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This recipe is classed as easy

Rating 3.43 / 5 (56 votes)

Prep time:
15 min
Cook time:
1 hr 5 min

You'll never guess what's inside this deliciously moist and rich-tasting chocolate cake, but here's a tip: it's very good for you


1. Use a vegetable peeler to pare the oranges to give several strips of zest, leaving as little of the white pith attached to the zest as possible. Bring a small saucepan of water to the boil and plunge the orange zest into it. Boil for 1 minute to remove the bitterness from the zest and make it tender, then drain and rinse in a sieve under cold running water. Set aside to drain and cool thoroughly.

2. Meanwhile, prepare a 18cm round spring-clip cake pan by greasing it with butter and lining the base with a disc of silicone paper. Preheat the oven to 190°C/Gas 5.

3. Sift the plain flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt into a large mixing bowl. Stir in the caster sugar and set aside.

4. When the zest is cool, cut the pieces into long, thin slivers, keeping any ragged looking bits to one side. Place the neatest slivers in a small bowl and set aside to decorate the cake after baking. Roughly chop the remainder.

5. Peel the cooked beetroot if necessary and purée the flesh using a hand blender to give a smooth, slightly textured paste. Place in a large jug or mixing bowl and beat in the eggs and vanilla. Slowly add the oil and stir until fairly smooth. Add the walnuts and roughly chopped pieces of orange rind and stir through until evenly combined.

6. Carefully add the jug of wet ingredients to the dry flour mixture, stirring only until the mixture is just combined.

7. Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan and bake in the hot oven for about 60 minutes, until a skewer inserted in the centre of the cake comes out cleanly, and the cake has shrunk a little from the side of the pan. Remove the cake from the oven and set aside to cool completely before unclipping the pan.

8. To make the frosting, sift the icing sugar and cocoa powder together. Beat the light cream cheese in a mixing bowl until soft and creamy, then slowly add the icing sugar mixture, then the vanilla extract or orange juice and beat until smooth and glossy. Pour the frosting over the cooled cake and decorate with the reserved strips of orange.

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Latest Comment


Healthy beetroot but look at sugar quantity

JennyW35641 JennyW35641  Posted 18 Oct 2012 7:26 AM

will definitely try this recipe. Sound simple for a beginner like me. Thanks

ArchannaP11242 ArchannaP11242  Posted 17 Jul 2011 12:00 PM

not the best recipe for a really orangy cake but nice as a chocolate cake

Cake Masta Cake Masta  Posted 21 Nov 2010 3:40 PM

I have noticed,using my own version of this recipe, eggs separated, whisked whites to be added at end; slightly more beetroot, slightly less sugar and fat; that the cake tends not to keep if left out of the fridge. It is worth the making though. My beetroot hating offspring will actually eat it and my beetroot loving husband will leave it alone!

Jacqui 1959 Jacqui 1959 Posted 18 Sep 2010 9:51 AM

Fantastic cake - so easy to make and nothing but great comments on how good it is, the smell coming out of the oven while it is baking is so scrummy

DorothyD9112 DorothyD9112 Posted 30 May 2010 7:55 PM

really enjoyed this cake made it at the school baking club with great reviews

triplet triplet Posted 02 May 2010 2:46 PM

I'm a complete novice when it comes to baking but this cake turned out really nice and tastes amazingly good.

AkudoI85412 AkudoI85412 Posted 05 Mar 2009 11:42 AM

Have made this cake a LOT! Everyone loves it and can't believe the ingredients...

Kiy Kiy Posted 27 Aug 2008 10:15 AM