Gluten-Free Chocolate Beet Cake with Naturally Dyed Pink Frosting

By Amanda Paa – Updated February 5, 2023
5 from 1 vote
This moist and fudgy gluten-free chocolate beet cake is so delicious, with layers of naturally dyed pink buttercream frosting. You won't taste the beets; they're roasted before grating into the batter bringing out their sweetness and they make the cake so moist! You can also make this cake with regular all purpose flour if you desire.
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Looking to celebrate Valentine’s Day with a beautiful gluten-free dessert? 

This Gluten-Free Chocolate Beet Cake with naturally dyed pink buttercream frosting is absolutely everything you’d want in a chocolate cake, with a little something extra.

A chocolate beet cake:

My inspiration to make this cake was not because I wanted to secretly incorporate beets to make it healthier. My my main goal was to celebrate beets for what they add to cake –  color, texture and moisture! Roasting the beets draws out most of their earthiness, and imparts sweetness.

This rich chocolate cake is one one of the most perfect vehicles for rich vanilla buttercream (which also goes well atop these gluten-free vanilla cupcakes), which I naturally dyed pink with the beets, too! How’s that for a dye free frosting?

Does this cake taste like beets?

Well, they barely make themselves known, deepening the chocolate flavor that sets this cake apart. They make the cake extremely moist!

Chocolate beet cake, gluten free

How to Roast Beets:

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Thoroughly wash beets under running water and them in a large piece of foil. Place clean beets in a piece of foil.  Drizzle with just a bit of vegetable oil.  Seal up foil so they are completely enclosed. This will steam them.
  • Place on a baking sheet in the oven. Roast until beets are tender when pierced with a knife, about 1 hour.
  • Carefully open the foil and allow beets to cool completely, then peel. Using a box grater, grate the peeled beets on the finest grating plane.  Measure 1/2 cup of grated beets for the cake and 2 tablespoons for the frosting. Set aside.

How to Store Beet Cake:

The cake layers can be made a day in advance and stored tightly wrapped in plastic wrap in the refrigerator. You can then frost the day of, if that suits your schedule better.

Once the cake is frosted and complete, store it underneath a cake dome in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. On the cut edges, place a piece of parchment up against it to keep the cake “sealed”. The cool temperature of the refrigerator will help keep the cake fresh.


To Brian, my love and best friend (written in 2014):

We don’t really celebrated Valentine’s Day, as you’ve said many times, “It isn’t about just one day and a bouquet of flowers. It should be shown all the time, with unexpected acts of kindness that mean so much more.”

The first time you mentioned that, I knew I was with the right person. It’s the little, yet big things you do for me that signify the deeper love we have.

Like spending 3 hours putting the new dishwasher in (hooray!) when we could have paid someone to do it.
Like finding me the perfect birthday gift that I didn’t even hint about.
Like letting me make a complete mess of the kitchen every single day and being okay with it.
Like sending an “I really miss you” text when you’re on vacation with the guys.

You’re always there to ground me,
to calm my nerves,
to wipe my tears, both happy and sad.

You make me feel valued,
and beautiful…..
Things that I admittedly have trouble doing on my own sometimes.

Neither of us may be romantics, but I do know this: Our relationship brings me happiness and contentment that I never quite imagined, and for that I will be forever grateful.


Chocolate Beet Cake with Natural Pink Buttercream Frosting (gluten-free)
Vanilla Buttercream

Gluten-Free Chocolate Beet Cake | with naturally dyed pink buttercream frosting

More Gluten-Free Cake Recipes

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Moist Chocolate Beet Cake with Natural Pink Buttercream

A delicious, fudgy chocolate cake made with beets to keep it extra moist. You won't taste the beets! Frosted with layers of naturally tinted pink buttercream.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time :25 minutes
Cook Time :45 minutes
Total Time :1 hour 10 minutes
Yield: 10 servings
Author: Amanda Paa



  • 3 small to medium beets
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 7 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup natural unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 205 grams [Cup4Cup Gluten-Free Flour] or 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon espresso powder, optional


  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Thoroughly wash beets under running water, and trim their leaves, leaving about 1/2 inch of stem.  Place clean beets in a piece of foil.  Drizzle with just a bit of vegetable oil.  Seal up foil.  Place on a baking sheet in the oven.  Roast until beets are tender when pierced with a knife, about 1 hour.
  • Remove the beets from the oven.  Open the foil and allow beets to cool completely, then peel. Using a box grater, grate the peeled beets on the finest grating plane.  Measure 1/2 cup of grated beets for the cake and 2 tablespoons for the frosting. Set aside.
  • Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees. Use butter to grease bottom and sides of a 6 in round springform pan. Trace a piece of parchment paper so it is the same size as the bottom of the cake pan. Cut it out and place inside the cake pan. Butter the parchment paper.
  • Using a stand or hand mixer, cream together butter and sugars, beating on medium speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 to 5 minutes.  Beat in eggs, one at a time, for one minute after each addition. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Once eggs are incorporated, beat in beets and vanilla extract until thoroughly combined.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, espresso powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Add half of the dry ingredients to the butter and egg mixture. Beating on low speed, slowly add buttermilk.
  • Once just incorporated, add the other half of the dry ingredients. Beat on medium speed until milk and dry ingredients are just incorporated. Cake batter will be thick, not pourable like other cakes you may have made.
  • Bake for 45 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean and sides are slightly starting to pull away from pan. Let cool for 5 minutes, then unmold from pan and set on wire cooling rack. Let completely cool.
  • I used this vanilla buttercream frosting recipe, reserved 1 cup of it and set aside. I then beat in the two tablespoons of reserved grated beet into the remaining frosting and set aside. I cut the cake in half, spread the white frosting on top of one half, placed other half on top and proceeded to frost the rest of the cake with the pink stained frosting. And then I made a heart with chocolate sprinkles. :)


Makes a two layer, six-inch round cake.
Adapted from Joy the Baker’s recipe.

Did you make this?

tag @heartbeetkitchen on instagram and hashtag it #heartbeetkitchen

February 13, 2014


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  1. Courtney Garcia

    5 stars
    Super yummy! I ended up adding 3/4 cup hot coffee with 1tsp cinnamon and it was super good. It really didn’t taste gluten free at all. Can’t wait to make it again.

    • Amanda Paa

      So glad you liked it! Did you use the coffee instead of the buttermilk?

  2. Liz

    Do you have a measurement you would use for cup for cup flour if you don’t have a scale to weight it?

    • amandapaa

      Hi Liz! For gluten-free baking, I really suggest using a scale because all of the different flours are not the same weight, thus can affect the end product. They’re a great $10 investment! That being said, I only use weight measurements, rather than cups so that recipes turn out correctly.

  3. Sarah

    I would love to make this cake but don’t have a 6 inch spring form pan. Can I use another cake pan instead or is a spring form pan needed?

    • amandapaa

      Yes, you could use an 8 inch cake pan. It just won’t be as thick, and the layers will be thinner. I would cut the bake time down to 25 minutes, check it. And then increase time from their, until toothpick comes out just clean.

  4. Natalie

    I made this cake and it turned out great – used a cream cheese icing and that was a great combo too :-)

    • amandapaa

      hooray! so glad you liked the recipe. and i’ll have to try it with a cream cheese icing next time!

  5. Teresa

    Pinterest is saying your page is suspicious and blocking pins. I really love your cake!

  6. Carolee

    I Can’t wait to make this!! But better than the cake was your Lovely Heartfelt Message for your Sweet Husband! I enjoyed that the Most!!

  7. Alicja

    So, I’m trying this now… It’s been in the oven for 50 mins and it’s still gooey in the centre when I pull out the toothpick. I don’t want to keep opening and testing it, but I don’t see any other way to do it. Any suggestions?

    • Amanda Paa

      hi alicia! i would keep baking it for 8-10 minutes. It’s okay to keep opening it and putting the toothpick in. It will still continue to bake a little as it sits, so once it is just moist coming out from the toothpick you should be good. The baking time can vary because of the moisture of the beets, and ovens are often not calibrated correctly. Hope that helps!

      • Alicja

        Thanks! I did exactly as you recommended, and the cake came out beautifully! I ended up cutting off the rounded top to make it flat to accomodate the decorations for my mother’s birthday. It is scrumptious and lookks amazing!

        • Amanda Paa

          Alicja, I’m so glad it worked out! Cakes can be a little tricky with baking time so sometimes its just a matter of feel. And happy birthday to your mom!

  8. Ramona

    Sounds good. Do you think a person could use gluten free flour in place of cake flour ? I have a recipe for roasted beet ice cream that will go great with this cake. Thanks for sharing.

    • Amanda Paa

      Hi Ramona! This recipe actually does call for Cup 4 Cup Gluten-Free flour so you’re on your way! You can use whichever gluten-free flour blend you normal do, just make sure it is weighed the same. Enjoy!

      • Ramona

        Sorry I must have missed it. Going to go buy me some beets.

  9. Crista

    OMG obsessed!!! I’m GOING to make this!!!

    • amandapaa

      Beets #FTW! ps – I’ve been wearing the bracelet every day :)

  10. molly yeh

    this is adorable!!!

    • amandapaa

      You’re too sweet ;) I have a hard time letting my feelings out, in this space, but trying to do it more. And dang, it feels good!

  11. emily (a nutritionist eats)

    This is such a sweet post AND that cake is absolutely stunning! Wow!

    • amandapaa

      Aw, thank you! I usually don’t get too personal on the blog, but I’m trying to show more of myself in this space. I actually kind of like it :)

  12. Kelli

    So beautiful in every way. xoxo

  13. shanna mallon

    Oh, man. I am such a sucker for anything pink-stained by beets. Looks perfect!

    • amandapaa

      Thanks Shanna! I loved your post on heart beet patties too – so clever!