For my son’s birthday, I wanted to make him something extra special. He loves my chocolate cupcakes so I figured I would try to bake a cake with the same recipe.
I decided to bake it in a ceramic pie dish instead of a 9″ pan for two reasons. I avoid aluminum when I cook since the metal can be absorbed in the food. Second, I love how evenly the ceramic stoneware cooks my pies.
Since this is a very rich dessert with my homemade icing, I decided to stick with a one layer cake. It is moist but rich like fudge.
You can use two different icings on this cake. A almond maple cream cheese or a real strawberry vanilla cream. I decided to go with the maple cream cheese with fresh strawberries sliced on top in the shape of a 2. Pink icing on a boy’s cake is not ideal but I did use the strawberry icing for the cupcakes I sent to school.
This cake is super healthy too. It has many of the vitamins that rebuild your cells and make your skin look younger. Beets, applesauce, and real cocoa are packed with antioxidants and vitamins.
The coconut sugar makes this a treat for diabetics. Avoid the icing if you have blood sugar issues though. The cake is fabulous plain.
1. Boil the beets for about 30 minutes. When they have cooled, peel off the beet skins with your fingers (they should roll off), and place the beets in a blender with a little beet juice to puree. You can do this the day before and use the puree for smoothies or other recipes. Save the beet water to drink or to water your plants.
2. While you are boiling the beets, leave 11 tablespoons of unsalted butter out to soften. You can melt the butter if needed. I like the consistency of softened butter better.
3. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and start the batter.
4. Mix the butter, 1 1/3 cup cane or coconut sugar, and 1/2 cup real cocoa powder. Then add 1 1/3 cup cake flour, 3/4 teaspoon baking soda, 1/2 teaspoon baking powder, 1/4 teaspoon sea salt, 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla, and 1/3 cup applesauce. Beat on low until “smooth.” Fold in the 3/4 beet purée. Taste to see if you want more cocoa and cinnamon.
5. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes at 350 degrees. Stick a toothpick in the middle of the cake and it should come out clean. If it jiggles in the middle, it is not done and will have a fudge like texture. Plus, it will sink.
6. To start the icing, soften 4 ounces of cream cheese or Neufchâtel cheese (less fat) and 2 tablespoons of organic butter. Add 1 teaspoon of almond extract and 1 tablespoon of maple syrup. If you like a sweeter icing, add 1 cup or more of sifted powder sugar. The sugar thickens the icing too.
7. Ice the cake when it is cool. Add fresh strawberries, raspberries or cherries on top.