Looking for a better-for-you way to make chocolate cake? Beet it… literally. By incorporating beets into your chocolate cake, you can create a delicious dessert that’s is a little healthier but still has a rich flavor and moist texture.
However, the beets do bring a pleasant, earthy undertone, a subtle red hue and an incredible amount of moisture to the finished cake. Plus, there’s the health factor: The beets keep the cake tender and soft, so it’s not necessary to add as much butter as most chocolate cake recipes call for. Topped with a tangy, slightly sweetened sour cream topping, the finished cake has a sophisticated and unique flavor that makes eating a slightly healthier dessert a pleasure.
Chocolate Beet Cake Recipe
Makes one 2-layer, 9″ cake
For the cake:
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2/3 cup sifted unsweetened cocoa powder, plus more for dusting pans
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 6 ounces unsalted butter, softened, plus more for greasing pans
- 1¾ cups granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1 cup mashed roasted beets
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup hot water
For the Topping:
- 1 pound (one 16 ounce container) sour cream
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar (more or less to taste)
- 2 teaspoons poppy seeds, for garnish (optional)
Preheat your oven to 350 F and place a rack in the middle position.
Generously grease two 9″ round cake pans. Line the bottoms with circles of parchment paper (this is very helpful for this particular recipe, which is delicate while warm). Then, grease the parchment and dust the bottoms and sides with cocoa.
In a medium-size mixing bowl, sift the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
Using a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar on medium speed until fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, scraping the sides of the bowl after each addition.
Add the vanilla and beets, and mix on low until incorporated.
Add half of the flour mixture, and mix until . Slowly alternately add the cup of hot water and the remaining flour, and mix on low until smooth.
Divide the batter between the two prepared pans. Bake the cakes, rotating the pans halfway through baking, until a cake tester comes out mostly clean, about 25 minutes. Cool the cakes in the pans briefly, and then turn onto racks to let cool completely.
While the cakes cool, make the topping. In a large bowl, combine the sour cream with the sugar and whisk until smooth. Give it a taste. If you want it sweeter, add a bit more sugar.
Assemble your cake: Place one cake layer on a platter, and spoon about half of the sweetened sour cream on top. Spread to the edges. Place the second layer on top, and spoon and spread the remaining sour cream on top. Garnish with poppy seeds, if desired.