Unhelpful Recipes: Chocolate Beet Cake (Possibly Red Velvet Cake)

I’m not great at following recipes. This may go back my weird aversion to being told what to do. I *can* follow a recipe — and other directions and instructions for that matter — I just don’t. Anyways, I’d have to say that most of the time, recipes don’t matter all that much. If you know the basics of cooking, have an understanding of what flavours work well together, and what types of chemical reactions need to happen, you can make some pretty good grub without having to be a stickler for the rules.

I have to say though, that baking is generally when you should pay attention to ingredients and measurements.

So, I received a bag of beets in my CSA a while back. I like beets but I’m not super familiar with them. Are they an Atlantic Canada thing? Because I don’t think I was introduced to them before I lived in the Maritimes.

I figured, when in doubt, juice it!

I’m not sure how other juicers work, but mine leaves behind a lot of beautifully minced pulp. It’s almost a shame to throw it away…so I don’t!

Beetjuice. Beetjuice. Beetjuice.
Beetjuice. Beetjuice. Beetjuice.

I remember reading somewhere that beets were sometimes an ingredient in red velvet cake as an alternative to red food colouring.

  1. Start with a regular chocolate cake recipe.
  2. Remove about 1/3 to 1/2 of the wet stuff (oil, milk, maybe an egg)
  3. Add the pulp of beets (and carrots, if you’ve got ’em)
  4. Squirt in some lemon juice, a tbsp or two
  5. Add some cinnamon, some extra cocoa powder, maybe a pinch of cardamom
  6. When the batter looks pretty close to regular cake batter, throw it in the oven
  7. Bake for the usual amount of time; until the cake is puffy and passes the bounce test
Mix it good.
Mix it good.

If you’re lucky like me, you’ll end up with a delicious, moist chocolate cake. I could still kind of taste the beets, but I think it’s because I knew they were there. Texture-wise, there was no way to tell.

You wouldn’t know if I hadn’t told you.

9 thoughts on “Unhelpful Recipes: Chocolate Beet Cake (Possibly Red Velvet Cake)

  1. I LOVE beets, I am stoked that a) the leftover beet pulp from juicing = useful (I always feel guilty getting rid of it!) and b) that the cake looks ah-mazing! I am with Janice on the #8, I want some!

  2. Cindy, I suspect the pulp is more flavourful if it’s still got juice in it…but being that raw beets kind of taste like dirt (not that they taste bad, just that they taste kind of like freshly tilled soil), I don’t mind that the post-juicing pulp is more for moisture than flavour.

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