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Chocolate and Beetroot Bundt Cake

Chocolate and Beetroot Bundt Cake

Little Boy Green has been waiting for his birthday since, well, his last birthday, so that he can have a BIG chocolate cake. Lucky enough for him, my birthday is just a couple of days away and to celebrate we are having that big chocolate cake. After looking through our cookbook collection and some online recipes, we settled on this one. I gave up on trying to find the healthiest cake possible and instead decided to chill out and indulge.

I made this together with both of my boys. It was a fun activity to do and the boys behaved themselves admirably. Since baking it we have been reaping the rewards thin slice by thin slice in the optimistic (but quite possibly misplaced) belief that there will be some cake left for my actual birthday.

We shamelessly nicked this recipe off of Isa Chandra Moskowitz’s recipe for Chocolate-Zucchini Bundt Cake from her awesome book Isa Does It. I have made a variety of substitutions in the vain of making this a somewhat healthy-ish cake. But to be honest, the result is a fairly large cake that when sliced into individual portions is, in its original incarnation, rather modest in the not-so-healthy category. I also swapped the zucchini for beetroot as a nod to a time when beetroot brownies hit the culinary world a decade ago or so and made me fall in love with brownies all over again. 

This recipe calls for unsweetened apple sauce which is not a staple cupboard ingredient in our home and I would usually substitute it with an overripe mashed banana, but I stuck with the applesauce and I’m glad I did. Apple sauce is easy enough to find, look in the baby food section of your local supermarket if you’re stuck finding some for adults.

The substitutions we have made have probably developed a more dense cake, but it is a delicious treat nevertheless that is set to become a household favourite. Little Boy Green had some for breakfast, courtesy of Mrs Green, and upon seeing it Baby Green wanted some, too, and got it. I would say “so much for discipline and order in the house” but, as Mrs Green pointed out, they also ate their porridge after the cake. Everyone was happy all morning. Good chocolate cake does that.


  • 3 cups/400g of flour (we used wholewheat pastry)
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup sugar (we used evaporated cane)
  • 1 cup/360g unsweetened apple sauce
  • 3/4 cup non-dairy milk (we used soya milk)
  • 1/2 cup canola(rapeseed) oil (we used grapeseed)
  • 1 tbsp pure vanilla extract
  • 250g cooked beetroot

Chocolate Glaze:

  • 1/2 cup non-dairy milk (we used soya milk)
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 150g unsweetened dark chocolate (at least 70%)


  • Preheat oven to 180C
  • In a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, place the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, salt and sugar and mix well.
  • In a separate bowl shred the beetroot on the larger grating blades on a box grater and then add the applesauce, milk, oil, and vanilla extract. mix well to combine.
  • Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix well or use the whisk on the stand mixer.
  • Oil the bundt tin making sure to grease any little grooves and pour in the cake mixture.
  • Bake for 50 minutes of until a knife, when inserted into the cake comes out clean.
  • Allow the cake to cool, in the tin, for a good 10-15 minutes before flipping out onto a cooling rack.

Chocolate Glaze:

  • In a small pot bring the milk to the boil and immediately add the maple syrup and chocolate pieces.
  • Remove from heat and whisk well until smooth.
  • Place the cooling rack and cake over some newspaper or into the sink before pouring over the glaze.
  • Allow to set for 10 minutes
  • Eat, enjoy and think of us!
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