Secret Ingredient: Recipe for a Healthy Chocolate Cake

Reader Contribution by Gina Souders
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<p>Our art director, Marci O’Brien, recently threw a tea party for her 5-year-old daughter’s birthday at her home in Fort Collins, Colorado. She decided to prepare healthy treats for her daughter and ten of her friends. This meal included a healthy chocolate birthday cake with matching cupcakes that featured a special ingredient: beets!</p>
<p>Try this delicious recipe for your family. (Just don’t spoil the surprise!)</p>
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<p>
<strong>Secret Chocolate Cake</strong>
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<em>Serves 16 to 24</em>
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<p>Delicious plain, frosted, or served with applesauce. They’ll never know the secret ingredient unless you tell. Compliments of <a href=”http://www.amazon.com/Simply-Season-Print-Community-Cookbook/dp/0836192974″ target=”_blank”>
<em>Simply in Season</em>
</a>.</p>
<p>• 2 cups beets, cooked, peeled and chopped<br />
• 1/2 cup applesauce<br />
• 1 1/2 cups sugar<br />
• 1/2 cup oil<br />
• 1/2 cup plain yogurt<br />
• 3 eggs<br />
• 1/2 cup baking cocoa, sifted<br />
• 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla<br />
• 1 1/2 cups flour<br />
• 1 cup whole wheat flour<br />
• 1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda<br />
• 1/2 teaspoon salt<br />
• 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon (optional)<br />
• 1/2 cup chocolate chips, or nuts</p>
<p>1. Puree beets and applesauce in blender until smooth. Set aside.</p>
<p>2. Combine sugar, oil, yogurt and eggs in a large mixing bowl. Beat with electric mixer for 2 minutes.</p>
<p>3. Add cocoa and vanilla, along with pureed beets blend; beat another 90 seconds</p>
<p>4. Gradually sift flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon into the batter, mixing it in with a spoon, but stirring only until blended.</p>
<p>5. Stir in chocolate chips. Pour into greased 9″ x 13″ baking pan. Bake in preheated oven at 350 degrees until knife inserted in center comes out clean (about 40-50 minutes). To bake in a bundt pan, pour half of the batter into a greased pan, sprinkle chocolate chips evenly on top, then add remaining batter.</p>
<p>Variation: Substitute 2 to 3 cups shredded raw zucchini or summer squash for the cooked, pureed beets. Use ground cinnamon and add 1/2 teaspoons allspice.</p>

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