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Martha Stewart's Chocolate Beet Cake

Martha Stewart's secret ingredients for healthy chocolate cake and cookies. TODAY, April 3rd 2017.
Martha Stewart's secret ingredients for healthy chocolate cake and cookies. TODAY, April 3rd 2017.Nathan Congleton / TODAY
1 cake

Chef notes

You won't taste the pureed beets, but they make this cake extra moist and fudgy, even with the addition of whole-grain spelt flour. The beets also play up the cake's full-bodied, not-too-sweet flavor.


Chocolate ganache frosting
  • 3 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 4 medium beets (1½ pounds), trimmed, peeled, and cut into 2-inch chunks
  • 1/4 cup safflower oil, plus more for pan
  • 1 cup spelt flour
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • cups natural cane sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
  • teaspoons baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup warm water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


For the chocolate ganache frosting:

Put chocolate in a bowl. In a small saucepan, heat cream until just simmering. Pour cream over chocolate and let stand 10 minutes; then stir until smooth. Let stand, stirring occasionally, until thickened and spreadable, about 1 hour.

For the cake:

Place beets in a steamer basket set in a saucepan filled with 2 inches of simmering water. Cover and steam until beets are tender when pierced with a sharp knife, about 25 minutes. Let cool slightly, then puree in a food processor until smooth.

Preheat oven to 350°F. Oil one 9-inch square or round cake pan. Line bottom with a parchment.

In a large bowl, whisk together both flours, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. Whisk in eggs, water, oil, vanilla, and 1¼ cups beet puree (reserve remaining puree for another use).

Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake, rotating pan halfway through, until cake is set and a cake tester inserted in center comes out clean, about 35 minutes.

Transfer pan to a wire rack and let cake cool, 20 minutes. Invert cake onto rack and let cool completely.

Place cake on a cake plate and spread evenly with chocolate ganache. (Cake can be kept, covered, up to 2 days.)

Courtesy of "A New Way to Bake" by Martha Stewart