Paleo Beetroot Cake

The other night, I made the most delicious duck with roasted beetroot and sweet potatoes. We love duck, but usually are boring and only make it a l’orange. But in my search for something different, I stumbled upon a recipe to make it with lavender and I was hooked! I bought some edible flowers last year and every chance I get to use them, I jump on the opportunity. I love the aromas and the gourmet touch they provide.

However, I didn’t take good pictures of the duck dish. So that means, we’ll have to be making it again (darn ;-P) for lunch this time, and then I’ll be able to share with all of you the exquisite, aromatic recipe!

Anyway, I had a bunch of left over pre-cooked beets and really didn’t want to use them in salads and such. Google came to the rescue and I found an interesting flourless cake from Elana’s Pantry. I made it immediately and although I loved its flavour and texture, I did find it somewhat too moist to serve as a cake.

Here’s what I consider my improvement upon the original. I’ve made changes for a number of reasons, aside from the moisture issue: I used olive oil, instead of grapseed oil, which I’ve read about and it is not considered a healthy fat; I used raw honey, instead of the agave nectar, which is also not considered that healthy, and here’s why; and finally, I added spices, coconut flour for the moisture, and baking soda to make it more of a cake.

I hope you give it a try and let me know what you think. We loved it!

For original recipe from Elana’s Pantry, please click here.



  • 3 cups of grated, cooked beetroots
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup raw honey
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup raw 100% cacao powder
  • 1/3 cup coconut flour (for a slightly fluffier and dryer cake, use 1/2 cup coconut flour)*


  1. Preheat oven to 170C (350F).
  2. In a food processor or blender, beat the beetroots, eggs and olive oil.
  3. Add the honey, vanilla extract, baking soda, sea salt and spices. Blend well.
  4. Add the cacaoΒ powder and coconut flour and mix until well incorporated.
  5. Pour into a greased cake pan of choice. I used a 9-inch diameter tart pan.
  6. Bake for 35-45 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
  7. Cool completely before cutting and serving. Garnish as desired.

*I’ve made this cake both ways, with more and less coconut flour. I really can’t say which I prefer, as I love both. I would suggest making it both ways and deciding for yourself too!

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  1. 2.19.13

    Hi Debra! I am a huge beetroot fan, yet I’ve never had a chance to try beetroot in dessert before. My curiosity level is really high now. πŸ™‚ And yes, we love duck as well, so hope you will share the recipe one day! πŸ˜‰

    • 2.19.13
      thesaffrongirl said:

      Hi Nami! thanks for stopping by! It’s a delicious cake and you cannot tell there’s beetroot in there at all… I’m even eating it as part of my breakfast everyday, that’s how much I like it. I promise to share the duck recipe, just need to make it again to take pictures! πŸ˜‰ Let me know if you make the cake and what you think…

  2. 3.7.13
    Ericka said:

    Do you cook the beets first and then grate then or the other way around? (I don’t have much experience with beets)

    • 3.7.13
      thesaffrongirl said:

      Hi Ericka, yes, the beets must be cooked for this recipe. If you find them raw, do not peel them and cook in water until they are tender. Then once they are cool, you can peel and grate them. Some places sell them precooked, with no additives, and I usually have these on hands for things like this cake. Beets are also great roasted in the oven, for which I also pre-peel and cut into chunks. With a bit of olive oil over top and baked at 180C/350F for about 40 minutes, they are great! Or add them to a stew…they are very versatile and add a delicious flavour. Let me know how you fare! And thanks for stopping by…

  3. 3.7.13
    Grace said:


    • 3.7.13
      thesaffrongirl said:

      I’ve never made that… but is it similar?

  4. 3.16.13
    Cheryl said:

    This recipe looks great! I feel though that honey is sugar and not good for you either. Wonder how it would be with stevia and how much would need to be used?

    • 3.18.13
      thesaffrongirl said:

      Hi Cheryl, I’ve never cooked or baked with Stevia. So, unfortunately, I have no idea how to use it. I realise honey is also a sugar and that’s why I try to use very little of it in baking. (I created a bread without sweeteners at all that may interest you: However, having said that about honey, it does contain many nutrients in its raw form, which are healthy for us… of course, I also believe all sugars should be eaten in very low quantities for a balanced nutrition.

    • 3.22.13
      Becky said:

      Cheryl – have you tried Coconut Sugar?
      I haven’t investigated if it’s legal on GAPS or SCD, but it’s definitely a healthier and more earth-friendly alternative to sugar (probably on a par with honey though).

    • 3.24.13
      Lori said:

      Cheryl, there is a stevia conversion in one of the comments on Elana’s original recipe page that you may find helpful.

  5. 4.4.13
    Veronica said:

    Do you have a weight measurement for the beets pre or post cooking? If not, is that packed or loosely measured?

    • 4.4.13
      thesaffrongirl said:

      Hi Veronica, I use two packages of pre-cooked beetroots. They are each 300g, but that’s with a bit of juice that comes with it. When I measure, I pack the vegetable in, without pressing too hard (but definitely not loosely). Hope that helps.

  6. 4.25.13
    Darla Barker said:

    thank you so much for sharing this recipe ~cannot wait to try. Even though we as Paleo can use honey….I try to stick to sweeteners derived from fruits (and veggies in this case). I feel that it lessens my desire to crave the honey and maple syrup less! This cake seems to have a lovely low amount of honey. I will let you know after I try!

    • 4.25.13
      thesaffrongirl said:

      Glad to hear that Darla! I’m sure you’ll love’s really delicious! πŸ˜‰

  7. 5.27.13
    aprilQ said:

    Hi! I’m new to your blog.. got a ton of beets from my CSA and was so tired of eating them in salads so I googled ‘paleo beet dessert’ and sure enough I found this site.. I was SO excited to make this dessert. OK, so I did everything just like you said (did the .33c of coconut flour for fluffier consistency, .25c coconut oil + .25c evoo)… HOLY COW these are AMAZING. I did them in a 9 muffin tin and they are perfect portion sizes! They feel totally evil and like a cheat, but I know they aren’t… which is a wonderful treat in itself. Not that I’m going to eat 3 in one sitting, but they are fantastic. I’m adding this to my rotation of dessert treats for use on veggies. OUTSTANDING recipe – thank you adapting -I think you made it perfect!

    • 5.27.13
      thesaffrongirl said:

      Hi! I’m glad you liked it! I love it too; and it’s my go-to recipe for parties and sharing. I just made a bread version, which I need to tweak to share.. but I think you’ll like it too! stay tuned… thank you and welcome onboard!

  8. 5.29.13

    Hi! What a neat idea! Does the cake taste like beets???

    • 5.29.13
      thesaffrongirl said:

      Hi Carol, a tiny bit, yes, but it’s not an overpowering flavour since the chocolate camouflages it. It’s one of my favourites; hope you try it and like it too!

  9. 6.6.13
    Grace said:

    used this on my blog this morning, looks wonderful πŸ™‚

    • 6.6.13
      thesaffrongirl said:

      Thank you!

  10. 8.25.13
    Zoe said:

    WOW! Just made these and they are the best paleo-treat I have made by a long shot. Truly fluffy and cake-like rather than a soggy mess. I made muffins and cut the time to 20 minutes. Everyone loves them and I had mine warm with a dollop of grass-fed butter. Divine! Thank you. I have just discovered your blog and looking forward to trying more recipes.

    • 8.25.13
      thesaffrongirl said:

      Thank you Zoe! You’ve made my day with such a lovely comment. I’m happy to hear you and your family liked the beetroot cake!

  11. 10.12.13
    Stephen said:

    Hi Debra and everyone,

    I followed the recipe to a tee, baking chunks of beets under oil and foil at 350 for 45 minutes, leaving the left-over juice in the pan, and baking till the cake was perfectly done…and it came out tasting super beety! A friend of mine made this a couple days ago and said it came out really good…although, she’s a beet fan and I’m not. She said hers had a beet flavor as well. Not sure how it compares with mine.

    I’m wondering if the pre-cooked beets are necessary for this. Perhaps they have a milder flavor? I’d have to double the cacao and add more sweetener if I were to make this taste somewhat like a chocolate cake.



    • 10.12.13
      thesaffrongirl said:

      Hi Stephen! It’s hard to compare tastes virtually obviously.. but there is a slight (for my taste buds anyway) beet flavour to this cake. It’s definitely not a straight chocolate cake. I make it a lot and I’ve tried both pre-cooked (store bought) and “cooked by me” (boiled) beets. Honestly, I haven’t noticed any taste difference between the fresh/cooked at home and the store-bought pre-cooked, only the texture sometimes varies.

      But I guess you could get sort of rid of of the beet flavour by adding more raw cacao. If you do, depends on the amount, you may have to decrease the amount of coconut flour, so it’s not too dry. Also, I’ve noticed that coconut flour not only absorbs liquids but to some extent flavours. So, if you use the higher quantity, it will have a milder beet taste. And by the way, welcome to the site! Thank you for the comments.

  12. 11.3.13
    Philipp said:

    obviously like your website however you have to take a look at the
    spelling on several of your posts. A number of them are rife with spelling problems and I to
    find it very troublesome to tell the truth then again I will definitely come back again.

    • 11.3.13
      thesaffrongirl said:

      Hi Philipp, I’m happy to hear you like the site and will come back! Yes, I realise there are oftentimes both grammar and spelling mistakes in my blog posts. And whilst I try hard to edit my own work and ensure there are not any, some do get by and show up. When you find them, please let me know so I can correct them. Thanks! πŸ˜‰

  13. 3.11.14
    Helen said:

    Looks great! gotta give it a try! πŸ˜‰

  14. 6.7.14
    Sarah said:

    Just wondering if you could use coconut oil instead of olive oil. I know coconut oil is sometimes tricky in baking if the batter is cool, because it can harden and not mix in well, but if the beets were just cooked and still warm maybe… any other issues you would anticipate if substituting coconut oil?

    • 6.7.14
      The Saffron Girl said:

      Hi Sarah,
      Yes you can sub coconut oil. I would recommend making it liquid first. Debra xx

  15. 6.22.14
    Yue Wang said:

    Hey there,
    I made this recipe without eggs, subbing with two apples,
    the taste is very good!
    Although I need to cut some olive oil and the salt was a little bit too much lol
    thanks πŸ˜€ the beetroot tastes amazing!

    • 6.25.14
      The Saffron Girl said:

      Thank you Yue Wang for trying the recipe and sharing your substitutions. Sounds delicious!

    • 8.8.15
      Abbey said:

      Hi! Did you cook the apples beforehand? Puree them? thanks!

      • 8.8.15
        The Saffron Girl said:

        Hi Abbey,

        This cake doesn’t contain apples. The beetroots though, yes, you have to cook before grating and using in the batter.
        Debra xx

      • 4.30.16
        Abbey said:

        Saffron Girl – I was replying to Yue Wang, who subbed apples in place of the eggs πŸ™‚

        Weird to stumble upon a recipe and finding an old comment of mine from so long ago haha.

  16. 8.17.14
    Louise Deutsher said:

    Dear Saffron Girl. This is by far the best Beetroot cake I have ever made, and I have made many! Yours is always fool proof, and always gets the thumbs up from my taste testers. My picky boyfriend also loves it every morning with his coffee, he even helps me make it now! I am lucky to have a food processor that also grates, so it makes this cake very easy for me to make. Hand grating the beetroots just doesn’t appeal to me! Thanks for your wonderful recipe xx

    • 8.23.14
      The Saffron Girl said:

      Thank you Louise for trying it and letting me know! I’m happy to hear you like it. Debra xx

  17. 9.22.14
    Jessica said:

    What’s the point of using raw honey and raw cocoa powder, when it’s put in the oven anyway?

    • 9.22.14
      The Saffron Girl said:

      Hi Jessica,

      I use raw honey because I don’t want it adulterated with anything. It’s the purest and healthiest honey. Raw cocoa powder is the same principle. Hope that helps. πŸ™‚ Debra xx

  18. 10.23.14
    Sarah said:

    Just made these chocolate and beetroot cake and OMG delicious, wonderful. mouthwatering, the best chocolate cake ever. Need i say more I don’t think so
    Thank you for the recipe

    • 10.23.14
      The Saffron Girl said:

      Hi Sarah, I’m happy to hear you liked it! Thank you! πŸ˜‰ debra xx

  19. 11.3.14
    Ale said:

    This recipe is really delicious! I made it in cupcake form with a few other modifications, and referenced your recipe on my blog. The texture and flavor are fantastic, thanks for sharing it πŸ™‚

    • 11.3.14
      The Saffron Girl said:

      Thank you, Ale, for trying it and sharing your experience! I’m happy to hear you liked it. Debra xx

  20. 3.5.15
    Jessie said:

    Made this today and it was lovely. I think I should have put more coconut flour in, just a tad! but it was fab πŸ™‚ xx

    • 3.7.15
      The Saffron Girl said:

      Thank you Jessie. I’m glad you enjoyed it! Debra xx

  21. 2.3.16
    mahina said:


    This cake is soooooooooooooo epic!!!! Soooooo yummmmyyyy!!! Oh my goddess!!!
    I also added to this cake a tablespoon of coconut butter, tablespoon of chaga powder, tablespoon of shakti chai powder(which has adaptogens and more cacao), a splash of maple syrup on after it cooled a bit and wow wow wow!!!!
    Thank you for this recipe…..this is an epic cake for when a woman has her moon!!! I cant stop eating it right now….like right now now!!!! hahahaha!!!
    Mahalo nui loa

    • 2.3.16
      The Saffron Girl said:

      Hi Mahina,

      Wow!! Thank you!! I’m happy to know you love it. I love it too… and when I make it, I feel the same, I cannot stop eating it. I have to look up what those powders are that you added.. they sound intriguing. By the way, I have two lilikoi recipes on the blog. I fell in love with the butter when I was in Hawai’i. Check them out…

      Mahalo nui loa, Debra xx

  22. 3.31.16
    Alexandra said:

    Hi this looks lovely but I can’t have eggs. Do you have an alternative to eggs? Thank you so much

    • 3.31.16
      The Saffron Girl said:

      Hi Alexandra,

      Thank you for stopping by. I don’t do alternative to eggs normally, so I wouldn’t know what to suggest as a substitute. Sorry.

      Debra xx

  23. 4.30.16
    Abbey said:

    Looks delicious!

    I saw a recipe on another site that looks just like yours, almost word for word… thought I’d let you know.

    • 4.30.16
      The Saffron Girl said:

      Thank you Abbey for letting me know. I’ll check it out!
      Debra xx