purple velvet torte

Purple Velvet Torte

It’s amazing what you can do without any flour!  I made this gluten free chocolate cake using beets.  Being “Deceptively Delicious I fooled my husband.  While my children are game to eat pretty much anything I make, my husband is known as the “picky” eater around here.

Because of his strong critiques and my perfectionist bent, I often find myself testing a new recipe four, five or more times.  Though this one I nailed the second time, it was that easy.

As I whipped up beet cake 2.0, I did find myself thinking, “How can I hide this mystery ingredient from him?”  He had scoffed at beet cake 1.0, spitting it into the sink.  “How can I fool him?” I thought as I stirred the batter.  I guess that would make me Jessica Seinfeld to his Jerry.

Though unlike Ms. Seinfeld, I found myself sneaking beets in not to add nourishment (all of my recipes are fairly nourishing with high protein almond flour and low glycemic agave).  I was rather, trying to figure out a way to make a less costly cake.

Almond flour is fabulous to cook with, though pricey.  I wanted to come up with a cake that would be cheaper to make -though do keep in mind that this cake while cheaper, does not offer the same nutritional benefits that one made with almond flour would.

Here’s my “deceptive” purple velvet torte.  Enjoy!

Print Recipe
Purple Velvet Torte
  1. In a medium saucepan, heat the beets and agave to a boil, then cover
  2. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 30 minutes, until beets are soft
  3. Transfer beet-agave mixture to a vitamix and puree on highest speed until smooth
  4. Blend in eggs, oil, vanilla, almond extract, cacao and salt until thoroughly incorporated
  5. Pour batter into a well greased 9 inch cake pan
  6. Bake at 350° for 30-35 minutes until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean
  7. Cool and serve

flourless beet cake dessert

My older son has been steadily working away on this blog with me.  He is 10 years old and every week he discusses what “we” will be posting.  He often sneaks down after I put him and his brother to bed, for a blogging session during which we take photos or write copy here.

This week, as I was on a deadline for another project, he decided that he would be the one shooting the pictures of the purple velvet torte.  So, please welcome my new phototgrapher!  He took these pictures on his own as I proofread another document, knocking the camera over only once.  Besides that incident he was a total pro!  Really.

He was however, very disappointed as he “proofread” this copy that I used the word “sneaks” above.  He wanted me to say that we “work together,” and I must say, he is correct.  I guess that would make me Heather to his Leta (once her daughter starts reading dooce Ms. Armstrong may have her hands full).

Update: I’ve edited the cooking time in this recipe thanks to one of the comments below.  The one in the recipe above is now correct and my family is very happy since they are eating this gluten-free torte yet again (since I made it a third time to verify the cooking time).  As always, thanks for your comments!


  1. Justyna says

    Hi Elana,

    I would love to try this recipe but I am allergic to eggs, lactose and gluten. Any idea if I could replace eggs with something else? My little one is also allergic to all above, so this would make a special treat for her if I could make it :)

  2. Amy says

    Awesome! I have been a follower of your blog for about 8 years but have been on an AIP diet for close to a year now and also can’t tolerate coconut. I’m happy to have a recipe without any flours and am hoping it works with a gelatin egg substitute.

  3. Cynthia Grern says

    Very yummy texture & taste? but waaay too sweet! I found a cup of honey is too much, especially since beets provide a lot of sweet themselves. Tried again, used only 6 dates & was perfect for those of us following a very low carb/sugar diet!
    Thanks for all you do Elana, your hard work has helped me a lot!

  4. Bunny White says

    I’m SOOO glad this came out so yummy! (I’ve had some recent disasters trying to make gluten-free/low or no sugar baked goods with vegetables in them. This made a small and perfect amount for my husband and I. Mine is light, moist, not too sweet, and has a delicate chocolate flavor.

    I used 2 tennis ball size beets, did half honey half dates (6), half eggs (2) half ground flaxseed (2 tbsp), and half grapeseed oil half coconut oil. I omitted the almond extract as I’m not usually a fan of the flavor it imparts. I also added 1 tsp baking powder and 1/2 tsp baking soda.

    I was very confused about boiling the beets and honey as boiling means adding water to a pot to me. But others mentioned a very wet batter and having to add in dry ingredients to make it work, so I figured I should try “boiling” it sans water (also known as just cooking/simmering) and it worked great, even with me using 1/2 the honey. My batter came out very nice and thick.

    Since it wasn’t overly sweet I decided to make an icing. I used 1/4 cup ground coconut sugar, 1 tsp cacao powder, 1/4 cup vegan butter, 1/4 tsp vanilla, 2 tsp. vanilla almond milk, and a dash of cinnamon and salt.

  5. Laurena says

    Omgoodness ! WOW! I wish I would have tried THIS SOONER! and I wish I could say to all of the recipe DOUBTERS….TRUST! if it didn’t turn out RE-READ THE RECIPE. …CHECK YOUR INGREDIENTS. ….THIS IS FABULOUS!

  6. Ann says

    As a big fan of your recipes Elana, I loved the sound of this recipe but can’t leave well enough alone. After reading pretty much all the comments I went ahead and made a variation which is delicious dessert that’s not too sweet. I had only canned sliced beets in 15oz cans and I used about 1 3/4 cans – measured a bit over 2 cups. I just dumped them into my food processor, poured in the honey (3/4 cup not a whole cup), added the other ingredients in order, but only 3 eggs, then added 1/2 tsp baking soda, 1 tsp apple cider vinegar, and one scoop of Vega vanilla protein and greens powder and just blended it all up until smooth. I poured it into a 9″ pyrex pie plate which I’d sprayed with coconut oil. I baked it at 350 for about 45 mins until a knife came out clean. I let it cool a bit but was desperate to try it out. Wonderful – light fluffy and moist and not too sweet. It looks like dark chocolate as the canned beets didn’t provide as much color as fresh ones would have. This will be a go-to recipe from now on. Thank you.

  7. Jessica says

    I love so many of your recipes but can’t eat most of them due to the almond flour (my body reacts to nuts). SO grateful to have seen this post. Off today to grab some beets and try it out. thank you for sharing!

  8. Evie says

    That’s so cute that your 10 year old “works with you.” :) This cake sounds amazing! I’ve never liked beets….but chocolate makes everything better, right? So I’m thinking I’ll have to try this. :)

  9. Aline says

    I’ve made it yesterday. It taste really good, i also liked the texture, BUT it was really really SWEET!! I think I cup of honey is too much! I will try with less honey..

  10. Mountain Mama says

    Excellent dessert with a lot to of nutrition and appeal! Started with this recipe to use 3 large purple beets that needed to be eaten. My alterations: 1c Maple syrup instead of agave, no stevia, added 1cup Almond flour + 1tsp raw Apple cider + 1tsp baking soda, and increased to 1c dark Cocoa powder. Greased a glass casserole with coconut oil and powdered with cocoa powder. Topped with chocolate chips. Baked at 350F for 40min. It definitely gets better after a night in the fridge. Hubby gives it a 2 thumbs up. Thanks Elana for such great recipes and inspiration!

  11. Adriene says

    LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this torte! I made it on a Friday night and it was gone by Sunday morning. I’m not a huge beet fan so I like to trick myself into eating them. It’s a great way to add them to your diet and get a great dessert at the same time.

  12. says

    Hey! Ive been making a similar recipe for a couple months now and you’re the first person I’ve found to have made any baked goods without any flours! So I’m excited to read this. Thank you.
    I can have whole rice grain, sweet potatoes and beets, but nothing like almond flour, cashew flour, oats, or gluten free flour. It’s virtually impossible to find baking recipes without these things. it’s been a struggle but I’ve managed to invent ways like this to make pie crusts, pizza, and cake etc. It’s good to find someone to know that I’m not the only one doing this. Feels like it often! I’m on the candida die if you’re curious..
    anyway, my recipe is very similar but I’m learning things from you. I use 1 tsp stevia instead of agave, and sometimes I add honey. We also use 4-5 beets, sometimes switch out one for a sweet potato. 4-5 eggs. 1/2 cup coconut oil/butter.
    1 tablespoon vanilla extract
    ½ cup cacao or carob powder (we probably do this amount. Sometimes we add baking chocolate also).
    ½ teaspoon celtic sea salt
    and then we also have been adding a couple pinches of cayenne powder, and 1-2 cups of thawed red or purple berries, strawberries, cranberries, or a drained 16 Oz can of unsweetened cherries. The idea is chocolate cherry cake that you can’t beet! And it’s awesome. We eat it with ice cream or yogurt, but I bet I could make a frosting out of cashews and stevia-vanilla and chocolate powder. Do you have other ideas?
    I also add baking soda and at least 1-2 T flax powder to soak up moisture. I’m still working on the amounts but your recipe helps solidify that!
    Anyway. Thank you, this is helpful.

    • tinamat says

      I’d love to get your recipe….are you saying you only use cocoa powder or you use in addition to the chocolate already in the recipe? Would you mind answering or providing your full recipe? I’d love to avoid more of the fat from the chocolate.

  13. Alison says

    I made this last night and served it to a group of ladies today. It was… ok. I was very relieved that the “earthy” taste of beets (personally I think they taste like dirt) was not at all apparent. However, the fruity taste of the beets definitely came through and mingled with the chocolate. It wasn’t bad, just not my cup of tea.

    The recipe is a bit lacking in instruction so I’d like to clarify that you must peel fresh beets bc the skins are tough and usually have more “dirt” taste to them. The author may have assumed that everyone knows that beets need to be peeled, but I don’t think that’s the case.

    Also, after peeling 8 beets, I ran them through my food processor with the shredder blade, which was awesome in that all the red juice was kept in the food processor and not all over the counter and my hands like it would have been had I used a hand grater. Turns out that about 3 medium beets probably would have been enough for this recipe.

    I added the vanilla and almond extracts to the simmering beets because the smell of cooking beets is atrocious to me. Adding the extracts during this time definitely eliminated that beet odor – whew!

    My batter was also seriously runny, so I added 3T coconut flour, which helped firm it up. Even with the flour and an extra 20 minutes of baking time, the final texture was still less of a torte and more of a firm custard. It was anything close to purple, but rather a reddish brown.

    My husband and I both liked the taste and texture much better the next day and cold from the fridge, rather than just baked and warm. All in all, none of us were wowed by this recipe, but I’m going to play with it because I have to disagree with the author; beets are not “less nutritious” than almonds, but provide a different type of equally necessary nutrition. I can’t eat almonds or any tree nut products too frequently or I start getting heartburn, and then coughing, then terrible hives and mouth swelling. I don’t test as allergic to any of them, but clearly my system does not want or accept the quantities that the author is able to tolerate. That’s not a criticism, but rather an observation that we all have different nutritional needs. Having recipes like this as a starting point is a great blessing. Now I’m going to use all those extra shredded beets to see if I can make another batch that we like better :)

  14. Lauren says

    This is AMAZING! I used butter instead of oil and honey instead of agave (just preference). I had some cream cheese so I made a frosting using coconut milk, honey, and stevia. It was incredible! Thanks, this is my new go-to decadent dessert!

  15. valeria says

    Hi dear Elena :)

    I cannot eat eggs. How would you suggest to replace them on this recipe?

    All the best & Cheers!

  16. Deborah Wilson says

    I made this but strayed quite far from the original recipe. It was delicious! I was in a hurry so used drained canned beets, 1/2 the amt. of honey plus 5 drops of Sweet Leaf Vanilla Cream Stevia, 1/2 cup olive oil for the fat, 2 tsp. vanilla and 1/3 tsp. almond extract. It was very watery which worried me greatly so I added 3/4 cup of almond flour. I fully understand Elana was trying to avoid it in seeking a less expensive alternative to almond flour, but truly, it was moist and delicious and you’d just never know there was 2 1/2 cups of pureed beets in it! This summer when beets are plentiful I’ll try it with pure beets. Oh yes, it did take nearly 25 extra min. to bake (55 min. total). It was springy but, oddly, when pierced with a screwer, it bubbled–but it was cooked all the way through–very strange! Hubby loved it and I’ll definitely do this one again. Thanks Elana!

    • Deborah Wilson says

      Just an extra note. I’ve since bloated terribly after eating just one piece of this cake and I’m wondering if it’s all the natural sugar in the beets because this is how I react to sugar. I’m also having heartburn which I rarely get.

  17. Eloise says

    I forgot to add i made this with coconut oil instead of shortening or grapeseed oil! I also used honey opposed to agave.

  18. Eloise says

    Made this previously and i loved the taste! The almond extract in combination with the beets almost gives it a cherry taste.
    It also freezes very well.

    Im going to try a chocolate orange version this weekend.
    Ill omit the almond extract but add orange juice and zest!

    Thanks again for the recipe!

  19. Carolyn says

    This looks mighty delicious, although please note that Agave is neither “low glycemic” nor healthy. It has been shown to increase visceral fat and has been taken off the “safe” list of sweetners. I am going to make this but use honey instead, which, although also high on the glycemic index, it doesn’t require much.

    Its really a lovely color!

  20. Snoozie says

    This looks super yummy!! Can i make this without the cacao powder? Can i substitute it with other flavour? I like the look of a red cake and adding the cacao would make it chocolate i assume.

  21. Rachael Higgins says

    Made this just now, it is so good. A real treat. Going to see if my son and hubby like it when they get home. I hope so cos I want to make it again! I followed the recipe as is and it turned out great. Took 30 mins in a fan forced oven at 180 celcius. (australian here!) I did pop a sheet of baking paper on the top of the pan cos I was concerned about it burning as I read the other posts. No I didn’t let the beet mixture cool before adding the remaining ingredient to the person who asked….I just mixed the eggs with the remaining ingredients together in a separate jug then poured it into my food processor, as I was concerned the eggs would cook too. Thanks for an awesome recipe :)

  22. Skye says

    Hi! I just made this..the taste is good but it is really watery (except for the fudgyish edges); I used sliced canned beets and then chopped them up thinly into small pieces..maybe because they are canned they have more water content, so should I just cut down on the agave? I want this to work, it looks so yummy!! Thank you (:

    • Skye says

      Oh, I left it on the counter untouched for like 4 days and then I tried a piece and it tastes good! The watery-ness is gone (: I still will dry the beets next time/squeeze out the water so I don’t have to wait so long hahaha…yummy recipe! :) (Oh and I used 1 cup coconut oil in place of the oil) Thank you!

    • Deborah Wilson says

      I also used drained canned beets and ended up adding 3/4 cup of almond flour. It turned out beautifully. But this summer, I think I try using roasted beets (less water) ;)

  23. says

    On the red velvet beet torte, do you have to cool the cooked beet/aguave mix before adding the eggs? Seems to me the eggs would “cook” if they are incorporated into the hot mix (or is that OK to do?) Thanks!

  24. Tanya says

    Hi Elana! First of all, thank you soooo much for All of your delicious recipes!!! And secondly, you have a big follower in Ireland :) I tell all my friends here as well about your web site! Thank you very much again for your hard work!
    Best regards

  25. says

    Hi Elena,
    My English is not very good, just writing to tell you that outside of the U.S. also have followers.
    I follow you from Spain, where you have many followers.
    Your work is wonderful
    You are a great example for me.

    Kisses Patricia

  26. marym says

    Do you know any of the calorie or carb counts for this recipe. I have a child who was recently diagnose with gluten, dairy, soy allergies and diabetes. This sounds like a treat they may be able to have.

  27. Dianne Shaw says

    Going to try this but without agave ! Please research. I was surprised, too. One of ten most toxic foods! Scary! See Ron and Lisa or do a search. We no longer touch the stuff! But honey or real sugar will probably work. Thanks for the recipe!

  28. Shona says

    I made this cake on Saturday and is soooo good! I used chocolate and orange protein powder instead of the cacao powder to make a great pre workout snack!!

    Def making this again!!

    Thanks for the receipie

  29. Mamatha says

    Elana, thank you so much for this fabulous recipe. I made this 2 days ago and it was perfect. My 2 yo toddler loved it so much that he made a meal out of it, twice. I’m making it again today with the lone beet I have on hand. I hope I scale down the ingredients appropriately. This recipe is going to made many times over in my home.

  30. Karen says

    This was a total disaster for me. Thought I might have done something wrong and tried a slice but the rest had to be binned. Is it possible there’s an ingredient missing from the above list as it was like eating cooked beetroot. No texture to it at all.

  31. says

    hey, i just wanted you to know if there is a trader joe’s near you, they have the lowest prices i’ve ever found for almond flour..hope this helps you and thanks for the brownie recipe…i made it today and my kids have no idea they are eating grain free :)

  32. Jenna says

    This may not be as high in protein, but beets are nutritional powerhouses. Can’t wait to try it! Thanks Elana!

  33. Angelfeathers says

    I’m so glad to find this as I had beetroot in my veggie box this week and was sad that I wouldn’t be able to make the chocolate beetroot cake I’ve always made before with them. But now I can make an even cheaper one, since this uses cacao (which will be cocoa as I don’t have cacao) and the other cake uses quite a lot of melted chocolate. I’m looking forward to seeing if it turns out as yummy as the old one used to!

  34. Tammy says

    Hi, I’ve heard of this site a long time ago but haven’t tried anything here until now because I don’t bake a lot. What brought me to this page is, I’m on a gluten free diet and had golden beets on hand. I felt that I needed to make a cake from these golden beets. I also had unsweetened coconut on hand. This brings me to a variation from your recipe that I’m approaching!
    The beets I had were already cooked. I roasted them in the oven, until they were fork tender. When I measured them out, I only had about 2 cups so I added a shredded apple to that and the agave syrup and coconut. Since the beets were already cooked but not too soft, I simmered them for about 10-15 minutes with the agave, 1 grated apple and 1/2 cup of coconut (I didn’t have cocoa powder on hand).
    I don’t have a Vitamix (but I want one badly) so I used my blender on it’s liquefy setting and added in the salt, oil, eggs, 1 tblsp vanilla paste (which I prefer to vanilla extract) and I omitted the almond extract because… you’ve probably guessed… I didn’t have any! (LOL)
    Anyhow, the batter is delicious and it’s in the oven now. I can’t wait to try it! And I hope it turns out as good as your red-beet chocolate cake.

    • Tammy says

      My variation on this was a little on the sweet side but the texture was light and springy. I bet lemon zest would have been a good addition.

  35. Jenny says

    I made this cake by cutting it(the recipe amounts)in half and adding 1/2 – 3/4 c almond flour plus 1 tsp cider vinegar and 1 tsp baking soda for some lift. It was awesome! Also very fun watching the family enjoy it and playing “guess what’s in it”. Thanks for another winner!

  36. Kenna says

    I made this substituting honey, and vanilla extract (because I had it all on hand). The batter was such a pretty color. Turned out great! I still can’t believe beets were in it. Made a nice breakfast too ;)

  37. Kirsten says

    This looks delicious! It is nice o finally find a recipe for this used with beets to change the color rather than dye. I absolutely want to make this for my next dessert. I love making your recipes.

  38. Beth says

    I printed this recipe out last year and finally got around to making it. Our small basket of veg from a local organic farmer had a HUGE amount of beets in it.
    I substituted coconut oil for the grapeseed oil, and honey for the agave.
    This torte is amazing! It reminds me of chocolate covered candied cherries. So yummy!

  39. LearningMama & Daughter says

    Daughter here.

    This is the best torte EVER! I love making this! A friend said if I make this for her birth day, she would love me forever! This is my all time favorite thing to bake! Eating it’s the most fun! ;)

  40. A. says

    Made this, it turned out great. My husband even liked it, and he’s really picky. I used half coconut oil, also used honey and cane sugar.

    I would like to see calorie information on the recipes if possible. I added up all the ingredients for this, divided it by 20 pieces… 115 calories each. Yikes!

  41. Sheila says

    Thanks so much Elana! I love your site and cookbook! I made this torte for my family amongst a few other desserts to try and this was the hit! No one could guess there was beets in it! Love it and it’s wonderful and moist. Since I’m also dairy free, I made a whipped “cream” with cashews, agave and lemon juice which was a perfect topping to the torte!

  42. Liz says

    I made this and had to use an egg substitute for my son who is allergic. I used ener-g egg replacer for two of the eggs and ground flax seed and water for the other two. It seemed too watery (I think I had a bit too much beets) so at the last minute I threw some more flax seed in to help bind it all together. The flavor was amazing, but the texture was crazy I know just due to all the flax seed. I just bought more beets to try it again this time without the flax. My son loved it by the way :) it was like really thick pudding. Thanks for your great site, I came across it off of Hope for Maddy’s site, my son has type 1 diabetes as well.

    • says

      Hi. I want to make a red velvet cake for my daughter’s wedding shower using some of these ideas. As to the watery cake using flax seed, I am planning to make this “RED” by adding a can of well drained and rinsed garbanzo beans. Maybe the extra body from the beans will help with the wateryness? Anyway, I have made a delicious chocolate cake using beans that I found online so I was just looking to make it red without using food coloring. I do know the bean idea makes a delicious cake.

    • Grace says


      I know you posted a long time ago so I’m not sure if you’ll get this message, but I’m wondering how the second try with the egg replacers worked. My son also has egg allergies and I would LOVE to see how this recipe would work with egg replacers! please let me know.


  43. says

    This purple torte was amazing! It tasted so good and I used coconut oil instead of grapeseed oil and 2 eggs instead of 3! Thank you Elana!

    • Nancy says

      Thanks Amy – I’ve been reading through comments to see if anyone has tried it with coconut oil.
      I will try it now :)

    • says

      I used shredded, then cut them up smaller. Once you cook them they turn soft, then Vita Mix them and they become smooth. It will work.

  44. Ruth J. Hirsch says

    Dear Elana,

    The Purple Velvet Torte is beautiful…. and I too love everything about beets. Certainly the color. And they taste yum.
    I appreciate your designing this stupendous cake to be more affordable. I think you’ve also addressed a factor for some of us: nuts and nut flour have lots of calories. Beets, not.
    While at this time my own weight is fine [used to be fat] I am very aware of the fact that SCD food tends to be caloric…
    This cake really does get thru that.

    Another deep appreciation,

    Ruth Hirsch

  45. LearningMama says

    Door to Door Organics Colorado recommended this recipe this week in their emails for people who aren’t sure what to do with beets. We knew we had to try when we saw your name attached. I realized I was out of agave so we used 1 cup sugar and a little water while boiling. My 11 year old daughter finished making this because I had to leave. She baked it in the 10inch? round Pampered Chef stone. It was wonderful. Reminded us of a thin cake like brownie.

    My hubby said beets are the only food he won’t eat. He changed his mind tonight…

    I love how involved your sons are in this blog. A great parenting example! Thanks!

  46. jennifer says

    I loooove this cake! My daughter and I have made this twice, so far. The second time we added about a quarter cup of grain-free “flours” … delicious either way. She’s in the kitchen right now making the passover cake for my birthday. We will use kumquat jam for the filling. Beets are a wonderful liver cleanser, by the way … so for people who don’t eat beets unless it in an fantastic chocolaty cake (that would be me) … start slowly! Thank you, Elana, for this website.

  47. Kim says

    I tried making the cake and it turned out great! It was very moist and delicious, I think I added a bit too much almond extract and it stood out a bit too much but it was still great. I couldn’t even tell there were beets in it nor could my father who swore them off many years ago.
    It was very easy to make as well. Also I did not had any grape seed oil so I used peanut oil since thee isn’t really any taste to it….still turned out great

  48. Michealla says

    Love this cake… I am on my second round of baking it. I am also cooking your Agava/Lime Chicken tonight. YUMMY!

  49. Michelle says


    I made the Purple Velvet Torte yesterday and it was yum! I didn’t have grapeseed oil, so I used coconut oil and the flavour worked well. Very moist and decadent.

  50. Alex says

    Just made this the other night and it was absolutely wonderful! Very moist and quite the crowd pleaser, I still can’t believe it’s made with beets, great recipe, thank you! :)

  51. says

    Hi Elana, I finally got around to making this (swapping erythritol/stevia for agave) and it was absolutely scrumptious. No beet-y taste that I could discern. Will be blogging about it after finals, perhaps with a veggie based GF recipe of my own. ;) Thanks so much for all that you do! You are a genius. Looking forward to your cook book!

  52. ruth says

    I made this last night – very good! An interesting Passover option. I will make it again, but not blend the beets – for more texture. I might also add something else for texture (coconut or matzah meal), might decrease the oil a bit… and bake longer.

    I also whipped up some cream cheese frosting, to make richer ; )

  53. Jessica says

    Hey all,

    I just made this last night. I used two beets to get 2 1/2 cups. I use weight watchers, and so I swapped grapeseed oil for pureed prunes cup for cup. It added another layer of sweetness, so I might decrease the agave in the future. It got rave reviews, and lowered the fat content. Thank you Elana! Another recipe successfully taste tested by my picky family!

  54. Natalie says

    Thank you for this recipe! One of our guests has nut allergies, and it’s always so difficult to find flourless recipes that do not call for nuts. I will definitely try it this Passover (and just omit the almond extract). Can’t wait to try it!

  55. says

    Hi Elana,
    Well, I’ve just sent a note and your recipe (with a link to your website) in to the White House. Let’s see what response we get. I’ll be sure to let you know.

  56. says

    I made this today–beautiful purple hue and surprising texture, more like baked custard than the fudge I was expecting. To make this cake a little more decadent, I would serve it atop some chocolate sauce (i make mine with coco powder, maple syrup and water or oil), and garnish with a few banana or strawberry slices alongside.

  57. Deborah says

    Thanks for the lovely recipes. I heard that the White House kitchen garden does not include beets because the President doesnt like them This just might be the recipe that changes his mind. Would you be willing to send it to him? I think that you can submit suggestions at the White House site: http://www.whitehouse.gov/contact/
    I would send a link but didnt think that would be right as it is your recipe.
    Thanks again for a great site

  58. Alycia says

    Baked this two nights ago. My husband was super skeptical, but liked it! I didn’t need to add any water with the beets and agave nectar. 1 Tablespoon seemed like a lot of almond extract so I decreased that to 2 teaspoons and I also used only 3 eggs. My cake burned a tad with the recommended baking time, but I just cut off those edges and it was still wonderfully moist and yummy. I decorated the cake with some stencils and cocoa and sugar mixed together (didn’t have any powdered sugar). Next time I think I might add a few chocolate chips and try decreasing the agave just a bit. Thanks so much for the recipe, Elana.

    • Deborah Wilson says

      Thank you for leaving a comment after you actually baked this cake. I’ve weeded through I don’t know how many well meaning “Oooh, this sounds good!” to find this. Now I’ll give it a try.

  59. Laurel says

    You are a genius! I just happened to have some left over roasted beets in my fridge and was wondering what to do? So…
    I grated them up (5 ounces exactly), quartered your recipe. Heated the agave with the cocoa powder (it brings the flavor out), tasted, added a scant 1/8 cups of semi sweet chocolate off the stove. Then proceeded as directed.
    One fourth of your recipe came to exactly six cupcakes (half full).
    I baked them for 15 minutes at 350F. They are soft, almost pudding like and wonderful.
    Thanks for all the non-grain experiments. I don’t do well with grains of any kind but will eat the gluten free ones at a pinch but now I don’t have to!
    Thanks again.

  60. says

    It’s kosher for Passover! I can’t wait to try it. Beets is the only food my husband will not eat. Guess what I am making for a Passover desert… Thank you very much for a terrific idea.

  61. Stephanie says

    This looks delicious! I’d love to try it but can not have eggs or almond extract. Do you think it would still work with a flax seed/water replacer for eggs and skipping the almond extract?

  62. Olga says

    Hi Elana,
    My Purple Velvet Torte did not come out well. It smelled nice in the blender and had good consistency; however, it deflated and became watery after it cooled down. It was also very sticky (I greased the warm cake pan with grape seed oil). Also it took me much longer to bake it. Maybe 40 min or so until a knife was coming out clean. Could my failure be due to a delay in blending the cooked beets with the rest of the ingredients? (I left the pan with beets on a warm stove for about half an hour). I turned my watery torte upside down and put it in the oven for another 20 min at 400°. It started to burn around the edges and on top, but it is still watery when I make a cut. I took a picture of my torte, but I do not know how to attach it to my message. Thank you in advance for your feedback.

  63. Kate says

    I’m sorry, Elana–I just realized I misspelled your name in my moment of panic! Wanted to let you know that it turned out great. I whisked the eggs and then whisked them into the batter, poured it into another well-greased pan, and it’s delicious! Shared it with Mom, Dad, and the neighbors…so far, everybody has thoroughly enjoyed it…even the non-healthy-food people.
    Thank you, yet again!

  64. Kate says

    Elena, when do the eggs go in?! I just dumped it into the well-greased pan and then remembered that I never put the eggs in. Since I’m this far along, I’ll add them now and mix it all together in another bowl, but for future reference….

  65. R says

    If he’s taking such photos at 10 yrs, start collecting everything for a ‘portfolio’ any art school will want to see his history–scraps, scribbles etc everything.

  66. Bev Reimer, Certified Nutritionist says


    Your class last night was full of great gluten free recipes and it was fun working with others to prepare our dishes. Thank you for your “recipe creations” and making this class happen. As I mentioned, I do personal one on one counseling with those who are gluten intolerant for any reason. I welcome emails from anyone who would like to learn more about how I can help them be Gluten Free for LIFE!

  67. says

    So funny. I just gave a workshop on feeding the whole family with whole foods and I was making reference to Jessica Seinfelds chocolate beet cake, saying that they are still learning about chocolate cake, not beets by eating it. I like your take on its not about nutrition, but creativity. You are as always brilliant with your use of ingredients. Somehow our thoughts were aligned this week. I love when these funny little things happen!

  68. says

    This torte recipe is amazing! I can’t wait to try it out, and fool my family. Your son is quite the photographer. I see a blog of his own in the future! Thanks for sharing Elana!

  69. Glorie says

    Since purple is my favorite color – of course I’ll try this! Have to say Elana, can’t get that picture of cold beet soup out of my mind – so I’ll have to get over that thought! Will let you know how it goes! Glorie and Griff

  70. says

    my mother in-law came over this evening with some beets from her garden, talk about awesome timing! i can’t wait to make this! my husband is very intrigued to say the least lol

  71. says

    Beautiful cake! I made a chocolate beetroot cake recently (with flour) and it was very well received – and gorgeously moist. Will definitely have to try this as I am somewhat addicted to unusual cakes and sneaking vegetables into things! Do you find that the ‘earthy’ beet flavour is very apparent? I actually have some agave nectar too so no excuse not to try this :)

  72. Tom says

    “And the beet goes on”…When I first saw this it reminded me of a red velvet torte/cake I had as a kid at a friends B day party. His mom called it “the red velvet million dollar cake.” I never realized in the old days they used red dye to make “Red Velvet” cakes. Some bakers used boiled beets to enhance the color of their cakes. In fact boiled grated beets or beet baby food are still found in some red velvet cake recipes today. The red food coloring was later dropped as to a controversy about the health effects of common food colorings. Looks like your on the right tract Elana. However, I would like to try both versions this one and one with almond flour. :o)

  73. Stephanie says

    Your beet torte looks delicious! I was wondering how much water to use when I boil the beets with the agave nectar? Or, maybe I don’t use any water?

  74. says

    This cake looks both tempting and intriguing ;).
    I have a few beets in the fridge and didn’t know what to do with them…I guess I’ll turn them into a cake!
    How many do you think are needed to match the 2 1/2 grated cups? I guess you used raw beets right?

    Thanks ;).

  75. says

    This looks delicious! I haven’t ever done much with beets, but this looks like a great application. You continue to amaze me at your no-grain baking.

    I use a lot of almond meal, and it does get expensive!

  76. says

    That cake looks delicious! I have to put it on my to do list, your recipes always work and taste so good.

    I have been wondering what your thoughts are about the fructose in agave? Since fructose needs to be processed by the liver, it can become quite a burden for the body. Since I know how health conscious you are, I would love to know your opinion?

    I have also read some stuff about how even young children in the US suffer from problems like a fatty liver because of the wide use of fructose which impairs the function of the liver?

    Your son has a good eye for composition.

      • Marie says

        I’ve used this substitution in the past for chocolate cakes that called for erythritol or honey: I’m a die hard stevia fan, so i substituted one cup of sweetener for 6-8 diced prunes in 1/3 to 1/2 cup water and simmered for about 20 minutes. Then I would add stevoside(Kal brand is all I use-it lasts three years or longer and I make up to three gallons of ice tea twice a week for my family of six!) (I don’t keep soda in the house.) So anyway, I will add 3/4 of a teaspoon-yes that’s a teaspoon-of stevia to the water/prune mixture to equal one cup of sugar or sweetener for my chocolate cake. When cool, I blend it in the blender or food processor and proceed with the recipe. Yummy and low-carb.

  77. says

    Ohhhh! Love it! Cute story and your son is a pro photographer. I would not have guessed.
    You didn’t tell us what your husband said about the cake!?! I would not have been able to be the room while he tasted it in fear the look on my face would give it away!
    I often do this with my taste testers because they are usually surprised to hear the wholesome ingredients I’ve used… this has what in it?
    So fun :-D

  78. ~M says

    This looks fabulous. I know almost all of your recipes are Passover-friendly, but having a budget-friendly seder cake makes this one super-awesome since we are expecting many guests, including a nut-free one! And this way I can stick veges into my vege-hating dad and in-laws! :P

    Is the texture cakey (like your coconut flour cake) or more like a flourless chocolate cake? Are you able to use less agave due to the beets’ natural sweetness?

    Also, do you grate the raw beets and then take the gratings and cook them with the agave and then puree? I’m a little confused about this part. And when you make this again, it’d be super helpful if you could weigh your beets at the market so it would be easier to figure out how many are needed to yield 2.5 cups grated.

    Thanks, Elana! I hope your hands are not dyed pink from your experiments!

    Oh – and excellent photography! Good job!

  79. says

    I’ve been checking out your recipes from time to time, and finally subscribed! This was the first post to show up in my feed and I’m thrilled. Thanks for your hard work and dedication to sharing with your readers. =)

  80. says

    Definitely trying this. I feel like this is one of those recipes (and I have many like this) where it is best to get your tasters to eat it first, and then tell them what it is.

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