Beetroot Chocolate Cake with Cardamom & Orange Icing

Shop Ingredients
Serves 10


2 beetroots, about 200g
150g dark chocolate, roughly chopped
1 tsp ginger, grated
1 cup plain flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
Pinch of salt
1/3 cup caster sugar
180g unsalted butter
3 eggs, separated

1 cup icing sugar
1tsp ground cardamom
2tbsp softened butter
1 orange, juice and rind


Ah, the classic combo of orange and cardamom – bring beetroots into the equation and it only gets better. This is a brilliant pack lunch treat with hidden veg to boot!


Beetroot Chocolate Cake with Cardamom & Orange Icing

Wash, peel and dice beetroots. Steam until cooked, reserve any remaining pink steaming water for the butter cream, and then puree* the diced beetroot. Alternatively bake or boil the beetroots whole, then simply rub off the skin with your fingers. Add chopped chocolate pieces to the warm beetroot and stir so they melt. Add ginger and juice of half an orange and stir gently to combine. Set the other orange half aside for the icing.

Preheat oven to 180˚C and line an 18cm (round) cake tin. Sift flour, salt and baking powder into a bowl. Separate the eggs. Beat the yolks, butter and sugar until creamy. Whisk the whites until they form soft peaks.

Add beetroot mix to flour and combine. Fold in butter sugar mixture, then fold in the beaten egg whites.  Gently spoon the mixture into the cake tin. Bake for 50 mins. Once cooked, let stand to cool.

Grate the rind of half an orange, then juice. Combine the icing sugar and cardamom in a bowl. Add the butter, beat the mixture to combine. Add orange juice as needed. Add orange rind at the end. To make a naturally pink icing, briefly mix a piece of left over beetroot into the icing and gently stir or alternatively add a few drops of the left over pink steaming water. Sometimes you might find that the butter cream splits  (we did) – don’t despair, you can save it following these steps! 

Once the cake is cooked and cooled, apply icing with a spatula or butter knife and serve.

Hints and Tips

*We used a stick blender to do this which was tricky at first, but once you add in the orange juice it becomes easier. Alternatively a regular blender or a food processor or some diligent work with a fork will do it. The aim is to hide the texture of the beetroot but if you don’t mind chunks leave some in!



Photo by Liz Francis



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  1. Hi there,
    looks great! to make this GF would you use similar amounts of GF flour, or could I use hazelnut meal/ almond meal? (that’s what I have at home),
    thanks for your help & recipes!

    1. Hi Rebecca, thanks yes this is such a goodie to have on hand. I haven’t tried this particular recipe with GF flour or almond meal but I suspect either would be fabulous and mightn’t need much adjustment. I would sub in what you have on hand and just note for next time if it needs a little more or less. Enjoy!

  2. The cake was beautiful – with good quality cooking chocolate (I’m thinking Lindt 70% cooking choc this recipe works like a dream. However, we did find the icing was a tad too sweet – when we thinly layered it on then we got both the chocolate cake and the icing complementing each other – next time I would half the icing quantity. 🙂 lovely cake! Would make it again!

    1. Yes it’s definitely true, quality in equals quality out! Thanks for the love, and the feedback. Less icing or less sugar in the mix sounds like a good trick for the next batch!

  3. I just made a gluten free version of this with half the sugar (and no icing!) and it is delicious and moist and looks devine!

  4. This cake was soooo moist and the perfect combination of flavours.
    I did make minor variations by using coconut sugar instead, a GF flour mix,
    added some ground cacao powder with my dark cooking chocolate pieces. I will be making it again.