Can you believe this mouth-watering chocolate cake recipe has a common leftover item? At Ecophiles, we always talk about reducing food waste and offer practical tips and share recipes like this chocolate cake recipe to make the habit a part of your lifestyle.

With her new book Too Good To Waste, food writer Victoria Glass takes on the challenge of reducing food waste in a fun and fresh way. Victoria gently guides you into creating something wonderful out of what you would ordinarily throw away.

She says, “This chocolate cake manages to be both rich and light. It is moist and squidgy but in no way sickly and turns a bag of shrivelled beetroots into a cake fit for a celebration.” And offers this handy tip: Once cool, the remaining beetroot cooking water can be used to water plants or make vegetable stock.

Salted caramel, chocolate & beetroot fudge cake:


For the cake

3 beetroots/beets (300g total), scrubbed and peeled

100g/scant ½ cup unsalted butter, softened

175g/scant 1 cup light muscovado sugar

2 large eggs, beaten

1 tsp vanilla extract

125g/4½oz dark/semisweet chocolate, at least 70% cocoa solids, melted and cooled

2 tbsp good-quality unsweetened cocoa powder

125g/1 cup plain/all- purpose flour

1 tsp bicarbonate of soda/ baking soda

1 pinch of fine sea salt

For the salted caramel

200g/1 cup caster/ superfine sugar

100ml/scant ½ cup double/heavy cream

½–1 tsp fine sea salt

For the chocolate buttercream

100g/scant ½ cup unsalted butter, softened

175g/1¼ cups icing/ confectioners’ sugar, sifted

100g dark/semisweet chocolate, at least 70% cocoa solids, melted and cooled

a splash of milk (optional)



Heat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas 4 and grease and line two 20cm/8in loose-based cake pans.

To make the cake, cook the beetroots/beets in boiling water for 40–60 minutes until soft.

Remove from the pan and reserve 100ml/scant ½ cup of the cooking water.

Purée the beetroot/beets.

Cream the butter and sugar until creamy. Mix in the eggs, vanilla, beetroot/beet purée and chocolate. Sift over the dry ingredients and fold in. Divide between the prepared pans and bake for 20 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean.

Meanwhile, to make the salted caramel, dissolve the sugar in the reserved beetroot/ beet water in a wide-based saucepan over a low heat, stirring, and using a pastry brush dipped in water to remove any sugar crystals stuck to the inside of the pan. Stop stirring and increase the heat.

Shake the pan occasionally and watch carefully until the caramel turns a deep amber. Remove from the heat and immediately whisk in the cream and salt.

Prick the top of the warm cakes with a skewer and drizzle each one with 2 tablespoons of the salted caramel, avoiding the edges. Leave the cakes to cool in their pans on a wire rack.

To make the buttercream, whisk the butter until creamy, then whisk in half the icing/ confectioners’ sugar. Whisk in the chocolate, then the remaining sugar for a few minutes. Slacken with a splash of milk, if necessary.

Push the cake bases out, but leave the cakes on the insert of the pans. Spread the top of one cake with half of the buttercream and upturn the other on top to sandwich them together. Remove the pan insert and parchment on the top cake and upturn it onto a cake stand.

Remove the other pan insert and peel off the parchment, before spreading the remaining buttercream over the top of the cake. Drizzle the remaining salted caramel generously over the top of the buttercream. You may need to return the caramel saucepan to the heat briefly before doing this so that it  is runny enough to drizzle.

Enjoy this delicious chocolate cake recipe!

Victoria Glass’s book is available on the Nourish Books website. 

Also Read: 

Why Waste Food? This Baking Recipe uses Leftover Pastry

Don’t waste the peel? Try this Ravioli recipe with Carrot Peel Crisps