Fudgy Chocolate Beet Cake

fudgy chocolate beet cake
Photo: Jonathan Lovekin
Prep Time:
30 mins
Total Time:
4 hrs
1 9-inch cake

You won't taste the pureed beets, but they make this cake extra-moist and fudgy, even with the addition of whole-grain spelt flour. They also play up the cake's full-bodied, not-too-sweet flavor. This recipe appears in our cookbook, "A New Way to Bake" (Clarkson Potter).



  • 4 medium beets (1 ½ pounds), trimmed, peeled, and cut into 2-inch chunks

  • ¼ cup safflower oil, plus more for pan

  • 1 cup spelt flour, such as Bob's Red Mill

  • 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour

  • 1 ½ cups natural cane sugar

  • ½ cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder

  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking soda

  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt

  • 2 large eggs, room temperature

  • ¾ cup warm water

  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Chocolate-Ganache Frosting

  • 3 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped

  • ½ cup heavy cream


  1. Cake: Place beets in a steamer basket set in a saucepan containing 2 inches of simmering water. Cover and steam until tender when pierced with a sharp knife, about 25 minutes. Let cool slightly, then puree in a food processor until smooth.

  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Brush a 9-inch square or round cake pan with oil. Line bottom with parchment; brush parchment. In a large bowl, whisk together both flours, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. Whisk in eggs, water, oil, vanilla, and 1 1/4 cups beet puree (reserve remaining puree for another use, refrigerated in an airtight container up to 3 days). Pour batter into prepared pan.

  3. Bake, rotating pan halfway through, until cake is set and a tester inserted in center comes out clean, about 35 minutes. Transfer pan to a wire rack and let cool 20 minutes. Invert cake onto rack; let cool completely.

  4. Chocolate-Ganache Frosting: Place chocolate in a heatproof bowl. In a small saucepan, heat cream until just simmering. Pour cream over chocolate; let stand 10 minutes, then stir until smooth. Let stand, stirring occasionally, until thickened and spreadable, about 1 hour. Use immediately.

  5. Place cake on a cake plate and spread evenly with frosting. Cake can be stored, covered, at room temperature up to 2 days.

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