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Red Velvet Chocolate Beet Cake

Just by the name, you can tell this is not the original red velvet cake. This red velvet chocolate beet cake is real chocolate, sweet with honey and sugar, moist with vitamin beet, and frosted with chocolate glaze.

Red Velvet Chocolate Beet Cake | Letty's Kitchen

I never did feel the love for that other red velvet cake—the one made with a 2-ounce bottle of red food coloring and 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder. All that red food coloring grosses me out. We’re talking red–bright red!

Back in my pastry chef days, I tinkered to improve the classic red velvet cake recipe. I bumped the chocolate up to something you could taste, and used beet powder for the red. Those cakes tasted okay, and the color was less garish, though some thought the color wasn’t red enough to be red velvet.

I kept thinking, why couldn’t you start with a chocolate cake and fold in fresh grated beets, like you fold grated carrots into carrot cake batter?


Red Velvet Chocolate Beet Cake | Letty's Kitchen

This red velvet chocolate beet cake is just what I imagined. It comes out tender, fragrant, subtly red, and chocolatey. I know the very thought of beets turns some people off–just don’t tell them. The grated beets disappear into the chocolate and they won’t even know they’re there.

Start with a ribbon of eggs, honey, and sugar, and a bit of light molasses to soften the sweetness. Next, stir in oil, vanilla and melted chocolate, and then whole wheat flour sifted with baking soda and baking powder. Just before the batter goes into the pans, fold in grated raw beets.

While the cakes bake, melt chocolate with coconut milk and maple syrup for the fill and frost, and if you wish, candy beet matchsticks for a finishing sprinkle.

Red Velvet Chocolate Beet Cake | Letty's Kitchen

Red Velvet Chocolate Beet Cake recipe notes:

  • The chocolate glaze keeps the sugar quotient down. If you like, frost your red velvet beet cake with cream cheese frosting, which is a popular red velvet cake frosting. Deer Valley’s carrot cake is frosted with cream cheese frosting—the recipe is in my cookbook, Chocolate Snowball. Evidently I gave a ski instructor the recipe a long time ago.
  • This recipe makes plenty of chocolate glaze. If you have some left, chill and scoop into round little truffles.

candied beets for Red Velvet Chocolate Beet Cake | Letty's Kitchen

  • Candied beet matchsticks are a pretty but optional decoration. They take about an hour of cooking time, so prepare them ahead, or while the cake bakes and cools.

Wishing you a fabulous week–get in the kitchen and bake something chocolate!

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  • JeanieC

    LOVED this. I made it for Valentine’s Day as a treat for my daughter, since she’s been begging me for years to make a red velvet cake and I always refuse, saying “it’s too toxic.” The beets were great fun (the kitchen carnage makes for good times) and the cake turned out beautifully. A hint of beet came through on day 1 but I’m not noticing it this a.m. (had to check – delicious with coffee). I’ll definitely make it again. Thanks for the great recipe! Reply · 15 February, 2017

    • Thank you Jeannie! Kitchen carnage–love it! I know, that’s why I usually roast beets–because you can peel them after they’re cooked–keeping the red color carnage at bay! Reply · 15 February, 2017

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