Beetroot, Chocolate and Cardamom Self Saucing Pudding


I have such fond memories of chocolate self-saucing pudding from my childhood. When winter arrived, so did VFL and WAFL (that’s 80’s Australian Rules Footy for those lucky enough not to have fanatics for parents), lazy Sunday meals in front of the telly and, joy of joy, decedent self-saucing pudding. Soft spongy cake with warm chocolate sauce and usually Mum managed a crispy top. Delicious!!! I don’t make it much now because it is soooooooo full of sugar and I am mindful of revving my kids up at 6.30pm, just before bed. It’s bad enough as it is trying to get my spirited little darlings (cough cough) to call it a day. Well I’ve revisited my old favourite and the pudding is making a comeback kids.

I was playing with winter veggie ideas for this shoot and once I had a beetroot in my hand I knew it was going to be dessert. Chocolate and beetroot are an earthy, warming match made in heaven. After a bit of googalising I ran into some self-saucing recipes including beetroot and the flame was alight. More like a bushfire if I’m honest!

Most desserts contain way more sugar than is needed to sweeten the deal and once you reduce that you can actually taste the ingredients which is lovely. So I started by halving the sugar, then I made mine with wholemeal flour, added some spices for depth and used dark cocoa powder to get a rich chocolate finish. You still wouldn’t want to eat this every night (well you will want to…) but it’s so much healthier than the original. I hope this becomes a family favourite. My kids loved it and I had to tell them about the beetroot after they finished because they couldn’t pick the magic ingredient. Happy winter desserts people. X Kate

Beetroot, Chocolate and Cardamom Self Saucing Pudding

Beetroot, Chocolate and Cardamom Self Saucing Pudding



1 cup self-raising wholemeal flour (or try spelt flour with 2 tsp baking powder added)

2 tsp cinnamon, ground

1 tsp cardamom, ground

½ tsp salt

3 tablespoons dark cocoa powder

1/4 cup brown sugar

1 cup of peeled, finely grated beetroot, skin on

80g butter, melted, cooled

1/2 cup milk

1 egg, lightly beaten

thick cream to serve


1/2 cup brown sugar

3 tablespoons dark cocoa powder, sifted

1 tsp vanilla

1 1/2 cups boiling water


Preheat oven to 180°C. Grease an 8-cup capacity ovenproof baking dish.

Sift flour, spices, salt and cocoa into a large bowl.

Stir in sugar and beetroot.

Combine butter, milk and egg in a jug. Slowly add to flour mixture, mixing until well combined and smooth.

Pour into baking dish and gently smooth the top.

Make the sauce: Sprinkle combined sugar and cocoa over pudding.

Drizzle with vanilla.

Slowly pour boiling water over the back of a large metal spoon to cover pudding.

Place dish onto a baking tray to catch any chocolate spills.

 Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until pudding bounces back when pressed gently in centre. Serve hot with cream or ice cream or thick vanilla yoghurt.

Credit to Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Recipes, which provided the base for my recipe.

Photography credit to Damien Crocker @damien_crocker

Kate Nancarrow