Choc-beetroot red devil sheet cake

With a flavour you can't beet.

Beetroot adds a rich earthy flavour to this chocolate cake and makes it beautifully moist at the same time. Finished with a lovely cream cheese frosting and candied beets.

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Candied beetroot
Cream-cheese frosting


1.Make candied beetroot. Place sugar, glucose and 2 cups (500ml) water in a heavy-based saucepan; bring to the boil. Add sliced beetroot; cook over low heat for 40 minutes or until beetroot is translucent (lift a piece from thick syrup using tongs to check if it is translucent); keep checking the heat as you may need to increase it as syrup thickens. Using tongs, transfer beetroot to wire racks to cool. Simmer remaining liquid over low heat for 5 minutes or until reduced and syrupy. Cool.
2.Preheat oven to 180°C/350°F. Grease a 25cm x 37cm (10in x 14¾in) rectangular slice pan; line base and long sides with baking paper.
3.Grate beetroot coarsely; you will need 2½ cups. Place beetroot in a food processor with buttermilk, oil and vinegar; process until as smooth as possible.
4.Beat butter and sugar with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. With motor operating, add one egg at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla.
5.Sift flour, cocoa powder, soda and salt into a medium bowl. Add dry ingredients to butter mixture, alternating with buttermilk mixture, beating on low speed until well combined; do not over-beat. Spread batter in pan.
6.Bake cake for 25 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. Leave cake in pan for 5 minutes; transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
7.Meanwhile, make cream-cheese frosting. Beat butter and cream cheese with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Beat in sugar and vanilla. Cover; refrigerate until required.
8.Spread frosting over top of cake, creating a swirled effect. Top with candied beetroot and drizzle with a little syrup.

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