Cacao Beet Cake (Red Devil Cake)

Source: Julia (our farmer’s wife) cir. 2000

cacao beet cake
deliciously moist cacao beet cake

Don’t let the name of this cake, ‘cacao beet cake’ fool you.  I know is not the most appealing name given to a moist, chocolate cake but I also find the name appealing.  Who would ever imagine beets could be used as a main ingredient to any cake, let alone one of the world’s most popular, the chocolate cake.  Or, is this a devils food cake?  I’m not sure, but what little research I’ve conducted about using beets with cake can be traced back to the early 1900’s.  So, maybe this recipe is not so original as I initially thought, but it seems the secret of using beets was discovered early on, more likely to enhance the color and depth of the cake, before the discovery of red food dye.

It’s been almost 20 years since I was given this amazing recipe. Our organic farmer has a CSA (community sponsored agriculture) program where he does a weekly ‘box’ delivery to his customers.  Along with this comes a special recipe sheet giving loving suggestions of how to use your veg for the week.  This beet recipe was noted. 

Beets have assumed their place in the bake kitchen, and rightfully so.  They not only provide numerous amounts of nutrition and antioxidants, but they also provide moisture.  This is basically a chocolate cake without the fuss, calories, or guilt of a chocolate cake.  You’ll never know that you’re eating beets.

Cacao-Beet Cake (Red Devil Cake)

Feel free to make a nice icing to accompany this, however I always finish the cake off with a sprinkle of powder sugar. 
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword Cake, Vegetables
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 10


  • 1 1/4 cup beets cooked, and peeled
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 cup flour
  • 3/4 cup cacao powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda


  • Begin by preheating your oven to 200 degrees Celsius.  Take your soft, cooked beets, peel the skin, and puree into a smooth texture
  • Mix the beet puree together with all the ingredients.  Beet on low speed until well combined.
  • Grease a cake pan (or square) and pour batter in. 
    Bake for 45-50 min, or until tester stick comes out clean.
  • When cooled, finish with a sprinkle of powder sugar.
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