whole food ~ well made

Beet chocolate cake recipe at

Psssst! Really, This is a Beet Cake

But don’t tell the beet haters.

This time last year, my cousin Suzanne emailed me from Massachusetts with a beet problem. She’d gotten a bunch in her CSA box and she didn’t know what to do with them.

Naturally, I shared my reflex recipe for beets: roasting.

“Scrub them and put them in a roasting pan, add a splash of water and seal them well with foil. Roast them at 400 degrees F for 40-45 minutes until you can pierce them with a fork. When they’re cool enough to handle, slip off their skins and cut them into wedges, slices, what have you.”

Beet chocolate cake recipe at

If there’s a beet in my midst, this is their fate–although I’ve been known to pickle a few, too.

Roasted beets are the most versatile way to use them as a side dish with butter and salt {if you haven’t enjoyed beets this way in a while, I recommend you go back to basics} or in a winter salad.

A few weeks later, she reported back that neither she nor her four kids liked them. I sure wish I had sent her this recipe for beet chocolate cake instead.

Beet chocolate cake recipe at

Yes, root vegetables are for dessert, too, especially when it’s beet chocolate cake!

This recipe is one of my most popular recipes ever. It makes a party-sized cake that is great for any celebration. Both adults and kids love the moist and tender cake and the chocolaty richness of the frosting.

And no one ever guesses that there’s beets in this cake. But I always tell them. Here you go, Suzie! Chocolate cake–with a serving of beets!

You’ll need to prepare the beet puree in advance of baking. It’s a great way to use up beets from your garden or CSA.

But it’s also worth buying some beets to try this cake. If you love carrot cake, this is its chocolate cousin. I promise it will be the conversation piece of your next party.


and become a forager

Beet chocolate cake recipe at
Print Pin
5 from 1 vote

Beet Chocolate Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Just like carrot cake, the beets inn this batter yield a very moist cake. The difference is the beets are pureed, so no one (i.e. children and avowed beet haters) will ever guess they're in there! I developed this party-sized cake recipe for my friend Marcy who wanted a vegelicious cake for her son Evan's birthday. You can use this recipe to make a three-layer cake, one 11×17 sheet cake or 2 8-inch layers and 12 large cupcakes. You choose!
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword beet cake
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 12 people
Calories 1369kcal
Author Lynne


  • 3 8-inch cake pans OR


For the beet cake:

  • 2 1/2 cups beet puree, cooled see Recipe Notes
  • 6 eggs beaten
  • 3/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 1/2 cups vegetable oil
  • 3 3/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 3 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 tablespoon baking soda

For the chocolate cream cheese frosting:

  • 6 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate
  • 12 ounces (3 sticks) unsalted butter room temperature
  • 12 ounces cream cheese room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 3 cups sifted confectioner’s sugar


  • Grease and flour the baking pans, and if using 8-inch round pans or a sheet pan line them with parchment paper. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Beat the beet puree with the eggs in a mixing bowl. Combine the cocoa powder, vanilla and oil in a large measuring cup.
  • Whisk the sugar, flour, salt and baking soda in a large mixing bowl. Add the cocoa powder mix to the flour and stir with a rubber spatula until well combined. Add the beet mixture and stir just until combined.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared pans until the mixture is about halfway up the sides of the pan. Bake until the sides of the cake pull away from the pan and a wooden skewer slid into the cake’s center comes out clean. (Round layers will take 25-30 minutes; sheet cake 40-45 minutes; and cupcakes 18-20 minutes.)
  • To make the frosting, melt the chocolate in a bowl over a pan of simmering water. Remove from the heat. 
  • In a stand mixer, beat the butter and cream cheese using the whisk attachment until perfectly smooth. Add the vanilla and scrape down the sides of the bowl.
  • Add the confectioner’s sugar 1 cup at a time, turning off the machine between additions to avoid spraying the sugar everywhere. Blend on medium speed until it is very smooth.
  • Add the chocolate mixture and blend until it is fully incorporated.
  • Apply liberally to the cooled cakes. If there’s any extra, store it in an airtight container in the freezer.


For the beet puree: Trim and quarter 4 well-scrubbed medium beets. Cover them with water in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook until they are fork tender, about 25 minutes. Drain well and puree in a food processor until very smooth. Cool to room temperature before using.
The beet puree can be prepared up to two days in advance and stored in the refrigerator or for up to 3 months in the freezer.


Calories: 1369kcal



  1. Lota

    Lynn, I can’t wait try this. I get so many in our organic box, and like you I have a standby, but halfway through winter I start ignoring them. This recipe gives me hope! Thanks.

    1. I agree. It’s good to mix up the beet preparation during the long winter! This is definitely unexpected.

  2. marcy strazer

    Best birthday cake ever! Since Lynne made this for my son’s 2nd birthday it has become an annual tradition. I am baking it tonight for his 6th birthday. Friends rave about the cake and never guess the moistness comes from beets.

    1. Happy Birthday, Evan!

  3. Making this. I love beets with a passion and it’s perfect for my lactose-intolerant husband…obviously I’ll need a different frosting, but still, it sounds great!

  4. Jeff Fields

    5 stars
    looking forward to making this one for my daughter’s 4H fundraiser dessert. Looking forward to it!

    1. Hope everyone likes this cake, Jeff. Thanks for commenting.

  5. Beth

    This cake is too much for two 8.5 in round baking pans… overflowed all over my oven and made a huge mess! Tastes okay but definitely use larger pans!

    1. I am really sorry to hear about the beet cake mess in your stove. That’s the worst! The recipe makes a three-layer beet cake. Many people have made this beet chocolate cake recipe, so it’s been widely tested and is a favorite. Because of your experience, I’ve made it clearer in the recipe that it calls for 3 8-inch cake layers (or you can use 2 8-inch cake pans PLUS 12 large cupcakes).

  6. Senta Achee

    Does the recipe called for 2.5cups beets pre-puree? Or 2.5 cups of puree?

    1. It’s 2.5 cups of pureed beets. The instructions are included in the recipe notes.

share your thoughts

Recipe Rating

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *