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Friday, February 13, 2015

Accidental Vegan, Gluten Free Chocolate Beet Cake Balls (+MeatlessMonday)

Free of gluten, soy, nuts, dairy, eggs

I never set out to make these gluten free beet chocolate cake balls. They started out as an attempt as a Swiss jelly roll. Which, obviously, failed. Because I'm crazy and even though I've never made a Swiss roll cake, I decided my first attempt should be a GF, vegan, chocolate beet flavoured one that I completely pulled out of thin air. Because yeah... that's not insane or anything...

So the cake broke apart when I tried to roll it (even though it was warm, I think it needed more moisture). But it was still fairly tasty and I wanted to try and salvage the ingredients. I HATE throwing away gluten free ingredients, or any food for that matter.

So with some quick finagling, I mixed up some beet tinted frosting, mashed some in with the cake, rolled it up, smothered the balls in some more beet frosting and KA-POW!

Crazy vegan, gluten free chocolate beet cake balls. I dare you to try and say that ten times fast...

Now I'm going to share the recipe for the failed beet cake in case you want to try it out yourself. IF you're going to use it to make these cake balls, it will be fine.

HOWEVER - I'm putting this in capitals so you don't miss it - I WOULD NOT use this cake recipe for making actual cake. On it's own, it is not sweet, is a bit crumbly, and is very, very beet-y. If you have another gluten free, vegan chocolate cake mix you like, by all means go ahead and use that instead.

I only used half of the cake to make these balls. The other half I'm going to try and turn into a gluten free, vegan chocolate cake crumb pie crust. I'll let you know how that goes. UPDATE: I've posted the recipe for Accidental Vegan, Gluten Free Chocolate Pudding Pie, using the other half of the botched cake :)

 For the sake of this recipe, though, I've doubled the amounts used so that you can get a full batch of cake ball pop thingys.

And of course, thanks to their lovely beet color these are perfect for Valentine's Day. My husband has approved them, too, and he neither likes beets nor frosting, but he let me pop a couple of these in his mouth today for testing ;)

In case you didn't already know, I LOVE beets and slip them into everything. If you happen to end up with extra beet puree from making this, you'll want to check out my GF Beet Chocolate Cupcake Recipe, GF Beet Ravioli, or this round up of 25 Beet Recipes.

Wondering what to do with chocolate cake crumbs, or a too-dry cake? Cake balls!!

Breaking up the screwed-up cake

Mixing in a small amount of beet frosting to make a mash

Roll the cake mash into balls

And roll through more beet frosting before chilling

Ingredients for Vegan, Gluten Free Beet Chocolate Balls  
(makes approximately 6 dozen balls)

1 batch Chocolate Cake as follows  (OR use your favorite chocolate cake recipe)
3/4 cup sorghum flour
1/4 cup tapioca starch
1/2 tsp xanthan gum
2 tsp baking powder
3 Tbsp cocoa powder
2 tsp sugar
2 Tbsp ground flax

6 Tbsp beet puree (i.e. 1 raw beet blended in a food processor with enough water to make a paste)
3/4 cup vegan milk of choice

Beet Frosting

4 cups icing sugar + more as needed
3 Tbsp dairy-free butter
3 Tbsp beet puree (or mix all together with 1 raw beet slice to color, then remove the beet slice before use)
3/4- 1 tsp peppermint extract (or vanilla, for a totally different flavour)
water as needed

To make the cake:

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and preheat oven to 350F.

Sift together dry cake ingredients. Blend in beet puree and milk. Bake in oven 10-15 minutes, until spongy. Remove from heat and cool.

Blend together frosting ingredients, adjusting sugar and water as needed to create a semi-thick frosting.

To make the cake balls:

Break up the cake in a large bowl. (About 5 cups worth of cake chunks)  Add frosting by the spoonful and mash together until cake begins to form a ball. You won't need a lot of frosting; don't add too much or else your cake will be mushy. Blech.

Scoop out cake using a melon baller or spoon and roll between palms to form balls. Place on a plate(or the same parchment paper-covered sheet you baked the cake on).

Using a fork or toothpicks, roll the cake balls through the beet frosting. I used a toothpick to stab into the balls and place them on a parchment lined sheet. Chill balls for 1 hr, then serve!

Happy Valentine's Day everyone! 

Have you seen my newest cookbook, Cooking and Baking with Gluten Free Beer? It's full of fun, booze-infused recipes that will help you enjoy beer 24/7, from breakfast through to dessert. Get it now for Kindle or in Print Copy and crack open a 6 pack today :)

This post was shared on the following great link parties: The Hearth and Soul Hop, Gluten Free Wednesdays, Healthy, Happy, Green & Natural Party,


  1. Replies
    1. Thanks! I googled around for some ideas then fiddled with my own recipe to tweak it. I used the other half of the cake to make this Chocolate Pudding Pie, which turned out really well also!

  2. Hi Danielle,
    So yummy! Thank you so much for sharing your pretty, healthy and delectable GF/Vegan Chocolate Beet Cake Balls with us at the Healthy, Happy, Green and Natural Party Blog Hop. I'm pinning and sharing!

  3. I love beets. So this is something I possibly might try.

  4. This sounds like a great recipe. Very unique idea you have created with the beets. Pinning & twitting. Visiting from Healthy Happy Green & Natural blog hop;

  5. These look great! I have throwing away food too, I always try to salvage failed cooking experiments too haha. Love the beetroot in the cake and frosting!!

  6. I love it when a 'mistake' turns out to be something as delicious as your accidental Beet Chocolate Cake Balls. These are a lovely, wholesome treat, Danielle! Thank you for sharing them with us at the Hearth and Soul hop. Pinning and will tweet :-)

  7. This looks really good and very festive for Valentine's Day. Definitely pinning it!
    Shana from Technotini


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