Chocolate Beet Cake

Yes, you read that title right. Chocolate Beet Cake …and it was delicious, too! The reason for the chocolate beet cake was my daughter’s 1st birthday and, yes, I even baked it myself! My husband, the baker in the family, made the cake for the party for everyone else but I reserved the right to make Marcella’s little cake (“little” ended up being 2 6 inch rounds actually.) He frosted it but the cake underneath that frosting was all my own creation and I was darn proud of that fact, too. You see, I am baking-challenged. Making even a simple cake mix is normally not in my job description but as this was the first cake Marcella has ever had and her first taste of sugar ever, I really wanted to be the proud mama that made it for her.

I had promised my husband that as long as he went along with this no sugar thing, I would let her have it for her first birthday but that didn’t mean that I wasn’t cringing at the fact of her eating cake in all its unhealthy glory. So, I was on a mission to make a cake that had some nutritional benefit to it, even with the requisite sugar.

I let my husband decide the flavor (I gave him the choices chocolate, apple or carrot) and he chose chocolate. As soon as that decision was made, I already knew which recipe I would use. I had heard of this chocolate beet cake in the past and my husband had even told me back before food coloring, that it was beets that were used to color a red velvet cake. So, it really isn’t so far-fetched that I would use beets in a chocolate cake and that it would even taste good. I had history on my side and Green Smoothie Girl’s blog has a very nutritious, even healthy chocolate beet cake! I subscribe to her emails and remembered seeing it in the past so I went to her blog and did a search and, voila, there it was.

I will admit to being a bit of a procrastinator by nature so in the midst of all the last-minute party planning and a move back into our house we had been renting out, I didn’t actually get to buying the ingredients until a couple days before the party. Turns out since my baker husband always has cake ingredients on hand, my chocolate beet cake wasn’t nearly as healthy as Green Smoothie Girl’s is by any stretch. I didn’t use whole wheat flour or coconut oil (couldn’t find this but I actually did look for it) and I used real sugar instead of Sucanat, a sugar substitute. Real sugar was, after all, one of the requirements of my making the cake. But it did have beets. Messy, staining beets that I myself peeled, diced and pureed (not to mention LOTS of rinsing off of anything that the beet juice touched for more than a tenth of a second). Really the rest of the recipe was a piece of cake (did you like my pun??) and the beets weren’t really that much of  a mess. I also didn’t make her healthy frosting since my husband already had white frosting made in the fridge. And because I didn’t want it to be a hideous, ugly mess I had him frost it and throw some pretty sprinkles on for good measure. The end result? A cute little 2 layer cake that my beautiful girl had a great time demolishing…and a proud smiling mom that could at least know her little girl was getting something sort of healthy, even if everyone else watching thought it was just sugary cake.

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