The Queen’s Beets – Let Them Eat Cake

“Woe is me!” sighs Marie.

How Queen Marie learns to dance

Marie Antoinette found herself  bored silly. She had everything she wanted. If she clapped once, her servant would come with a tray full of chocolate cake. Twice got her steaming mugs of cocoa and cream. Three times and she went mad over baskets of truffles and éclairs. But she wasn’t happy.

Bad teeth made her head ache. If something amused her, she hid her black smile behind her fan. To wear her palace gowns, she had her corsets pulled so tight, Marie could hardly catch enough breath to shout, “Off with their heads!”

“Do something!” she ordered the King.

Louis shook his own head and consulted the court surgeon.

“We have no good way to patch up bad teeth, short of pulling them all out,” the doctor said. “To keep the ones Marie has left, she must eat less sugar.” As he took his leave he added, “And your wife needs more exercise.”

Louis loved his wife and wanted to see her well and cheerful. He ordered his chef to make a glorious cake with no sugar. The result was a confection of chocolate, nuts, and veggies, sweetened with a magical herb called stevia. Louis had it wheeled in to his wife’s dining salon on a cart lit by a single gold candle. “This,” said Louis, “is what we will eat with our tea from now on. When we want other sweets, we shall eat fresh fruits and berries. When we want a snack, we shall eat nuts.”

Marie pouted. But Louis insisted. So Marie took a small slice. Sugarless icing crowned the cake. A hint of chocolate cream oozed from the burgundy center. Marie daintily slid her golden fork under the tip of the slice and raised a royal crumb to her lips. “Mmm,” she said. Then she placed the whole forkful into her mouth. “Chocolaty and moist,” she proclaimed. And she ate it all up.

When she asked for another piece, Louis shook his finger back and forth. “Not now, my dear,” he said. ” But perhaps you would like to dance?” He held out his hand, his wrist flounced with lace, and asked his violinist to play. He whirled Marie around the floor. They leaped. They twirled. They chasséed like pretty ponies. On they went until Marie was gasping for air.

Marie flopped into the down feathers of her brocade lounge and laughed.

“I’m glad you enjoyed that, ” said Louis. “We shall dance every afternoon, until we are in the best of shapes, as befits our royal station.”

“What in coronation was in that cake,” Marie asked. “I haven’t felt such energy since I was a girl!”

“It’s hush-hush,” he said. “We wouldn’t want the masses to hear of our secret ingredient. They could start demanding high prices. Worse yet, they might keep it all for themselves.” He paused. “But if you promise not to tell…” Louis hid his mouth behind his hand and whispered in her ear. All he said was: “Beets.”

“From this day forth,” Marie announced with a flourish,”We, The Royal House, will settle for nothing short of beets. The peasants, let them eat cake!”

And so, with a regular program of dance combined with sensible eating, she and Louis took control over their health. They may not have lived happily ever after… but they felt better trying.

To learn how the royal beets worked their charm, check out my previous post.

Royal Beet Cake
serves 10 or 12 people

  • 75 grams (2.5 ounces) dark chocolate, chopped
  • 3 large eggs
  • 80 ml (1/3 cup) canola oil
  • 30 ml (2 tablespoons) coconut oil, melted
  • 400 grams raw beets, yielding 300 grams roasted grated beets
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 40 grams (1/3 cup) cocoa, unsweetened
  • 50 grams ground almonds
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 120 grams (1 cup) whole wheat pastry flour
  • 4 teaspoons stevia powder (to equal 300 grams or 2 cups sugar)


1. Trim 3 large beets, clean skins with a dry towel, oil them with canola, and roast them in a sealed casserole at 400F for 60 minutes or until you can pierce them with a fork. Then cool, peel, grate, and measure correct amount.
2. Melt chocolate over hot water in a pan on the stove. Combine with other wet ingredients. For best results, dissolve the stevia powder in the wet ingredients, or use liquid stevia.
3. Whir dry ingredients in a food processor to add air, then fold them into wet ingredients. Pour into 1-litre (4-cup) cake pan, greased and lined with parchment paper.
4. Bake at 350F for 40 min or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool on rack: 10 minutes in pan, then remove and cool completely.
5. When cool, slice horizontally.


  • 4 ounces light cream cheese
  • 2 tablespoons skim milk
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder, unsweetened
  • 1 teaspoon stevia powder or to taste (to equal 75 grams or 1/4 cup sugar) and dissolve it in the milk
  1. Whip cream cheese and sweetened milk together. Add cocoa.
  2. Ice first layer, place second layer on top and ice it too. Decorate with fruit if you like.

Nutrients per serving

Based on 10 servings:
288 Calories. 19 g fat (7 g saturated fat, 642 mg cholesterol), 23 g carbs (4.6 g fiber, 5.8 g sugar), 9.3 g protein, 71 mg calcium, 3.1 mg iron, 357 mg sodium, 427 mg potassium, 74 DFE folate, 4.4 mg vitamin E. Leave off the icing and save even more calories!

The original recipe came in at over 650 Calories per serving, most of it sugar and fat. This recipes costs you just 288 calories.


My story of Marie is imagined. Although the real Marie is famous for having said, “Let them eat cake!”, it’s likely not true.  Read the facts here.


19 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Timea
    Apr 01, 2014 @ 16:23:01

    Yay, found your beet cake recipe (was real easy I just haven’t had the time to look). Will have to try these. We still have a bunch of beets in the fridge.


  2. deliciousonadollar
    May 08, 2013 @ 11:08:10

    Oh, I love this story and your wonderfully entertaining blog. In my opinion dancing is really a great form of exercise because you’re having such fun while doing it, it doesn’t feel like exercise. Thanks so much for the link to this cake. I will definitely try it.


    • Vinny Grette
      May 08, 2013 @ 14:34:21

      The cake came out moist and chocolaty. The only way people know it’s made with beets is if you tell them :). And soooo healthy – no empty calories here. Thanks so much for your kind comments, Delicious. Vinny says: Let’s dance!


  3. maristravels
    Dec 14, 2012 @ 09:25:05

    Sounds delice but where I live I cannot get canola oil and the only coconut oil is a very heavy oil used for things like skin preparations. Any suggestions for a replacement?


    • Vinny Grette
      Dec 14, 2012 @ 09:36:15

      Any veggie oil that withstands high temperatures is okay instead of canola oil. I use grapeseed oil as a healthy alternative.

      The coconut oil is a healthy substitute for butter. You need less coconut oil than you do butter, so I say use 4 tablespoons of butter in place of the coconut oil. Both butter and coconut oil have saturated fats, but the fat profile is better for you with coconut oil. Read If you can’t get it, though, that’s not going to help :). I get mine at Farm Boy, a veggie store, and also at my local health food store. It’s pretty expensive though. I don’t bake often so I get it anyway. This cake is really worth making!


  4. pomegranatesandhoney
    Dec 01, 2012 @ 16:51:41

    Love this! And your pictures are fab!


  5. notjustgreenfingers
    Nov 29, 2012 @ 12:29:19

    Forgot to say, I love your blog and have linked to it on Saturday on my ‘Bump The Blog’ feature I do. Hope that is ok.


  6. shras789
    Nov 28, 2012 @ 22:07:06

    I see you have Blurb Link on your blog, I am using there software to write my book.


  7. Sara
    Nov 27, 2012 @ 21:50:38

    Hi, I have nominated you for the Inspiring Blogger Award because I think you deserve a little something for making your blog always look fab! To share this little bit of blogging kindness: 1. Display the award image on your blog. 2. Link back to the person who nominated you. 3. State 7 things about yourself. 4. Nominate 15 other bloggers and link to their sites. 5. Notify the bloggers that they have been nominated and link to the post. Thank you for all your great posts and congratulations!


  8. notjustgreenfingers
    Nov 27, 2012 @ 14:06:33

    Thank you for mentioning my blog in your post today. I’m glad I helped to inspire you.


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