Chocolate Cake With a Surprise (Beets!)

Chocolate Cake With a Surprise (Beets!)
  • Sumo

Our lovely fitness trainer, Julie from Fit2Day, recently had a birthday. Lisa H., one of our regulars at boot camp, contacted me asking for a recipe for a beetroot chocolate cake that would be paleo friendly so that she could make Julie a birthday cake. I found a recipe at Elana’s Pantry which would be just perfect with a few minor adjustments**. You can see the original recipe here. Beets are packed full of good vitamins and minerals. This is a great (and sneaky) way to get some vegetables into your kids. Trust me, they’ll never know.

Lisa whipped up this cake and it was delicious… super chocolaty and so moist! I don’t usually like cake all that much, but I truly loved this cake and will definitely be making it. We all shared it after Saturday morning’s class. I really think we should have cake after every boot camp 😉

Here is what you’ll need:

  • 2 1/2 cups grated beets
  • 1 cup honey
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract
  • 1/2 cup cacoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt


How to make it:

  1. Bring the grated beets and honey to a boil in a medium saucepan.
  2. Reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes, or until beets are soft.
  3. Once your beets are soft, remove from heat and puree in a blender or food processor until smooth.
  4. Stir in the rest of your ingredients until well mixed.
  5. Bake at 350 F (175 C) for 30-35 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.
  6. Serve as is or garnish the top with fruit.

**We changed this recipe from it’s original by using honey instead of agave syrup. Agave syrup is not a good choice and here is why. It’s also a good idea to change out the grapeseed oil in the original recipe to coconut oil. All of the paleo books and sources I checked listed grapeseed oil as an oil to avoid (just like canola, soybean, vegetable oil, corn oil, sunflower oil and safflower oil). Grapeseed oil actually has the highest polyunsaturated fatty acid content of them all (and that’s not a good thing).

Beautifully decorated with fruit


Happy Birthday Julie!

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  1. Bring the beets to a boil with honey? How much water should be used when bringing it to a boil? Thanks for the recipe, I plan on making it today.

    • Hi Elle, no water…the grated beets will release their own water as they soften. Just beets and honey in a pan for about 30 minutes. Also, be sure to reduce down to a simmer after you get it boiling and cook with the lid on. Hope it turns out for you.

  2. I’ve been trying to eat Paleo as much as possible but i’m having trouble convincing my folks that they should jump in with me. I’m planning on making this as a Christmas dessert as a way to convince them. Thank You!

    • Hi Desiree,
      Good luck with converting your parents. I’ve been trying to convert my mom for ages. I guess chocolate cake is a pretty good place to start when you’re trying to convince people paleo is yummy 🙂

  3. My boyfriend made this a while ago and it was delicious. I thought adding in a little ground almond might be nice for the texture, is there any reason not to?

    • Hi Effie,
      I think adding almonds would be just fine. Ground almonds don’t absorb much liquid so you might not have to adjust anything else. If the batter seems too thick though you might need to add a bit of liquid to compensate.

  4. Thanks for the recipe; sounds yummy! Do you peel the skin off the beets prior to grating?

    • Hi Marsha,
      Yes, the beets were peeled. Thanks for stopping by 🙂

  5. Ours is baking now! We’ll let you know how it turns out.

    • Hi Rachel,
      I hope it turns out yummy for you 🙂 Well, it is chocolate and it is cake so even at it’s worst it’s bound to be good 😉

  6. Our beet cake is done! It tastes great- though its a bit oily, I know that’s common with coconut oil, so I’m gonna try again with less oil, to see if it helps the consistency. Any tips? This was my practice round f or my son’s first birthday next week!

    • Maybe cut back on the oil by around 2 tablespoons or you could also increase the cocoa powder or add in a tablespoon of arrowroot powder and that would probably absorb some of the oil. It’s been a long time since I had this so I don’t clearly remember if I found it oily or not….also, sometimes texture changes a bit after a few hours out of the oven. Congratulations on your son’s first birthday!!!!! <3

      • What if you used canned beets?

        • Hi Melissa,
          I think canned beets would work just fine. Let me know how it turns out for you 🙂

  7. I really love this recipe! I make it all the time and have shared it with so many people. The best part is that I fake out my kids and tell them it’s just chocolate cake. Thanks so much!

    • Hi Sarah,
      Thanks for taking the time to let me know! I used to fake my daughter out with beet and spinach chocolate cupcakes 🙂