From the Archives: Beet Cake

August 24, 2009 at 8:05 pm 75 comments

Chocolate Beet Cake 

I’ve been horrified lately by the pictures on some of my oldest post, many of which feature outstanding recipes that get many hits from the search engines.  My food photography skills have decidedly improved over the past two+ years, and so I’m dusting off a few old favorites as time permits to have a digital makeover for your viewing pleasure.  This Chocolate Beet Cake was just as delicious as I remembered.  It is very chocolaty and yet has a hint of something most folks can’t quite put their finger on unless you divulge the secret ingredient.   Packed with vitamins and minerals, the beets not only add nutritional value to an otherwise indulgent dessert, but they also make it extremely moist.  

Slice of cake

For the original archived post, click here.  You can go ahead and laugh at my sad pictures from yore!  But now you’ll get the full beauty of this decadent cake with the new photos featured here. 


Beets and Cake

puree and chocolate

A slice and a cake



1 C. margarine or butter, softened, divided
1 1/2 C. packed dark brown sugar
3 eggs at room temp
2-3 oz. dark chocolate
5 medium beets (2 C. pureed)
1 t. vanilla extract
2 C. all-purpose flour
2 t. baking soda
1/4 t. salt
1/2 t. cinnamon
1/4 t. nutmeg
confectioners’ sugar for dusting
To make beet puree, trim stems and roots off beets and quarter them.  Place in heavy sauce pan filled with water.  Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer for 50 mins or until the beets are tender.  Drain off remaining liquid and rinse beets in cold water as they’ll be too hot to handle otherwise.  Slide skins off and place beets in blender.  Process until a smooth puree forms.  Let cool slightly before using in cake.  I like to make the puree ahead and store it in the fridge, sometimes up to several days in advance.

In a mixing bowl, cream 3/4 cup margarine and brown sugar. Add eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Melt chocolate with remaining butter in the microwave on high in 20 second intervals, stirring each time until smooth. Cool slightly. Blend chocolate mixture, beets and vanilla into the creamed mixture.  The batter will appear separated so don’t fret.

Combine flour, baking soda , salt, cinnamon and nutmeg; add to the creamed mixture and mix well. Pour into a greased and floured 10-in. spring form pan. Bake at 375 degrees F for 60-70 minutes  or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool in pan 15 minutes before removing to a wire rack. Cool completely before dusting with confectioners’ sugar.

(serves 16)

Entry filed under: Recipes, Sweet Treats. Tags: , , , , .

Blueberry Banana Bread Grandma’s Zucchini Bread

75 Comments Add your own

  • 1. fallenangel65  |  August 24, 2009 at 8:26 pm

    This is gorgeous! I can’t wait to try it.

    • 2. Jennie  |  August 24, 2009 at 8:28 pm

      Thanks, K! Hehe, did you take a look at the old post though? Whew, what a difference!! Same great taste though. 🙂

      • 3. fallenangel65  |  August 24, 2009 at 10:19 pm

        I didn’t think they were bad pictures. They still draw you in and invite you to read the blog and create a desire to try what you have made. I have always been blown away by the way you photograph your stuff. The other blog I like the photos on was this one: The blogs creator passed away suddenly but her family has left the blog up – so I can still go thru her recipes. You both inspire a long to be in the kitchen and play.

  • 4. heather  |  August 25, 2009 at 9:31 am

    the beet stencil is a great idea. whimsical. i love it.



  • 5. Rachel  |  August 25, 2009 at 2:11 pm

    Hey, I went on to get the beet cupcake recipe and Here is the beet cake recipe! You read my mind! But, not to split hairs, but the CUP cake recipe says 3 oz chocolate and this says 1 1/2 oz? I just did the beets today so probably won’t make the cupcakes til tomorrow much choc should I use? Can’t wait to taste it again. Love hte stencil/reverse pics. You’ve come a long way, baby!

    • 6. Jennie  |  August 26, 2009 at 2:33 pm

      Huh, would you look at that… you’re right, there are two different amounts for chocolate in those two recipes. Well, this is where I’ll really confuse you…I actually used 2 oz of 100% cocoa (darkest chocolate possible) for this time around. Yep, I’m not very consistent with these things. Really, I don’t think the exact amount matters much – I probably put two different measurements in these recipes because I had just that much chocolate on hand at the time I made each of them. The chocolate factor of this most recent rendition was perfect, so I’d recommend 2-3 oz. 🙂

      Boy, am I confusing!! Hopefully when we’re sharing brain waves like this, you’re not getting sea sick from mine. 🙂

  • 7. Morta Di Fame  |  August 25, 2009 at 4:40 pm

    Wow this is amazing! I make a beet cake that is more like carrot cake. This looks so super fancy and rich and delicious. What a great take on beets!

    • 8. Tony  |  December 10, 2011 at 4:28 pm

      would you kindly send me your receipe

  • 9. Xiaolu  |  August 25, 2009 at 8:19 pm

    The cake still looks scrumptious in the old photo, but these new ones are stunning! Thanks for 2 inspiring ideas: using beets in cake and using a stencil to add visual impact.

  • 10. Elisabeth  |  August 27, 2009 at 10:08 am

    Hey, here in Germany I don’t know how to find “white” beets. Is it possible to make the cake with beetroots (the first archive post photo seems to show diffenrent kinds of beet)?
    Or rutabaga (we had for lunch with potatoes,

  • 11. Elisabeth  |  August 27, 2009 at 10:09 am

    with potatoes, apples and gratinated with bleu cheese) *lol*?

    • 12. Jennie  |  August 27, 2009 at 12:45 pm

      Any kind of beet works just fine – I’ve used red, golden, striped and whatever else is in the seed mix I grow. I have actually toyed with the idea of making a rutabaga cake but haven’t gotten around to making it yet. I think the same principle would apply so you can probably get away with rutabaga instead of beets (however, here in the States, rutabaga means the big fat yellow root, not white turnips, which I think sometimes are called rutabagas in Europe). Hope that helps! 🙂 Lunch sounds great!

      • 13. Elisabeth  |  August 27, 2009 at 1:36 pm

        Yes, it was the “big fat yellow root” we had for lunch. Thank you for the answer!

  • 14. Suzanne  |  August 27, 2009 at 12:26 pm

    Thanks for this recipe! I received a huge batch of beets in my CSA this week and am so grateful for this cake! The beets have been used up and my co-workers are enjoying the cake. Thanks again and keep up the beautiful photos!

    • 15. Jennie  |  August 27, 2009 at 12:46 pm

      Did you tell your co-workers what was in the cake before they tried it? I usually save the “big reveal” for after the first bite. 🙂

  • 16. Sandy  |  August 27, 2009 at 9:40 pm

    This cake looks scrumptious! what a great (grate?) way to get beets into the kids 🙂 I love the beet stencil

  • 17. jami  |  August 28, 2009 at 12:10 am

    The beet stencil is the… well, NOT the icing on the cake! I love it!

  • 18. Louise  |  August 31, 2009 at 11:19 am

    Hi Jennie,
    I am so bad at taking any kind of pictures. I think all of yours are just GR8T! The stencil offers the touch of elegance beet cake truly deserves.

    Thanks for sharing…

  • 19. Veronika Rojas  |  September 1, 2009 at 5:06 pm

    I never knew you could make a cake out of beets. That is very creative.

    I just found your blog and it is wonderful! I read your story and it is amazing how you made the transition form marketing into horticultre. I find it very inspirational. I too work in marketing and wish I could make a big career change into something more artistic and rewarding. Too bad we don’t have a great horticulture program here in Las Vegas. Plants usually die out here due to the scorching heat.

    • 20. Jennie  |  September 2, 2009 at 11:02 am

      Hello and welcome, Veronika!! So glad you found the blog. I appreciate your kind words about my story. I can only imagine how gardening must be in Las Vegas. But there are many creative outlets so I’m sure you’ll find your artistic edge somewhere along the way. I found marketing to be draining while I was in a corporate setting, but the skills I honed in that career are hugely applicable and useful in my new ventures and I actually now love marketing more than ever, just not the kind that makes me wear a suit every day. 🙂 Thanks again and I hope you’ll stob by again soon!

  • 21. Grandma’s Zucchini Bread « Straight from the Farm  |  September 2, 2009 at 4:10 pm

    […] time, not realizing we were being tricked into eating this icky green vegetable!    Just like Chocolate Beet Cake, Zucchini Bread packs a lot of healthy vegetable into a tasty sweet treat.   As my grandma […]

  • 22. ADMIN  |  September 3, 2009 at 3:04 pm

    I found myself nodding as you talked about the oldest photos on your site… amazing, isn’t it, how our skills improve so vastly?!

    LOVE beet cakes — and this one is just gorgeous. That beet stencil rocks (as has now been mentioned… oh… five times?? :))

  • […] have heard of a zucchini cake but a beet cake? Images are […]

  • 24. Tiny Thoughts » Things I’m eating: chocolate spice beet cake  |  September 21, 2009 at 7:08 am

    […] The recipe, adapted from Straight From The Farm: […]

  • 25. Cannelle Et Vanille  |  September 21, 2009 at 1:48 pm

    looks amazing! thank you for sharing!

  • 26. Jessica Lee Binder  |  September 24, 2009 at 1:00 pm

    Funny, I’m going through the same experience of being embarrassed by my old photos and re-doing them. It’s definitely worth it. These pictures are gorgeous and I love the way you decorated it.

  • 27. Beet Chocolate Cupcakes « FoodMayhem  |  September 25, 2009 at 8:50 am

    […] with baking powder or baking soda. So, no solution for making me a good Red Velvet Cake yet, but this beautiful Beet Cake at Straight From the Farm inspired me to make Beet Chocolate […]

  • 28. Beet Cupcakes « Anotheryarn Eats  |  October 9, 2009 at 12:15 pm

    […] unlike what you need for carrot or zucchini enhanced baked goods. I had  two recipes, one from Straight From the Farm and another a friend passed along to me from The Moosewood Dessert Cookbook.  I ended up going […]

  • 29. Janey  |  December 30, 2009 at 7:03 pm

    I absolutely HATE beets, but get them often in my CSA box. Can anyone tell me if this cake tastes at all like beets? Thank you!

  • 30. Jessica Lee Binder  |  December 30, 2009 at 9:34 pm

    Janey, I made these as cupcakes instead of cake and put a frosting on it, and only 1 or 2 out of about 15 people who tried it were able to guess what the secret ingredient was. Sometimes when you hate something, you’re able to taste it more though, but I think it’s worth a shot.

    • 31. Janey  |  December 30, 2009 at 11:16 pm

      Thank you! I’m trying it!

  • 32. Top 10 for 2009 « Straight from the Farm  |  December 31, 2009 at 12:01 am

    […] #3.  Chocolate Beet Cake […]

  • 33. Beet the Freeze: Roasted Beet Soup « Cold Cereal & Toast  |  January 31, 2010 at 4:22 pm

    […] Possibly related posts: (automatically generated)The Beet Goes OnRoasted Beet Root Soup – “Borscht”   […]

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  • 36. Beets | What Not  |  May 9, 2010 at 8:28 pm

    […] Recipe from […]

  • […] Beet Cake with Chocolate Sour Cream FrostingAdapted from Straight from the Farm and Caprial’s […]

  • 38. Chocolate Beet Cake « picky eatings  |  May 17, 2010 at 9:37 am

    […] Source: Straight From the Farm […]

  • 39. Mary Kaczorek  |  July 24, 2010 at 6:12 pm

    Your pictures of the gorgeous Beet cake should make you proud. As I imagine the cake and recipe do. Wanted to get your permission to use the recipe if possible. Thank you so much.

    Mary Kaczorek

    • 40. Jennie  |  July 24, 2010 at 7:40 pm

      Hi Mary –

      Thanks so much for your kind words! Could you email me at straightfromthefarm (at) gmail (dot) com to tell me what it is that you want to use the recipe for? Thanks so much!!

  • 41. MaryBeth  |  July 30, 2010 at 4:33 pm

    Could I freeze the beet pulp to use when beets are not in season?

    • 42. Jennie  |  August 1, 2010 at 11:53 am

      I’m sure that you could, MaryBeth. I would suggest that you measure out the exact amount you need for the recipe and freeze individual bags of it so you can just take it out and let it thaw – no measuring, no fuss. 🙂

  • […] however there are also plenty of recipes for including them with chocolate in something like this Let me know how you like your […]

  • 44. arginine benefits  |  October 6, 2010 at 10:37 pm

    great recipe. i like the stencil as well.

  • 45. Pumpkin whoopie pies | Brooklyn Baba  |  October 30, 2010 at 7:31 am

    […] never make cupcakes again. I’m sure I could dream up some interesting variations with these. Beet cake whoopie pies, […]

  • 46. Cindy Williamson  |  January 19, 2011 at 7:30 pm

    The beet cake is the best cake. When I was in school our lunch lady made this cake and called it Beetnick cake so we wouldn’t know it was really beets. I am so thrilled to have found the recipe

  • 47. Pam  |  January 24, 2011 at 7:19 pm

    I made this cake as a Bundt cake and iced it with chocolate ganache. Really wonderful, rich, moist cake! Great recipe, thank you!

  • 48. karen  |  February 3, 2011 at 7:09 pm

    i am wondering if one should use unsalted butter? i have salted butter at home -can i use this and just not add the 1/4 t salt?

    thanks! karen

    • 49. Jennie  |  February 4, 2011 at 9:25 am

      That should work fine, Karen. 🙂

  • 50. Bea  |  February 21, 2011 at 6:02 pm

    How long do red beets last in refrigerator?

  • 51. Kale  |  March 20, 2011 at 3:57 pm

    I saw this recipe and HAD to attempt a Vegan Gluten Free recipe for my girlfriend who is obsessed with Beets.

    We both found the results so delicious so we thought we must share back!

    1 Cup Earth Balance or vegan butter substitute
    1 1/2 Cups packed Dark Brown Sugar
    3 Eggs equivalent Ener-G Egg Replacer ( Follow Egg replacer ratio of 1 1/2 teaspoons Replacer to 2 Tablespoons water per egg)
    1 1/2 oz. Non Dairy Dark Chocolate Baking Squares
    2 Cups Boiled and (Mashed* or Pureed) Beets

    *Mashing the Beets once boiled creates a cake mixture with a variety of texture that once baked delivers some quite delicious flavor/texture pockets in the cake similar to the semi- crunchy surface of the cake. A great option for texture fanatics and those without food processors.

    1 teaspoon Vanilla extract
    2 Cups Rice Flour
    2 teaspoons Baking Soda
    1/4 teaspoon Salt
    1/2 teaspoon Cinnamon
    1/4 teaspoon Nutmeg

    I also found that serving with a Vegan/Gluten Free vanilla style Non-Dairy Ice Cream leads to incredible flattery and new friends. I recommend Vanilla Island flavor Coconut Bliss!

    Thanks for your recipe! It continues to be fun and delicious!

  • 52. Laurel  |  April 15, 2011 at 1:10 am

    It tastes like beets!!!!
    A lovely light spice cake with the earthy flavor of beets.

    I made the cake with farmer’s market fresh beets and I used 3 oz chocolate chips.

  • 53. Heart beets and smother them in chocolate « The Back 40  |  April 15, 2011 at 8:20 am

    […] recipe for Chocolate Beet Cake on Straight From The Farm looked promising (the photos are fabulous!), so I made that first and […]

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    […] Straight from Farm blog (I liked the pictures) […]

  • 55. Carlos  |  June 9, 2011 at 6:40 am

    I saw this recipe and showed it to my wife. She made it for me. It is really very tasty. Thanks for sharing.

  • 56. Beet: Cake, Love! (and Art) | QuinnCreative  |  June 13, 2011 at 2:04 am

    […] Posted on June 13, 2011 by QuinnCreative| Leave a comment When Patti Digh mentioned the beet cake, my eyebrows went up , but my heart skipped a beat. Earthy beets, dark chocolate–yes, it […]

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  • 58. Angela  |  July 22, 2011 at 9:41 am

    the pictures are beautiful and i’m so glad i stumbled across your original recipe. We joined a crop share for the first time this year and it has really stretched my imagination as what to do with some of it! (beets really have been the hardest) After reading the comments from the original, i took my own spin since i had NO type of sugar in the house but wanted to try this so badly, i had however purchased a brownie mix a while back that never got used. SO i added 1 1/2c pureed beets to one brownie mix with 3 eggs, success! Next week i will make your recipe from scratch 🙂

  • 59. CdninAK  |  September 10, 2011 at 11:49 pm

    I am trying your recipe right now, but with all the work making the actual cake… wondering if you could just add beets to a boxed chocolate cake (just like how you can sub apple sauce for oil in a recipe). I love the idea of ‘sneaking’ veggies into my daughter and hubby’s dessert, and I love beets anyway!

  • 60. Memorial Day Doin’s | Duke Campus Farm  |  September 21, 2011 at 11:46 am

    […] Recipe: Chocolate Beet Cake (adapted from Straight From the Farm) […]

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    […] Recipe: Chocolate Beet Cake (adapted from Straight From the Farm) […]

  • 62. market man  |  November 4, 2011 at 1:09 am

    boy am i glad i stumbled apon your site,,,great information and great site
    excellent work

  • […] chocolate-beet cake was a huge hit. (Inspired by the Martha Stewart version of the cake, baked by Grandma Judy in New […]

  • 64. c.  |  December 17, 2011 at 11:42 pm

    This cake is to die for. I subbed coconut oil for the margarine, used Scharffen Berger chocolate (and added an extra ounce), and added some molasses. Great texture, light, not too sweet, very chocolately, can’t taste the beets at all. In fact, my only complaint is I kind of wish you *could* taste them, just a bit.

  • 65. Emma Corey  |  December 23, 2011 at 11:46 am

    Putting your freshly baked cupecakes into some nice wrappers certainly finishes them off. However to make them extra special there is nothing like making your very own cupcake wrappers. These can be personalised to the individual and the event, plus they are so easy to make. I share my free templates over at

  • 66. Emily Ziff  |  February 6, 2012 at 7:53 pm

    i’d like to make this into a layered birthday cake. is this recipe big enough? can i increase it by half, or even double it?



  • 67. Luscious Chocolate Beet Cake — The Foodies' Kitchen  |  February 10, 2012 at 5:28 pm

    […] sweet but has a bitterish after flavor to it) would be good for baking. Then I found a recipe by  Straight From The Farm. Later on I would see Beet Chocolate Cakes pop on my feeds and decided it was the universe telling […]

  • 68. heidi  |  March 24, 2012 at 10:27 am

    I just got some beets from my CSA. I can’t wait to make this cake.

    Your photos are lovely. I looked at your older recipe photos, and it gives me hope that my own photos will eventually improve with experience and better equipment.

    Also, that beet cut-out was such a nice touch. Thanks for the recipe.

  • […] Recipe here: Allrecipes   Some others to consider:  Version with frosting                Same recipe but pretty presentation […]

  • 70. Eat Your Beets (in a cake!) | QuinnCreative  |  August 21, 2012 at 2:01 am

    […] Patti Digh mentioned the beet cake, my eyebrows went up , but my heart skipped a beat. Earthy beets, dark chocolate–yes, it […]

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  • 72. Ya Can’t Beet A Donut | beets and blue cheese  |  July 26, 2013 at 7:26 am

    […] *adapted from straight from the farm […]

  • 73.  |  May 30, 2014 at 8:47 pm

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  • 74. network marketing expert  |  September 4, 2014 at 7:12 am

    Hey just wanted to give you a quick heads up and let you know a few of the pictures aren’t loading correctly.
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  • 75. 10 Wonderful Ways to Use Beets - A Magical Life  |  March 29, 2021 at 9:03 am

    […] – Yes, really! The web is filled with recipes for chocolate cake that call for beets. Try Beet Cake from Straight from the Farm, Chocolate Beet Cake (gluten free) from Roasted Root or Can’t Be Beet […]


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