Chocolate and beetroot cake

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By: Fiona Cairns

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This recipe is classed as easy

Rating 3.43 / 5 (127 votes)

Prep time:
20 min, plus 20 minutes decorating
Cook time:
50 min

A couple of piping bags and a pastry brush are all that is needed to make Fiona Cairns' impressive beetroot chocolate cake


1. Preheat the oven to 180C/fan 170C/Gas 4.

2. Lightly oil a 23cm diameter, 7.5cm deep, round cake tin and line the base with baking parchment.

3. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa and bicarbonate of soda and stir in the sugar.

4. In a food processor, purée the beetroot, then scrape it into a sieve set over a bowl and push out the juices with the back of a spoon. Reserve the juices for the icing.

5. Tip the beetroot pulp back into the food processor, with the motor running, add the eggs and vanilla, then slowly pour in the oil. Mix until blended.

6. In a mixing bowl make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients, pour in the beetroot mixture and, with a large spoon, gently fold together.

7. Pour into the tin and bake for 45–50 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.

8. Remove the cake from the oven, leave it for 5–10 minutes in the tin, then turn it out on to a wire rack until completely cold.

For the icing

9. Sift the icing sugar into a bowl. Stir in a few drops of the reserved beetroot juice or pink food colouring depending on how bright you want the colour. The icing should be thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. If not, add water, drop by drop, until you achieve the correct consistency.

10. Turn the cake over, so the base becomes a flat top. Pour the icing over the cake and allow to dry for at least 1 hour.

11. Place a small heatproof bowl over a saucepan of gently simmering water, making sure the base of the bowl does not touch the water. Add the white chocolate to the bowl and heat until it melts. Cool slightly, then spoon into a piping bag.

12. Repeat with the dark chocolate. Snip the very ends of both bags.

13. Dilute a little more pink food colour in a dribble of water, making sure it remains darker than the icing covering the cake.

14. Drizzle and flick both colours of chocolate all over your cake canvas, then shake over the pink colour using a pastry brush or toothbrush. Be as freeform as you like, until you have produced your very own edible masterpiece.


For the icing

  • 250 g icing sugar
  • reserved beetroot juice
  • pink food colouring, optional
  • 25 g white chocolate, broken into pieces
  • 25 g dark chocolate, borken into pieces

Tips and suggestions

If the cake starts to brown too much before it is fully cooked, cut a round piece of foil the diameter of the cake. Make a large hole in the centre and open it up. Place it over the cake to let out steam and protect the edges of the top surface.

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Latest Comment


Amazing! Made twice this week. First as a trial run to see what it's like. Lovely flavour, beetroot not overpowering. Texture lovely and light for a choc cake. Very pleased all round Smile

SoniaK39011 SoniaK39011  Posted 19 Oct 2012 7:42 PM

Lovely moist cake although a little crumbly to deal with. I didnt strain the beetroot juices, just chopped beetroot in food processor and added to dry ingredients. Filled with buttercream icing and decorated the top with chocolate, very nice and slightly unusual, especially when you tell everyone they are eating a cake made with Beetroot!!!

KarenH33246 KarenH33246  Posted 14 Sep 2011 12:41 PM

Fabulous cake! Made 2 of them for my 2 year old's birthday cake - a bit healthier than standard cake with the hidden beetroot in it! Really moist, chocolatey and very easy to make - everyone loved it and I have been asked for recipe. I didn't bother sieving the beetroot to remove juice - pointless. And I used cream cheese frosting from another recipes to ice it. Really good, will make again and again..

erryberry erryberry  Posted 22 May 2011 5:25 PM

Got beetroot and not sure what to do with those, I was looking to maybe do that cake , the pic seems very appetising so read the ingredients and thought it could be blend now once read
troubleonline Posted 26 Nov 2010 1:20 PM message below, I am not going to bother.

EADB EADB Posted 13 Feb 2011 7:29 PM

Was pretty disappointed with this cake to be honest. Made it for a colleagues birthday and mostly we felt it was lacking a certain something in the flavour department. To be honest I don’t like chocolate cake so may not be the best judge but the mix of beetroot and chocolate appealed so I thought I would give it a try.

Someone commented that it had a smokey flavour and I had to agree (though could have been the G&B 70% cocoa powder?)

Tip: use cheaper white chocolate for drizzling on top - like milkybar. I tried G&B first and it didn't melt well at all.

On the plus side the recipe was very easy and I liked using the food processor to make the mixture. The cake looked exactly like the photo with a good texture and moistness. I enjoyed making the cake and licking the bowl - just not the final product!

One or two colleagues ate lots of it and there was none left in the end so could have been all bad!

troubleonline troubleonline Posted 26 Nov 2010 1:20 PM


Jen - Good Food Jen - Good Food Posted 17 Aug 2010 1:03 PM

vijiP21509 vijiP21509 Posted 11 Aug 2010 1:01 PM

I am slightly obsessed with this cake at the moment. I’ve made it 3 times in one form or another. The most recent was as cupcakes. I replaced some of the flour with ground almond and put some raspberry coulis in the icing for a bit of variation. They all disappeared pretty quickly at work.

Celia Good Food Celia Good Food Posted 04 May 2010 12:19 PM