Chili-Chocolate Beet Cake with Creamy Goat Cheese Frosting

I had been holding on to a couple of bars of Lindt Dark Chili Chocolate, a bag of beets from the farmers market and the following recipe for chocolate beet cake for a week too long.  Tonight’s sleep over with my grandchildren- ‘The Littles’ (an affectionate name given by my daughter Katie to her sister Jen’s children that stuck) – inspired me to get my baking act together and make a chocolate cake!  Nigel Slater’s ‘Tender- A cook and his vegetable patch is a cook book in  my collection that makes me very happy, especially the recipe title that starts with..”an extremely moist chocolate-beet cake”.  I pretty much followed the directions as written with a few small tweaks, such as subbing in my favorite goat cheese frosting and serving the poppy seeds that get sprinkled on the top- on the side.  I’ve been curious about making a chocolate beet cake so I did a little research on the subject and concluded that chocolate beet cakes might be similar to ones made with shredded zucchini. Considering that but wanting a chocolate cake with a definite beet flavor I decided to try coaxing as much beet flavor out of my beets as I could by first steaming and then peeling, slicing and mashing them with a potato masher before adding them to the luscious chocolate cake batter.  Was it hard to dump a very generous cup of fairly coarse mashed beets into a chocolate batter?  I won’t fib, yes -it kinda was!  But, I was curious to have this flavor experience, so in went the mashed beets.  How was the chili chocolate beet flavor?  I have to say that this recipe makes a rich chocolatey deeply flavored beet cake(yummy) and  spread with the goat cheese frosting- it’s one that I am happy to have in my chocolate cake repertoire.

Chili-Chocolate Beet Cake with Creamy Goat Cheese Frosting

Serving Size: 8

Adapted from Tender a cook and his vegetable patch by Nigel Slater


  • 8 ounces beets (250g)
  • 7 ounces Dark Chili Chocolate (200g), I used Lindt Excellence Dark Chili Chocolate, infused with spicy red chili
  • 4 tablespoons hot fresh made espresso
  • 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter (200g)
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons all purpose flour (135g)
  • 1 heaping teaspoon baking powder
  • 3 tablespoons good quality cocoa powder
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • 5 eggs
  • 1 cup sugar (190g)
  • For the Frosting
  • 3 tablespoons soft goat cheese
  • 2 tablespoons cream cheese
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • Poppy seeds for sprinkling on top


  1. Lightly butter a 9-inch springform pan and line the bottom with a round piece of parchment paper.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350F (180C)
  3. Steam the trimmed beets in a covered steamer over lightly boiling water for about 45 minutes until the tip of a knife slips in easily when pierced, let them cool, peel off the skins and mash until a coarse puree.
  4. Break the chocolate into small pieces and place in a small bowl set over simmering water, don't stir.
  5. When the chocolate is almost melted, pour in the hot espresso and stir.
  6. Cut the butter into small pieces and place in the warm chocolate/espresso mixture, pushing the butter down with a spoon to cover.
  7. Sift together the flour, baking powder, cocoa powder and salt in a small bowl.
  8. Separate the eggs, placing the whites in the bowl of a stand mixer, stir the yolks together in a small bowl.
  9. Remove the chocolate/butter mixture from the heat and stir until smooth, set aside for a few minutes to cool.
  10. Stir the egg yolks into the chocolate/butter mixture, fold in the beets.
  11. Whisk the egg whites until stiff, mix in the sugar.
  12. Carefully fold the egg white/sugar mixture into the chocolate mixture, being careful not to over mix and deflate the egg whites.
  13. Fold in the flour/cocoa mixture.
  14. Transfer the batter to the prepared pan and place in the oven, decrease the heat to 325F (160C).
  15. Bake for about 40 minutes, until the edges of the cake are firm (pulling away from the sides of the pan) and the center is still soft.
  16. Cool the cake on a rack, remove from the pan when cool.
  17. To Make the Frosting
  18. Cream the goat cheese, cream cheese and vanilla extract.
  19. Add the powdered sugar and beat until smooth.
  20. Spread the frosting on the cooled cake and sprinkle with poppy seeds.

Share this post →
Facebook Twitter Pinterest Plusone


  1. Love this cake! Chocolate and spicy chilies were made for each other! The goat cheese frosting is a wonderful addition as well :)!

  2. Oh…and the beets! Let’s not forget those, one of the best veggies!

  3. I am fascinated by the combination of chocolate, chili, and beets! I’ve had zucchini cake, but never a cake with beets in it!

  4. It sounds absolutely delicious! I would so love to try some.

  5. I love dark chili chocolate, it sounds just perfect in this cake and that creamy frosting is the perfect topping! :)

  6. I love this cake chocolate and spicy……great presentation.

  7. there’s so much of this cake that has caught my attention… i’ve read so much about the beetroot-chocolate combination for cakes.. i know i just have to make it one day!! your version is even better.. the additon of chilli and then that goat cheese frosting.. wow!!

  8. An unusual and delicious combo of flavors! I love the goat cheese frosting!

  9. This is a beautiful and delicious cake to treat your grand-kids at the sleep-over.
    I’d love to swap half of my pumpkin blondies with half of these cake

  10. Hi your cake look extremely delicious and the topping is to die for kind. Love this chili chocolate it’s delicious. Lovely presentation.

    Have a nice week ahead, regards.

  11. What a fun cake! I love me some beets.

  12. Hmmm, very interesting. I’m curious to taste this for myself. It’s a good way to use and eat more beets in my life, I guess. Will have to pin this and try soon!

  13. The cake is really beautiful–but what I’m really intrigued by is that goat cheese frosting! I could eat goat cheese in just about anything.

  14. You had me at chili. Really, this is my kind of sweet!

  15. I love an unique cake like this Patty! Only home baker can make this kind of cake by experimenting and people like me who don’t bake and only buy from pastry shops NEVER get to try~~~~! I never know Lindt Dark Chili Chocolate and I want to give it a try. I love dark chocolate and addition of chili sounds exotic and delicious. Beet is another my favorite – this cake must be so good! I wish to sleepover at your house!!!

  16. Sounds like a super moist cake with some heat from the chocolate chili. yes please …I’ll have a slice of that!

  17. Oh wow Patty! The cake looks so moist and delicious. I bet the goat cheese frosting tasted fantastic with the beets and chocolate. My mouth is watering. I need to get my act together and give baking with beets a try. Have a great weekend:)!

  18. This cake sounds like a lovely combination of flavors! (And what a great way to work vegetables into dessert!)

  19. Oh my gosh, Patty! This cake looks fabulous!! The thought of using chili chocolate, beets and goat cheese in a cake sounds a bit different, yet looks so decadent, moist and delicious!! I’m going to give this one a try if I can find the chili chocolate!! Have a great weekend! Enjoy “The Littles”…being a grandma is so great!!

  20. oooh, loving the goats cheese frosting – I happen to have goats cheese in the fridge at present. And I am a huge beets fan!

  21. Patty, I like the personal touches you put on this cake–I bet it tasted great. Love how you styled the shots, too. :)

    Have a great weekend!

  22. Patty – so loving this flavor combination. Perhaps the cake was even healthly. Smile. I bet that it did not last long in your household. I adore the name the “littles” – it is so cute. Hope you are doing well and that you have a great weekend!! :-)

  23. Lora @cakeduchess says:

    This cake is luscious and I am seriously craving a slice right at this moment! Chili and chocolate is always wonderful together. I could have two slices since it’s healthy with beets, right?:)

  24. Patty, this is such a unique and creative cake…well, it’s one way to eat your veggies; and beets are so good for your, LOL I can only imagine how moist it made the cake, and the goat cheese frosting is heavenly, also the poppy seeds which I love so much. That reminds me I have to get some from Whole Foods. Lovely photos as always!

  25. What a unique cake. Sounds wonderful!

  26. Glorious combination! I am a fan of beets in sweet desserts, but of course we would not want’t to actually photograph a cake of mine, lol. Not until you teach me how to bake one that looks this good anyway :)

Leave a Reply to Spencer Cancel reply