Chocolate Beet Cake (gluten free)

Gluten-free chocolate beet cake made with almond flour and sweetened naturally with coconut sugar – a healthy take on chocolate cake, and a deliciously moist treat!

Chocolate Beet Cake - gluten-free and refined sugar-free, made with almond flour | TheRoastedRoot.net #dessert #glutenfree

Profondeur. Depth: listening to French music while allowing things to be as they are. Depth means absorbing words that are seductive, painful, tempting without having to know what they actually mean. It means feeling. Letting rationality take a hike and letting empathy take control; allowing sense of smell to guide. Welcoming the full spectrum of shapes and colors. Embracing the sound of beauty without need for comprehension. Tasting.  Feeling deep and rich.

Chocolate beet cake is alluuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuring. That’s alluring if you remove some u’s. Appealing, attractive, tempting, interesting, coquettish, glamorous, fascinating, flirtatious, enthralling, charming. All synonyms for a word that begins with a “sek” and ends with a “sē”.  And Cheeky. This, dear vixen, is your Valentine’s Day cake; it won the “Biggest Flirt” award in your high school yearbook, so heed my advice – make it for you lovey dovey on Lover’s Day.

Moons ago, I came across the sisters at Natural Sweet Recipes. They use all sorts of alternatives to cane sugar, such as agave, date sugar, powdered honey, maple syrup, etc. in their fun and very approachable recipes.  I was immediately drawn to their use of coconut sugar, so when I finally brought a bag home from my local natural food store, I let my obsessive personality loose and went a little coconut sugar crazy.

Chocolate Beet Cake - gluten-free and refined sugar-free, made with almond flour | TheRoastedRoot.net #dessert #glutenfree

And it all started with this beet cake.  Here’s what I learned about coconut sugar: It is rich in minerals and B Vitamins. B VITAMINS AND MINERSLS! IN YOUR SUGAR! I thought I’d point out that there are vitamins and minerals in coconut sugar. This sugar has been used in South East Asia for thousands of years. Thooooooooooooooooousands, and I’m just now learning about it! That’s a big one up if I ever saw one! It can be used as a 1:1 ratio to replace cane sugar; it is coarse, has a brown tint and has a lovely nutty, slightly salty (some say caramel) flavor.

The other attractive characteristics of the Chocolate Beet Cake is the health benefits of the beets (folate, Vitamin C, B Vitamins, etc) the raw cacao powder (antioxidants galore, sing it!), and almond flour (proTEIN!). The texture is soft and dense, the way a deep and rich cake should be.

I’d hate to do this to you, but….

Chocolate Beet Cake - gluten-free and refined sugar-free, made with almond flour | TheRoastedRoot.net #dessert #glutenfree

 

Hi, I’m Almond Flour Chocolate Beet Cake. I’m Cheeky.

Glooooooory beet thy cake!

Chocolate Beet Cake - gluten-free and refined sugar-free, made with almond flour | TheRoastedRoot.net #dessert #glutenfree

Chocolate Almond Flour Beet Cake (gluten free)

Author: Julia
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Ingredients

  • 1-1/2 cups almond meal/flour I use Bob’s Red Mill
  • ½ cup brown rice flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 1-1/2 cups coconut sugar or a combination of granulated sugar and brown sugar
  • 2/3 cup raw cacao powder
  • ¼ cup dark chocolate chips optional
  • 2 medium sized red beets
  • 3 eggs
  • ½ cup almond milk
  • 1/3 cup grapeseed oil
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Bring a full pot of water to a boil and add the beets (peel on). Boil for about 25 – 30 minutes until beets are soft when poked with a fork.
  2. Drain the water and allow beets to cool. Chop the beets into eighths and add the beets to a blender along with the almond milk. Blend until smooth and set aside to cool.
  3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  4. In a large mixing bowl, combine the almond flour, brown rice flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cacao powder and coconut sugar. Whisk to incorporate all dry ingredients together.
  5. In a separate mixing bowl, whisk the eggs, grapeseed oil and vanilla extract together.
  6. Add the pureed beets (once the puree is cool enough to not cook the eggs) to the egg mixture and mix to combine. Pour the wet beet mixture into the mixing bowl with all of the dry ingredients and stir until combined.
  7. Line a 9” round cake pan (or 8” square pan) with parchment paper.
  8. Pour the cake batter into the prepared cake pan and bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until the cake tests clean when poked in the center with a toothpick. 32 minutes was the magic number for me.
  9. Allow cake to cool then lift up on the parchment paper to set it on a cutting board.
  10. Garnish with very coarse sea salt (optional).
  11. Serve generous size portions of this delicious cake! Bonus points: Add homemade whipped cream on top.

 

 

 

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Comments

  1. Meghan

    Jayyyzzuuss. It’s 10:30 AM and now all I want to do is eat beets. In cake of course.

    I use agave all the time, but I’ve never even heard of coconut sugar! I’ll have to check that out it sounds awesome.

    Reply
  2. Deb

    What a glorious gluten free cake! There something magical in the pairing of beets with chocolate, such a heady combination of flavors!

    Reply
    1. Julia Post author

      I willingly went red for this cake too. And there’s absolutely no reason to feel guilty about it, cause there’s nothing but amazing ingredients in it! We can be red together and no one will judge!

      Reply
  3. Julie

    Oh, this looks yummy. See, I’m sensible and like chocolate. I haven’t heard of coconut sugar, so I’ll have to see if I can find any in our small farm town. Then, once I find some, I’m a-gonna make me a chocolate beet cake!

    Reply
  4. Abby

    That coconut sugar is so cool!! It’s like cake bling 🙂 I love that you used beets in this, and that nice, moist, fluffy, tasty, picture is just torture! 😉

    Reply
  5. Kate | Food Babbles

    Whoa! I’m in heaven here. This cake sounds amazing and I love that cake can kinda be health food too! I’ve been telling myself I’m going to make a chocolate beet cake. After seeing yours, I know I need to make this happen in my kitchen. Lovely!

    Reply
  6. Roxana | Roxana's Home Baking

    I love beets and chocolate and although I have seen a couple of recipes that call for both I’ve been a little reticent, but I have to say your cake looks absolutely stunning! and the sprinkle of salt, oh my!
    Thanks for participating in this month chocolate party, hope you’ll join us again every month

    Reply
  7. Nancy @ gottagetbaked

    I love this! That cake looks phenomenal – so incredibly moist, fluffy and decadent. I can’t believe it was made using beets (mind is blown!). I love coconut sugar too – I’ve been using it for a while. It makes me feel like I’m being healthy even though I’m eating tons of baked goods. I’m really digging your writing style too – I’m so glad I’m part of the Chocolate Party so that I can discover other awesome bloggers.

    Reply
  8. Zoe

    I have never try baking chocolate cake using beet. This is a great idea adding all the goodness and natural sweetness of beet into a chocolate cake.

    Reply
    1. Julia Post author

      So glad you like the idea of marrying beets with chocolate! It took me a while to work myself up to making the cake but it truly does turn out incredible! Let me know if you try it! 🙂

      Reply
    1. Julia Post author

      Hey Cathy! I’ve actually never used vacuum-packed beets..As long as they can be blended up and aren’t overly juicy or overly dry (same water content as fresh beets), I would assume they’d work. Let me know if you try it!!

      Reply
        1. Julia Post author

          Hey Cathy, thanks for letting me know! I’ll add the vanilla extract now 🙂 There’s no doubt in my mind that melting the chocolate will turn out phenomenal too. Good luck and let me know how you like it!!

          Reply
  9. KC

    I used vegetable oil instead of grapeseed, and used mixed sugars instead of coconut sugar. I didn’t do any of the sifting involved – just stirred together anything wet and then piled on top anything dry into one big bowl. Put the batter into a cupcake pan and they turned out great, none of those extra steps required!

    Reply
    1. Julia Post author

      Thanks KC! I can go a little overboard on my instructions so I’m happy to hear you went in headfirst and the recipe turned out! Beet cupcakes sound like a nice little b-day treat for some lucky human 😉 Hope you had a fun weekend!

      Reply
  10. Célia

    I just tried this recipe because I have beets from a CSA and was tired of the beet soup. I was a little afraid I wouldn’t like it (or my guests!), but… it’s a GREAT cake recipe! Very moist, delicious! I just downed the sugar quantity to a cup (I’m French, we don’t like cakes that are too sweet:), and made whipped cream with powdered vanilla and homemade powdered sugar (I use the mortar, avoids making sugar dust) to go with it. It was delicious. My beloved and I had the two leftover slices on the following day, I had mine with coffee, it was very good =) I was a little sad I had forgotten to put it in the fridge, I’m sure it would have made it very truffle-like…
    As for the color, it was plain chocolaty-brown! No red! Next time I use my beets in a cake, I’ll look into the Red Velvet using beets and no food coloring… it’s apparently tricky to master, but I’ll give it a try.
    And thanks for sharing that great recipe!

    Reply
        1. Julia Post author

          Hi there, Abby, the author of Seaweed and Sassafras discontinued her site, so unfortunately her recipe is no longer available. There are quite a few recipes for beet cakes and cupcakes on the internet using regular all-purpose flour, though, so you should have plenty of options 🙂

          Reply
  11. lu

    Making this tonight, but roughly how many grams/cups should the beetroots be? I’m afraid mine are small and I’m worried I won’t get the amount right… :$

    Reply
    1. Julia Post author

      Lu, that’s a great question and I should have been more careful about measuring it. If I were to guess, I would say I ended up with 3/4 to 1 cup worth of beets. When you make the batter and you don’t have enough beet, you can add coconut milk, almond milk, or a little oil to keep the cake moist. Best of luck and let me know how it turns out!

      Reply
  12. Claire

    Hi! Is oat flour a good substitute for rice flour?? I am sensitive to rice ( along with almost every other grain but oats) Thanks!

    Reply
    1. Julia Post author

      Hi Claire, oat flour is a great substitute for brown rice flour! It tends to come out slightly more dense than rice flour, but for a pancake, I say density is a great thing! Use a 1:1 ratio when you substitute. Let me know how they turn out!!

      Reply
  13. Mel

    Made this cake tonight– WOW — so good. My only change was to use yogurt instead of almond milk, because its what I had on hand. Thank you so much for this. The salt on top is extreme goodness.

    Reply
  14. Nancy@Seasonsofjoy

    I made this today, and used half cacao powder, half King Arthur’s Double Dutch Dark Cocoa. I used half cream (half and half) and water, and gluten-free flour instead of brown rice flour. I might have used a bit too much on the beets, I later saw your comment as to quantity, but it still turned out so nice! I took a dab of the batter and baked a little ramekin of it in the microwave while the big cake baked in the oven, so i got a sneak taste! MMM! Just the recipe i was searching for, with my LoveBeets Organic precooked beets (Costco) and almond flour. Thank you! I will be making this for my girlfriends very soon! I think a simple ganache of some chocolate chips and cream drizzled would make a nice topping, or a berry sauce under it, on the plate (or both!).

    Reply
    1. Julia Post author

      Wahoooo I’m so happy you made your own rendition of the cake and it turned out fabulously. I love the idea of using some of the batter to make a single serving to tide you over while the rest of the cake bakes. So happy it all worked out and thanks so much for the feedback! xo

      Reply
      1. Nancy@Seasonsofjoy

        Julia, The cake is just so beautiful in it’s rise, and yummy in flavor and moisture! Still a bit warm from the oven, oh, my!! With coffee for breakfast, mmm! I used half cacao powder only because I recently bought some, as I LOVE the cocoa I mentioned. The Honeyville farms almond flour I use has clumps that are kind of hard to take care of completely, so I did have some that showed up in the cake, but don’t effect taste. I think it’s just that I am down to the end of the bag. I had kind of forgotten about my bag of coconut sugar, and this took the rest, thanks for the reminder about it! I can see so many possibilities for this cake! Layered desserts (I love Glory Albin’s book on these) and layer cakes, etc. I have a Kahlua frosting that usually is for brownies, but will be good on this!

        Reply
  15. Vanessa M.

    Oh, my gosh, this was SO GOOD! I won a Farmer’s Market basket and turned to this webpage to figure out how to use up the beets! Based on the other commenters’ responses, it seemed like a forgiving recipe, so I modified it a tad based on what I had on hand… I used only one cup of coconut sugar. used butter instead of oil, and chocolate brown rice protein powder instead of brown rice flour, and didn’t use the optional chocolate chips. Oh, my gosh, it is AMAZING. I’ve had it for breakfast twice already and I’m going to make another for my aunt who has celiac’s disease. This recipe is definitely going in my arsenal!

    Reply
    1. Julia Post author

      Yaaaaay I’m so happy you like the cake, Vanessa! It’s one of my favorites, too! Thanks for letting me know your change-ups! I’ll have to try the cake with butter – sounds delicious!

      Reply
  16. Dorinda

    Hi Julia, made this cake yesterday and it was the best “healthy” cake I have made. I made a chocolate beet cake before but it came out really dense. Must have been coconut or oat flour. Anyway, I minimized almond flour by 1/4 cup and I wish I had measured by beet mixture. To guess, I probably had 1.5c. I also used coconut oil and coconut milk. It came out super moist and airy. I did not add as much of sugar yet next time I will. Or I might add dates to it. Once cake cooled, I topped it with a strawberry pureed sauce and coconut whipped cream. This is a keeper!

    Reply
    1. Julia Post author

      I’m so happy you made the cake – the strawberry sauce and coconut whipped cream sound amazing! My guess is the cake would have needed to either bake a bit longer or sit longer (or both) in order to keep from falling apart. If you notice the cake holds together now that it has sat for a few hours, then the culprit is that it just needed to rest longer. If it continues falling apart, it may have needed a bit more flour and longer bake time.

      Reply
  17. Dorinda

    Ih, and cake didn’t hold together. Not sure if I took it out of pan too soon. Next time I will add Xanthum gum.

    Reply
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