The following recipe and photography were provided by our partner, Yoko Segawa of Yoko’s Kitchen.
This might look like your average chocolate cake, but there’s an unusual secret ingredient mixed into the batter that adds a nutritional boost to this otherwise unhealthy treat without diminishing the decadence.
You may have guessed from the title of this recipe, but that secret ingredient is beets! Don’t panic! If I didn’t tell you they were in the batter, you’d never know, as you can’t even taste them when the cake is baked and decorated. However; beets add extreme moisture to this cake, making each bite as luscious as the next.
Layered and topped with a light, fluffy and flavorful cashew whipped cream, fresh fruit and a dusting of powdered sugar, this cake makes an indulgent finale to a Valentine’s Day dinner at home, or a vibrant centerpiece to a spring brunch dessert table.
Not to be too corny, but this cake truly “beets” all of the rest!
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For the Cake
- 1 1/2 lbs. beets, peeled and chopped
- ½ cup water
- 2 cups (384g) coconut sugar
- ¾ cup (72g) cacao powder
- 1½ tsp. instant dark roasted coffee powder or espresso powder
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- ¼ tsp. baking soda
- 1 tsp. sea salt
- ½ cup hot water
- 1 cup maple syrup
- ½ cup olive oil
- 2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 2 cups (240g) whole wheat flour
- ½ cup (72g) arrowroot flour
For the Cashew Whipped Cream
- 9 oz. raw cashews, soaked overnight or boiled for 15 minutes
- 6 Tbsp. water
- 6 Tbsp. maple syrup
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- A pinch of sea salt
- ½ tsp. cream of tartar (optional)
- 1 cup strawberries, halved and sliced
- ½ cup raspberries
- Powdered sugar
- Prepare the beet purée. Bring a pot of water to a boil. Add the beets and cook until fork tender, about 20 minutes. Drain and cool.
- Transfer the beets into a high-powered blender, along with ½ cup of water, and blend until smooth. Measure out 2 cups of the purée for this recipe and use rest for other soups and smoothies.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease two 8-inch cake pans with olive oil and line the bottoms with parchment.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the coconut sugar, cacao powder, coffee powder, baking powder, baking soda and sea salt. Add ½ cup of hot water and mix until dissolved. Stir in the 2 cups of beet purée, along with the maple syrup, olive oil and vanilla extract.
- Sift in whole wheat flour and arrowroot flour. Mix until just combined. Do not overmix.
- Divide the batter between the two 8-inch pans and bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 45 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes, then remove from the pan. Let cool completely on a wire rack, right-side-up.
- Add all of the cashew whipped cream ingredients to a high-powered blender and blend until smooth. If you choose to add the cream of tartar, it will help stabilize the texture of the cream.
- To assemble, place one of the cakes on a cake stand. Spread ½ of the cream on the cake and arrange the sliced strawberries on top. Place another cake on top of the strawberries. Decorate with the remaining cream, strawberries, raspberries and dust with powdered sugar.
- Slice and enjoy!