Last updated on October 2nd, 2022 at 07:00 pm
Originally posted June 11, 2017. Updated 4 November, 2019.
On the days you just need cake, these vegan chocolate beetroot cakes with chocolate avocado frosting are a sweet and rich treat minus the guilt. Made with sunflower seeds, raw cocoa and robust beets they are wholesome, gluten-free and delicious cake treats everyone can enjoy.
You'll have to excuse me if you hear the sound of my face planting in to my keyboard today; we are transitioning the elf to her "big girl" bed. And it's a process. A process where I sleep on the couch to hear if she calls out and end up on the floor in her room.
We have been doing this for three nights now and I am beginning to think I gave birth to the terminator. As I wake up peeling my eyelashes apart so I can see, the Elf bounds out of bed, indefatigable. I know her sleep is broken but she doesn't seem to feel it.
It is one of the universe's twisted little jokes that children can suck the very marrow from your sleep but not have any need for it themselves.
UPDATE: Two years later and our little one has only just gone in to her own bed full-time! What the....?
Amongst all this sleepless chaos, however, we have cake. Vegan Chocolate Beetroot Cakes. And cake equals good.
While I am not one to run from a full-fledged chocolate binge - I'm looking at you raw caramel fudge truffles- it does the mind good knowing these vegan chocolate beetroot cakes at least try to be healthy. They contain simple, whole ingredients:
- Raw beetroot
- Sunflower seeds
- Buckwheat flour
- Apple sauce and
Combined they create a moist little cake that isn't too sweet. With a half-cup of brown sugar shared amongst twelve cakes, it isn't too bad on the sugar either.
I paired our cakes with an inspired chocolate avocado frosting but if you wanted a sweeter topping, the chocolate ganache from my loved up raw chocolate cake would work a treat. Or you could try my basic vegan chocolate frosting recipe. A vegan cream cheese topping would also be heavenly; note to self.
Chocolate and Beetroot Are a Match Made in Heaven
Beetroot and Chocolate are made for each other. While the chocolate provides that familiar rich cocoa flavour, the beetroot lends an earthy sweetness. I used sunflower seeds to create a nut-free cake but almond meal would add another nutty flavour layer.
Health-wise, beetroots are packed with essential nutrients, are a great source of fiber, folate (vitamin B9), manganese, potassium, iron, and vitamin C. While cocoa is rich in polyphenols, which have significant health benefits, including reduced inflammation and improved cholesterol levels | Source: Healthline.
These lovely little cakes are a little gift to myself; if I can't have sleep I will l have cake.
These little vegan chocolate beetroot cakes are a gorgeously chocolatey treat made better by wholesome ingredients and a wonderful balance of flavours.
If you need a little more beetroot in your life try my awesome beet butter (nut free) recipe or my get glowing beetroot and berry chia pots.
Hungry for More Plant-Based Goodness? Subscribe to my newsletter and follow along on Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram for all the latest news and updates
If you like this recipe, please check out my cookbook. Great Vegan Meals for the Carnivorous Family is full of simple, carnivore-approved family recipes.
Chocolate Beetroot Cakes
- food processor
Beetroot and Chocolate Cakes
- 180 grams raw beetroot weighed after pealing, grated
- ½ cup / 65g buckwheat flour sifted
- ½ cup sunflower seeds ground in to a meal like almond meal
- ½ cup / 45g cacao or cocoa powder sifted
- 2 teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup dairy-free milk
- ½ cup apple sauce
- ¼ cup / 60ml olive oil
- ¾ cup / 130g granulated sugar raw
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Chocolate Avocado Frosting
- 2 ripe avocados
- ⅓ cup + 1 tbsp cacao or cocoa around 45 - 50 grams
- 2-3 tablespoon maple syrup
- pinch sea salt
- Preheat the oven to 180° C (conventional) or 160°C (fan) and grease a 12-pan muffin or cupcake pan or an 8-inch round cake pan.
- Grate the beetroot and place it in a large mixing bowl with the other cake ingredients.
- Mix until just combined and spoon evenly among the greased cake moulds.
- Bake in the oven for 20 -23 minutes or until cooked through (a skewer should come away clean from the centre)
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes before turning out to cool completely.
- To make the avocado frosting, place the avocados in a food processor and process until smooth. Add the cacao or cocoa, two tablespoons of maple syrup and a pinch of sea salt.
- Process until smooth and taste. If the avocado is still coming through add the third tablespoon of maple and a tiny bit more cocoa. Process to combine.
- Fill a piping bag with the frosting and pipe on to each cake before serving.
Hi Amanda, I love this recipe and have just made it in a loaf tin but it took for EVER to cook - can you tell me of the oven temperature you recommend is for a fan forced oven? TIA
Good question! I use an oven thermometer and set my fan oven to 170. I generally bake loaves for around an hour but as a loaf, this cake would take longer I suspect. It is denser without any flour in it. How long did it take you? I must admit, I've never baked it as a loaf before. 🙂
Thanks everyone below for answering my question before I even asked it: will it work as one big cake? I am planning a cake for hubby's 70th - he is not vegan but vegetarian - and I just found out that one can make chocolate mousse simply from 70% chocolate and hot water! (Google it) So now I'm toying with the idea of making a totally vegan, gluten free and low sugar mud and mousse cake that EVERYONE can eat.
Oh, my gosh Julie, that mousse sounds awesome (is that the one you whisk and whisk?) Please come back and tell us how it goes. x
Based on what I had in the cupboards, I swapped out the oil for extra milk and the sunflower seeds to quinoa flour. I also baked it as a big square brownie tin. Turned out fab and oil free this way too. Thanks
I love this, Rae! I am so glad the recipe worked anyway and we now have an oil-free version. Nice! x
Lesh Karan says
Thanks for this recipe, Amanda - I made these and they were divine! I iced them with a ganache made with 70% dark chocolate, coconut cream and a dash of maple syrup. So delicious and so moist.
Oh, that's fantastic Lesh. Thanks so much for letting me know. I am so happy you enjoyed them.x
DANIELA WOGNUM says
I just made this this morning and was in heaven, it's fantastic ! I was lazy and made one big cake instead of individual ones and no icing. I love it as is Thank you so much for sharing your recipes. I have just discovered your website with all the mouthwatering recipes and pictures, have saved it in my favourites. I will certainly be trying lots of your other tempting treats, looking at the red lentil dahl ...
Have a wonderful day, thanks again
Oh, thanks so much for telling me Daniela and I'm so happy you loved the recipe. I love these little cakes and I'm so glad to hear it worked as a larger cake for you. Perfect! Thanks again and have a wonderful day. x
Deanna Smith says
Could you please convert the amount of Buckwheat flour to grams please?
I've weighed the half cup (AUS) and it's 65 grams. I also doubled checked the other measures. I hope that helps. Have a great weekend.
Hello! This looks divine, I NEED to make these today, please tell me, I’m not a fan of the flavour of raw beets in food, I’ve tried in cake as well. I prefer cooked beets and I have some, I’m wondering, can I use cooked beets in your lovely recipe please or not?
I have only used the raw beets in this recipe but it should work. If you boiled the beets I would blend them up to a textured puree. If you roasted the beets add a touch more liquid to the recipe - say another tbsp or two of the dairy-free milk - to make up for the loss in moisture. I would mash the roasted beets before popping them in the batter. I hope you enjoy them! I would love to know how it goes. A.
Kim Andryc says
I made these last night, and I didn't like the texture of the raw beets. I'm going to try again today with roasted beets. I'll let you know how it goes! The avocado frosting was divine.
Oh, such a shame about the beets - I hope you like the texture better after cooking them. How good is that avocado frosting, right? One of my favourites. Let mw know how you go Kim 🙂 and thanks for writing. A.
Hi" Could we change the apple sauce for another ingredient? I don't have it at home but I want to try these cupcakes!
You could try swapping it for a 1/2 cup of vegan buttermilk (put a 1/2 tbsp of apple cider vinegar in a half-cup measure and fill the rest with dairy-free milk). I would then add another 2-3 tbsp of sugar to the recipe to sweeten it. I haven't tried it but it should work. Let me know how it goes! Cheers. A
Jansen Andre says
Can you make this in cake form? Instead of cupcake
I have only made these as cupcakes but you should be able to transfer it to a cake recipe. I would try baking it in a 20cm pan for around 23 - 26 minutes at the same temperature (or until cooked through). Maybe add another 1/2 tsp of baking powder for good luck.
Let me know how you go! Cheers. A.
Hi, have you tried making them in cake form? Did you use the ingredients for the 12 cup cakes or more than that? Any tips and suggestions? I need to make a birthday cake.
I haven't made this in cake form but I remember one of my lovely readers did. The rule of thumb for converting cupcake recipes to cake recipes is 2 batches will make an 8-inch cake. Divide the mixture between 20cm layer cake tins and bake for approximately 22-25 minutes at the same temperature indicated by the recipe.
Good luck, Valentina! x
OMG! This has become my no.1 preffered way of eating beetroot! I’ve made this 3 times now and they always gone so quickly! Thank you for the recipe!
Nancy, you've made my day. Thank you! Big cyber hug coming your way.