**Recipe updated August 15, 2017 to make a 2 layer 8-inch or 9-inch cake**
I can’t believe it’s been almost 2 months since I finished my 200 hour yoga teacher training at Trimurti Yoga in Goa, India! After a few more stops in India and taking a bit of time to surf and relax in Bali, I recently arrived back home on Vancouver Island in Canada. Throughout my travels I’d been taking notes of all the different foods I wanted to recreate at home. At the top of the list: Chocolate Beetroot Cake!
The Trimurti Yoga campus is located on a road between two villages, Palolem and Agonda, and as such is a bit isolated from the nice shops and restaurants in these places (I don’t think it was a bad thing either – it helped to keep us focussed). Although we were well-fed with yogic diet based foods, after a week of having the same 3 meals a day many of us were craving something a bit more indulgent. The long days of studying and intensive yoga practice didn’t help either. Enter our saviour, Milly’s, and the rise of the Chocolate Beetroot Cake cult.
Milly’s is a little roadside restaurant run out of a family home, just steps away from Trimurti. Just two items are on the main menu: veg thali and fish thali, plus a few desserts. A sampling of different dishes are brought out family style to your table. The family who runs Milly’s are super nice and their freshly prepared food is delicious. However, I think most of the yogis trekked (with the midday heat it felt like a trek) over to Milly’s at least once a week just for a piece of heavenly Chocolate Beetroot Cake. A dense, dark chocolate cake covered in warm chocolate sauce is a site to behold for any sugar deprived yogi.
Due to the popularity of this amazing cake, sometimes cake excursions to Milly’s weren’t successful. The long, sad faces gave it away when someone returned from one of these trips. One amazing day, a few of my fellow yogi students decided to pre-order 3 large cakes to share amongst all 33 of us. It was glorious! We had a beautiful evening bonding over the deliciousness of these cakes. Cake brings people together – seriously!
So of course when I got home, Chocolate Beetroot Cake was the first thing to come out of the oven. Although I’m not sure if the original Milly’s cake was vegan or not, I wanted to challenge myself to make a vegan version – with the bonus being that the cake is incredibly easy to put together! All that’s required is a bit of advance preparation to roast the beets.
I used a 10 inch tube pan (like a bundt pan, without all the fancy ridges) for the recipe because I wanted a round cake and we didn’t have any large, circular cake tins. I think a 9 inch springform would be ideal to create a tall, circular cake, just like Milly’s.
I added the mango flower in the middle of the cake to cover the hole from the tube pan for the photos (otherwise it just looked like a giant donut!). It was easier than I thought. I tried to slice the mango as thinly as possible. Working on a plate, I rolled one mango slice around itself then kept on adding layers. I secured it all together with 4 toothpicks and then placed it on top of the cake. The fresh tropical fruit was perfect with the dense cake, but any fresh berries would be a nice addition too.
I think this is a wonderful, healthier version of chocolate cake. The beets can be roasted ahead of time, then used for the cake whenever you’re ready to make it. Don’t worry about the cake tasting like salad either! The beets just impart their earthy flavour and natural sweetness, while keeping the cake from drying out. Although beetroot cake isn’t the most traditional Indian recipe, it brings back really nice memories of my time spent studying yoga in Goa. I hope you enjoy it too!
Thanks for reading and following along!
**Recipe updated August 15, 2017 to make 2 layer 8-inch or 9-inch layer cake. A tube pan, 9-inch or 10-inch springform pan would also still work. Alternately you could bake a large 9″x13″ cake or half the recipe to make a smaller cake. I also used a chocolate buttercream icing instead of the chocolate glaze, and added candied beetroot chips courtesy of Martha Stewart.**
Chocolate Beetroot Cake (Vegan)
A dense, healthier version of typical Chocolate Cake. You can feel good about eating this cake - there's vegetables in it!
- 1 1/4 cups grated or pureed beetroot
- 1 cup almond milk
- 1 1/2 cup cane sugar
- 1/2 cup oil (vegetable, canola, or rapeseed, etc.)
- 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 2/3 cup cocoa powder + boiling water to make 1 1/4 cup of liquid
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup almond milk
- 1/4 cup cane sugar
- 2 tbsp brown sugar
- 1/4 cup cocoa powder
Vegan Chocolate Buttercream
- 3 tbsp cocoa powder
- 3 tbsp boiling water
- 1 tbsp almond milk
- 2 tbsp brown sugar
- 2 tbsp vegan butter
- 1 1/2 - 2 cups icing sugar
Preheat oven to 375°F. Clean 3-4 beets and remove leaves. Wrap loosely in tinfoil and let roast in oven for 40-50 minutes, or until easily pierced with a knife. Lower oven temperature to 350°F.
Once the beets are cool, remove skins with a peeler or just use your fingers to peel. Puree beets in a food processor or grate them.
Whisk together wet ingredients and pureed beets in a small bowl. Stir together dry ingredients in a large bowl. Add wet ingredients to dry and stir together until fully combined and no lumps remain.
Use a bit of oil to grease two 8-inch or 9-inch cake pans (cutout a round of parchment paper and place at bottom of pan if you're worried about cake sticking). Pour batter into pans. Bake in centre of oven for 30-35 minutes. Let cakes cool for at least 10 minutes, then remove from pan and let cool on a wire rack.
Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Whisk glaze and simmer for about 10 minutes, or until it coats the back of a spoon. Allow glaze to cool and thicken.
Place cake on a large plate and spoon glaze over top. Serve cake with fresh fruit if desired.
Vegan Chocolate Buttercream
Stir together cocoa, boiling water, and brown sugar in a large bowl. Beat in almond milk and vegan butter. Slowly add icing sugar and beat until smooth.
Place the round edge of one cake on a plate. Ice with 1/3 of the chocolate buttercream. Place the second cake flat side down on top. Ice with the remaining icing, using a spoon to create swirls.