Chocolate Beetroot Cake

Serves 10

Based on a recipe created by English chef Nigel Slater, this version marries naturally sweet beetroot with dark chocolate. For easy assembly, have all your ingredients prepped and ready before you start baking the cake.


  • 2½ tablespoons whole-grain, stone-ground corn flour
  • 2½ tablespoons potato starch
  • 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon instant-coffee granules
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon xanthan gum
  • Large pinch fine sea salt
  • 5 ounces 60% to 70% dark chocolate, finely chopped
  • 10 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened and cubed, plus extra for pan
  • 4 large eggs
  • ²⁄3 cup white sugar
  • 5 ounces roasted and peeled purple beetroot, diced and pureed in a food processor
  • Confectioners' sugar for dusting
  • Whipped cream or Greek yogurt, to serve


Preheat the oven to 350° F. Grease the sides of a 9-inch cake pan with butter and line the base with baking parchment. Butter that, too. Combine the corn flour, potato starch, cocoa, coffee granules, baking powder, xanthan gum and salt, and reserve.

Melt the chocolate in a bowl placed over hot water or in a microwave. Add the butter bits and stir occasionally until fully melted. Let stand until cooled and slightly thickened.

Beat the eggs and white sugar until they thicken, about 5 minutes. (A lifted beater should leave a slowly dissolving ribbon on the surface.)

Fold in the chocolate and then the beet purée.

Sift half the flour mix over the surface and fold in. Repeat with the remaining flour mix.

Transfer the batter to the cake pan. Bake for 30 minutes, until an inserted toothpick emerges slightly sticky. (Don’t overbake; the cake should be on the fudgy side.)

Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then unmold onto a wire rack. Gently peel off the paper and let cool completely with the flat underside uppermost.

Dust the cake with a layer of confectioners’ sugar before serving. (To make a design, rest a wire rack on top of the cake with the feet facing upward. Dust with confectioners’ sugar and then carefully lift the rack off.) Serve each slice with whipped cream or Greek yogurt.

Cook’s tip: If you don’t have the time or inclination to bake your own beets, Trader Joe’s offers 8-ounce packs of ready-to-use steamed baby beets in the refrigerator case.

Nutrition Analysis: 290 cal, 19 g fat, 105 mg chol, 45 mg sodium, 28 g carbs, 2 g fiber, 20 g sugar, 4 g protein.

The author of more than a dozen cookbooks to date, Gluten-Free Living Contributing Editor Jackie Mallorca’s titles include The Wheat-Free Cook and Gluten-Free Italian