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!

Purple Velvet Torte

Print Recipe
  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°F 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!


144 responses to “Purple Velvet Torte”

  1. I love this. It is my no 1 new recipe :-). The combination of the beetroot and cacoa is just amazing!!! Always have cooked beetroot in fridge, so I use cooked ones, then just cook that and the honey for short time and follow the recipe.

  2. hi i want to make the purple torte but Im confused about the cooking time. Also if I use beets that are already cooked do i need to boil them still before pureeing them? And lastly should i make this to be served hot for company or can i make in advance and serve cold?

    • Ricki, thanks for your comment! For this torte, you simmer the beets for 30 minutes, then bake the cake batter for 30-35 minutes. I haven’t tried making this with precooked beets so not sure how that would alter the recipe. I serve this cold to our guests :-)

  3. WOW! WOW! WOW! Can’t believe the texture of this! Neither could my mother. Literally. Couldn’t believe it didn’t have some sort of fine flour in it. And we really can’t believe the flavor, either. I said I thought it would freeze well, and she said, “No way is that gonna make it to the freezer!”

    Followed the honey version of the recipe exactly, except used coconut oil (because I had it on hand). I did have to bake it 55 minutes, as other reviewers have stated. Was still batter at the 35 minutes called for in the recipe. When it finally did come out though, it was unbelievable. Thanks for creating and sharing such a delicious and nutritious treat.

  4. 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 :)

  5. 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.

  6. 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!

  7. 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.

  8. 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!

  9. 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.

  10. 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!

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Recipes » Desserts » cakes » Purple Velvet Torte