Photo by  Ann Cutting.

Photo by Ann Cutting.

Christiana's Beet Chocolate Cake

Christiana Thomas used to be a professional baker. Now she is an all around lovely and talented human being who used to write a great food blog, The Harmonious Kitchen. We LOVE this cake! It is moist and rich without being overly sweet. And beet haters are none the wiser.

 

Serves 14

Cake Ingredients

  • 4 ounces unsweetened chocolate 1 cup vegetable oil, divided
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 cups puréed roasted or boiled beets (about 6 medium-sized fresh beets or two 8 oz. packages of Trader Joe’s cooked steamed beets). If making from scratch, prepare beets the night before.
  • 1 Tbs. vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable oil 
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • Candied orange peel, optional (for decoration or taste)

Method

  • Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • Prepare two 9-inch cake pans with oil and our. See note below.
  • Melt the chocolate and 1/4 cup of the oil in a double broiler; set aside to cool.
  • Combine the eggs and sugar in a large bowl and beat in the remaining 3/4 cup oil, chocolate mixture, puréed beets and vanilla.
  • Sift flour, baking soda and salt into another large bowl.
  • Stir the dry ingredients slowly into the wet ingredients until the our is just mixed.
  • Pour batter into the prepared pans. It will be very “liquidy.”
  • Bake until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Check at 25 minutes. You may need to bake additional minutes. My oven takes about 30 to 35 minutes.

Frosting Ingredients

  • 8 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 4 Tbs. butter, softened
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • Zest of an orange 

Method

  • In a large bowl, beat together the butter and cream cheese with an electric mixer.
  • With the mixer on low speed, add the powdered sugar a cup at a time until smooth
  • and creamy. Beat in the vanilla extract.
  • When cake is completely cooled, frost top of cake layers with a spatula or butter knife, using about 1/3 of the frosting on the bottom layer and 2/3 for the top. If you are new to cake frosting, there are many online descriptions.
  • Add thinly sliced candied orange peel if using.

NOTE: Preparing the pans means lightly brushing oil on all inside surfaces of each pan. Sprinkle our on each surface and swish around until the pans are completely coated. I add a cut round of parchment as well to be sure that the cake won’t stick.

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