling water. Leave to one side
3. In a large bowl sift the flour, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda. Add the cocoa mixture then the sugar, butter, eggs, milk and vanilla extract.
4. Beat this all together with the electric whisk until it is smooth and there are no pockets of flour left.
5. Stir in the beetroot and chocolate.
6. Get the prepared sandwich tins and divide the mixture equally between the two.
7. Bake for 40-45 minutes until the tops are cooked but springy. Leave in the tins for 10 minutes before turning out and leaving to cool on a wire rack.
8. Once the cakes have cooled completely spread one layer with the jam or jelly and place the other on top.
9. Make up the icing by putting into a large bowl and adding a little cold water and some of the food colouring. Just add a little water and food colouring at a time and stir well. Add extra if required. The consistency should be runny enough to be able to pour over.
10. Leave the icing to set for at least an hour.
11. Once the icing has set melt the chocolate one at a time in a bain marie. Over a small saucepan of hot water put a glass bowl (make sure the bowl doesn't touch the water) and add the chocolate. Keep stirring until it is all melted.
12. Use a spoon to gather up some of the melted chocolate and then drizzle over the cake.
13. Repeat with the other chocolate.
14. Leave to set.


  1. I made a chocolate and beetroot cake in the summer and it tasted amazing, no one had a clue what was in it until I told them x

    1. It's a great way of hiding a bit of veg in a cake.

  2. I have never tried Betroot.......but this looks amazing!! May be tempted to try it!

    1. It normally has quite an 'earthy' taste to it but the chocolate and cake mixture disguises it.

  3. I have only made beetroot muffins. Your cake looks delicious.

    1. I've not tried beetroot in muffins yet. I do like a nice, quick bake.

  4. Beautiful cake! I must say the one thing that has put me off making it is the grating just ends up staining everything. I will try your food processor grating tip. Thanks for linking to #CookBlogShare

    1. I always grate vegetables using the food processor. I think with beetroot as well it saves so much mess!

  5. I love the description of the blood bath in the kitchen. This looks lovely, never tried beetroot in a cake.

    1. With the colour of the beetroot and the discinct possibility of fingers being grated as well it could well happen!

  6. Look at the fantastic colours on that cake! Just beautiful - genius idea to grate the beetroot (and thanks for the bloodbath tip!) Thanks so much for joining in with #Bakeoftheweek great to have you on board. x

  7. Oh my. This looks delicious. I love beetroot but have never had it in a cake. Pinning so I can give it to someone who can cook to make for me!

  8. What a wonderful looking cake. Sounds deep and rich and the decoration is beautiful!I love the messy two-tone drizzle against the pink.

  9. I dont like beetroot, but I am willing to give this a go, anything is improved by chocolate surely!

  10. I made a chocolate beetroot cake last week as well - I absolutely love what you've done with your icing here - looks incredible! #CookBlogShare

  11. Oh my! this look and sounds delicious I can't wait to try it out! This owuld be the perfect cake to present in christmas as it's so pretty :) x

  12. I'm yet to try using beetroot in baking. It looks delicious :)

  13. Yummy - I've had beetroot cake before and you cannot tell that it is beetroot! Love the jazzy purple icing!

  14. I saw the pic and thought what a delicious cake! I must say when I read the the post's name I was a bit put off. I just couldn't imagine the cake from the pic and a beetroot together. But reading a bit more and especially after reading the recipe and remembering that beetroot is sweet, I actually can imagine the two together. Yummy!

  15. I have never really cooked with beetroot. It does sound interesting. The sweetness should give it a nice lift.

  16. What a pretty cake! I too used beetroot in my bake but I roasted it first. I never thought of just grating it into the mixture! Clever! :)

  17. I love how vibrant this is! It would certainly stand out on the diner table x


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