Chocolate and beetroot loaf with cashew icing

Beetroot and chocolate loaf with cashew icing.
Beetroot and chocolate loaf with cashew icing. Photo: Sugar Free Baking, Carolyn's Hartz

Enjoy some guilt-free holiday recipes from Carolyn Hartz's new cookbook, Sugar Free Baking, proving that giving up sugar does not mean giving up the sweet treats in life.

Carolyn's recipes are free from hidden sugars, are gluten-free, and use 100 per cent natural ingredients.

Beetroot and chocolate loaf with cashew icing
Serves 10 - 12

<i>Sugar Free Baking</i>, $29.95, on sale now.
Sugar Free Baking, $29.95, on sale now. 
  • Butter or oil, to grease 
  • 300g whole raw beetroot (approx. 5 medium beetroots) 
  • 250g raw almonds, ground
  • 1 tsp gluten free baking powder 
  • 2 X-large eggs
  • 100g Perfect Sweet® xylitol
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 150ml mild olive oil
  • 150g dark bitter chocolate or good quality sugar-free dark chocolate, chopped

Beetroot chips

  • 1 whole raw beetroot, peeled

Cashew icing

  • 300g raw cashews, soaked for 3 hours in enough warm water to cover, rinsed and drained
  • 20g Perfect Sweet® xylitol
  • 60ml water
  • 60ml coconut oil, melted
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • Raw whole pistachios, to decorate

Preheat oven to 160°C/140°C fan-forced. Brush a 25cm × 7.5cm × 7.5cm loaf pan with butter or oil to grease. Line with baking paper.


Roast the beetroot in the oven 180°C/160°C until tender, peel and puree to make 250g. Set aside.

Place ground almonds and baking powder in a large bowl and mix to combine.

Use an electric beater to beat eggs, xylitol and salt in a clean bowl on high speed until pale and creamy. Gradually add the olive oil and beat on medium speed until combined.  

Fill a small saucepan with water and bring to the boil. Meanwhile, place the chocolate in a bowl large enough to cover the saucepan and set aside.

Once water is boiling, remove from the heat and place bowl with chocolate on top, stirring gently to melt. Set aside to cool slightly.

Stir egg mixture into the almond mixture. Mix in the melted chocolate and beetroot puree.

Pour into prepared cake pan and bake for 25–30 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Leave to cool in pan for 10 minutes. Turn onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Beetroot chips

Lower oven temperature to 120°C/100°C fan-forced. Very carefully, thinly slice the beetroot using a mandoline. Place beetroot slices on a silicon mat or baking paper in a single layer and bake for 30 minutes, or until crisp.

Cashew icing

Blend all the ingredients until smooth, then spread over the cooled cake. Garnish with beetroot chips and pistachios.

Visit for more recipes or to buy Sugar Free Baking. 

Sugar Free Baking is also available at Go Vita Health Food Stores and selected pharmacies and health food stores.