Chocolate Beetroot Cake Recipe by Chef Darren Harris

Chocolate Beetroot Cake Recipe by Darren Harris

This Chocolate Beetroot Cake Recipe is a fun twist on a traditional chocolate sponge cake.

The rich, earthy flavour of beetroot adds complexity to dark chocolate which is enhanced by treacly notes from the soft dark brown sugar, all balanced by a little gentle zing from the buttermilk and sour cream. Beetroot is a great antioxidant so you can have your cake and eat it.

Serves 8-10


170g salted butter
150g dark chocolate (90-100 % cocoa)
55g high quality cocoa powder
235g soft flour
4g bread soda
4g baking powder
285g soft dark brown sugar
4 large eggs
230g buttermilk (ideally organic)
245g full fat sour cream
500g fresh raw beetroot, peeled & finely grated (reserve the juice if any)


1. Line a deep, round cake tin with non-stick silicon paper.
2. Melt chocolate and butter in a small pot until it becomes liquid but is still cool to the touch.
3. Combine flour, cocoa powder, bread soda and baking powder. Sieve this mixture 3 times. Add sugar. Finish combining by hand to ensure there are no lumps.
4. Beat eggs vigorously for 2 minutes in a large electrical mixing bowl.
5. Add butter and chocolate mix to sour cream and buttermilk mix. Ensuring this is cool, fold in to the egg mixture.
6. Add all beetroot (and beetroot juice) to this mix and then swirl in 1/3 of the dry ingredients.
7. Once incorporated, add remaining 2/3 of the dry ingredients. Transfer gently to the cake tin and smooth out.
8. Bake at 180ºC maximum (fan 165ºC) for about 65 minutes. Look for cracks appearing on top of the cake. To see if it is baked, insert a skewer. If it comes out clean, it is ready.
9. Leave to cool in the tin. When almost fully cooled, invert the cake and present smooth side up.

Chef’s Tip:
Wear disposable gloves when peeling and preparing the beetroot.
Serve finished cake with dark fruits such as blackberries, blueberries and cherries.

all-in-the-foodAll in the Food is a celebration of contemporary Irish cooking from Cathal Brugha Street, where most of our top chefs learned their craft. With recipes from star chefs, including Darina Allen, Neven Maguire, and Ross Lewis, along with contributions by some of Ireland’s rising stars, this book is a showcase of the most talented chefs in Ireland.

All in the Food is published by O’Brien’s Press and is available to buy here.​

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