Chocolate and Beetroot Red Velvet Cake

Firstly, I would like to say that, no matter what the title says, this is not a red velvet cake. It is supposed to be a red velvet cake so, by its very definition, it should be a chocolatey red colour. Well folks this cake is very much a rich chocolatey brown colour inside, but if you can get over your disappointment long enough to hear me out this cake is seriously good.

For years I have picked up recipes for red velvet cakes and put them down again due to the rather large amount of food colouring used. So when I saw this version made using the natural colour of beetroot by former Master Chef runner up Poh I decided to give it a go. Don’t be put off by the beetroot because when you combine it with the bitter chocolate and the cream cheese icing everything comes together in perfect harmony. It is not a sweet cake although the beetroot does give off a somewhat sweetish flavour.

Any adaptions I have made with this cake are purely accidental and involved a shopping trip without my glasses and bringing home dark drinking chocolate flakes instead of dark drinking chocolate powder…… as Homer Simpson would say DUH!! All that aside, I ended up replacing the drinking chocolate powder with half drinking chocolate flakes and half unsweetened cocoa powder.  Don’t worry, I found a use for the chocolate flakes around the outside of the cake which is just as well because my pantry just couldn’t fit another thing in it. Other than that small change, I followed the recipe as it was written here.

Here are a few tips I learnt from making this cake. Firstly, read the instructions before your start, which clearly state to use a pair of rubber gloves. Beetroot is very messy so do yourself a favour and buy a box of disposable food service gloves from the supermarket, trust me you will thank me. If not, prepare to look like the perpetrator of a gruesome crime or like me end up using plastic bags on your hands to avoid staining…. it was not an attractive look! Secondly, wash up as you go or the beetroot juice will get everywhere. Finally, take the baking time as a suggestion only, I ended up baking mine for an extra fifteen minutes.

35 thoughts on “Chocolate and Beetroot Red Velvet Cake

  1. laurasmess

    This looks like a wonderful cake Karen. I like Poh, she was one of my favourites when I watched Masterchef. I’ve never seen this beetroot red velvet before, but I love the idea of the beetroot and chocolate together. A friend of mine made beetroot chocolate brownies some time ago and it worked amazingly! Love the chocolate flakes on the outside. Definitely worked well… good adaptation with the unsweetened cocoa! Great photos too xx

  2. The Narrowboat Baker

    Wow ! Just found your blog and that cake looks amazing- definitely my cup of tea 😉 I made a chocolate red wine cake once which was amazing and along the same lines as this, but this definitely looks like it would be much more amazing !

  3. TheKitchenLioness

    Karen, I have baked many cakes using beetroot and I know how messy that can be but oh so delicious and one of my daughters lists beetroot choccolate cake as her favorite cake of all times – so for her next birthday, I think I will take the “fancier route” and bake her your cake instead of one of my ususal recipes – it looks amazing and elegant, perfect for a celebration, Karen!

  4. Kumar's Kitchen

    cake looks luscious with the clean,perfectly presented finishing….so beautiful,absolutely loved the idea of beetroots in red velvet…will make it so tender,gorgeous food clicks as always 🙂

  5. Gather and Graze

    Really love the idea of beetroot, rather than food colouring in a ‘Red Velvet’ cake! Great photo showing the chocolate flakes around the edge – is there a tried and tested technique you use for getting them on there? Thanks for the lovely post Karen!

    1. Gather and Graze

      Frustratingly this post didn’t show up in my reader either – looks like I’ll just need to check your site every few days to see what’s new… Hardly a chore to do so, but makes you wonder how many other lovely posts of blogs I’m following that I might be missing too!

    2. lemongrovecakediaries Post author

      I sure do Margot – this is how they taught us in school. Ganache the cake as normal, I kept my ganache quite runny and simply poured it over the cake and let it run down the sides. Use a palette knife to make sure the sides are completely covered – don’t be too fussy here as the sides will be covered with flakes
      Put the cake on a cake board the same size as the cake (you can get cardboard ones from cake decorating shops or spotlight). Put your chocolate flakes on a baking tray.
      Pick up the cake and place it in your left hand so you are supporting the bottom of the cake with your palm and fingers.
      Work over the baking tray so the tray will catch any chocolate that falls off – now pick up a handful of flakes with your right hand and press the flakes onto the sides of the cake turning the cake in your hand as you go. You may need to go over spots that get missed and be careful at the top to get nice edges.
      It does takes a couple of goes to get used to holding and turning the cake while it is up in the air but you do get used to it. Hope that helps 🙂

  6. Paula @ Vintage Kitchen Notes

    Without your glasses, how did you manage that?! i´d have to go back and get them, otherwise who knows what might end up inside the cake…lol. It´s so gorgeous this cake Karen! I have the exact same apprehension with the amount of red food coloring, so they always turn out a weird color.

  7. Sandi

    This looks amazing! And red food colouring is the very reason I have never made, or ever been interested, in making a red velvet cake. Must try this recipe tho!


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