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!
Try this delicious recipe for your family. (Just don't spoil the surprise!)
Secret Chocolate Cake
Serves 16 to 24
Delicious plain, frosted, or served with applesauce. They'll never know the secret ingredient unless you tell. Compliments of Simply in Season.
• 2 cups beets, cooked, peeled and chopped
• 1/2 cup applesauce
• 1 1/2 cups sugar
• 1/2 cup oil
• 1/2 cup plain yogurt
• 3 eggs
• 1/2 cup baking cocoa, sifted
• 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
• 1 1/2 cups flour
• 1 cup whole wheat flour
• 1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon (optional)
• 1/2 cup chocolate chips, or nuts
1. Puree beets and applesauce in blender until smooth. Set aside.
2. Combine sugar, oil, yogurt and eggs in a large mixing bowl. Beat with electric mixer for 2 minutes.
3. Add cocoa and vanilla, along with pureed beets blend; beat another 90 seconds
4. Gradually sift flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon into the batter, mixing it in with a spoon, but stirring only until blended.
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.
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.