Blend-and-bake beetroot chocolate cake

At a glance

Preparation time: 15 mins

Cooking time: 15 mins

After last week’s beetroot pasta recipe, people might start to think I’m becoming obsessed. The banal reality is that I needed to use up some leftover cooked beetroot from Asda! But I defend my decision to run two weeks in a row of beetroot recipes – cooked beetroot is cheap from most supermarkets and as well as being great for savoury dishes such as pasta sauces, risottos and beetroot and goat cheese tarts, it adds a richness and depth to chocolate cakes, especially if you use dark chocolate cocoa.

Even those who think beetroot is interchangeable with Satan’s fuchsia testicles will have their minds and tastebuds turned by this easy cake.

The beetroot is simply blended with the wet ingredients to form a smooth, pink paste, mixed in with the dry ingredients for a thick, gloopy batter and baked.   If you don’t have a blender or a food processor, fear not. The pink paste can be made with a little extra elbow grease. After all, our ancestors made cakes for centuries without the help of electrical appliances. I would suggest donning an apron and gloves and chopping up the beetroot into very small pieces and mashing with a potato masher before mixing well with the other wet ingredients, either by hand or with an electric mixer.

For the frosting, it is basically the cream cheese frosting I use on my lemon and blueberry ripple cake, minus the lemon juice and sour cream, but you can add a couple of tablespoons of cocoa powder for a rich chocolate frosting. I won’t lie, I went for a cream cheese frosting minus the chocolate mostly for a bit of aesthetic contrast in the photo on Twitter!

Ingredients

For the cake

2 cooked beetroots

3 eggs

200ml sunflower oil

100g dark chocolate cocoa powder

180g plain flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

250g/1 metric cup caster sugar

1 tablespoon vanilla essence or extract

For the frosting

50g softened unsalted butter

30g icing sugar

180g full-fat cream cheese

1 tablespoon vanilla essence or extract

2 tablespoons dark cocoa powder (optional)

 

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees and prepare a cake tin. I used a 25cm square tin but a similarly sized round tin works fine too.
  2. Blend the beetroot, eggs and oil until a smooth, pink paste is formed.
  3. Add the pink paste to the dry ingredients and the vanilla essence/extract and mix well by hand or with an electric mixer.
  4. Pour the batter into the prepared tin and bake for 45 to 55 minutes. Start checking at around the 30-minute mark and test with a skewer. If the skewer is coming out sticky but the cake is starting to overcook on top, cover with foil or baking paper and move toward the bottom of the oven for the rest of the baking time.
  5. The cake is ready when the skewer comes out clean with maybe a few moist crumbs stuck to it. Set aside to cool.
  6. To make the frosting, mix all the frosting ingredients together until well-combined. Wait until the cake has cooled before frosting. I decorated mine with pink sparkle sugar from Asda!