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Beetroot Banana Cocoa Cake

Beetroot Banana Cocoa Cake

Ahead of my 4 year old starting school I worried about a great many things at length - how he would make friends, would he like his teacher, could he be trusted to wash his hands properly after going to the toilet, how damaging to his self esteem would it be sitting next to a boy with photographic memory. You get the idea.

What I completely failed to register was the potential threat to his dietary well-being.

Indeed, all the obsessive fixations over social, hygiene and academic concerns have proven to be a waste of time and energy - children are (mostly) more adaptable than we care to believe. Either that or as parents we prefer to feel indispensable rather than redundant.

A combination of naivety and misplaced faith in the power of Jamie Oliver's school dinner revolution had lulled me into a false sense of security that school meals were healthy and junk-free.  Boy has my bubble of disillusionment been viciously burst!

The reports of pizza 'n' chips or days on end of being served just a potato or plate of pasta doused in cheese make me twitch with agitation the way most people respond to nails scraped on a chalkboard. And if that wasn't enough to send me into full on teeth grinding mode then the recounting of the day's sugar, gluten AND dairy saturated pudding finishes off the job.

By the time we get home I am itching to counteract the damage done by drip feeding him whole foods by the bucketful!

Luckily, he is more adventurous and open minded food-wise than the average 4 year old. He'll happily tuck into my Broccoli Banana Bread, declaring it "yummy!" and doesn't bat an eyelid eating any vegetable or fruit on his plate.

I'm wary of ostracising my children from their peers as I know too well the cruelty children are capable of when faced with anything out of the ordinary. I want them to make informed choices without dictating or censoring and, above all else, I want them to be filled with health, vitality and happiness.

Balance and education are key and the journey is only just beginning.

Same Mix, Different Mould! Plus added nuts, berries and cacao nibs

This Beetroot Banana Cocoa Cake is crammed with beetroot -  it is the main ingredient and not just used in the name to make it sound like a fancy health food!

Beetroot is a unique source of betalains, which are a phytonutrient with antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and detoxification benefits. It has been linked to cancer risk reduction and is a good source of fibre, manganese, potassium, copper, magnesium, phosphorous, vit C, iron and vit B6. The colour lends a beautiful depth to the cake as well as an earthiness to the cocoa flavour.

I don't add extra sweetener as the banana provides adequate natural sweetness but this is personal preference. For even more decadence, stir through 1/2 cup of chocolate chips before transferring mix to loaf tin for baking.

*Additional notes:
- I tried this recipe using cooled cooked beetroot (I roasted them whole then peeled them) and it works just as well, if not sweeter in taste and stickier in texture.
- Likewise these can be baked in individual portions - just reduce the baking time accordingly depending on the size of your cakes. The little ones above took 20 minutes.
- Try adding a handful of nuts, dried berries or cacao nibs just before baking to add texture.

Beetroot Banana Cocoa Cake

Gluten-free, Grain-free, Dairy-free, Refined Sugar-free

This one is for my two lovely little monkeys who I am thankful for every day. Thank you for making my Mother's Day yesterday so special xx

Makes 1 loaf, approx 10-12 slices


350g beetroot, peeled and roughly chopped
2 ripe bananas
4 eggs
1/2 cup coconut flour
1/2 cup ground almonds
1 tsp bicarbonate soda
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder or raw cacao
1 tsp vanilla extract
pinch of salt
Optional: 1/4-1/2 cup maple syrup or honey

1. Preheat oven to 175 degrees celsius, 350 degrees farenheit.
2. Line a loaf tin with baking parchment.
3. Add beetroot to food processor and blitz until finely chopped.
4. Add banana and continue to process.
5. Add flour, almonds, cocoa powder, eggs, vanilla, salt and bicarbonate of soda (and maple syrup or honey if using) and process until well combined, scraping down sides of processor if necessary.
6. Transfer to prepared loaf tin and bake in oven for 45-50minutes, or until cake springs back to the touch and skewer inserted comes out clean.

7. Allow to cool slightly before transferring to a cooling rack to cool completely before slicing.

8. Store in refrigerator, loosely wrapped in greaseproof paper, in an airtight container.


  1. Hello, I'm really looking forward to trying this recipe, I was just wondering what size loaf tin you used? Thanks!

    1. Hello - my loaf tin is a standard 2lb size (measures approx 21x11x7cm). Hope that helps! x

  2. Hi what substitute can I use for eggs in this cake please sounds lovely


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