Beetnik Cake….Oh-h-h, the Things Our Moms Never Told Us

Editor’s Note: This recipe is from my gorgeous bombshell neighbor Teresa, another Oklahoma gal, although not by birth. She comes to us by way of Billings, Montana, a place that knows about cold weather because there is only one or two pieces of barbed wire between them and that arctic wind.

For those of you who remember this cake, the truth is now out. And I always thought I was being so cool man, eating this cake. After all, it was a Beatnik cake…..uhhh-huh.

From Teresa:

Here is another recipe from Oklahoma and served at the Putnam City school districts’ cafeterias:


1/2 c. Hershey’s baking cocoa (or other favorite chocolate)

2 t. vanilla

1 c. cooking oil

1 3/4 c. all-purpose flour

1 1/2 c. sugar

1 1/2 t. baking soda

1/2 t. salt

1 1/2 c. ground canned beets and juice (consistency of applesauce)

3 eggs, well beaten

· Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

· Combine cocoa, vanilla and oil; mix thoroughly

· Sift flour, sugar, soda and salt together, and add to cocoa mixture.

· Grind beets, or process in blender, before measuring.  Blender is fastest.

· Add beets and eggs to batter mixture

· Pour into greased and floured 10” x 14” pan.

· Bake 25 to 30 minutes

· Frost with your favorite chocolate icing.


No wonder the cafeteria ladies were smiling when this was served. The cake is moist and delicious; however, they were sneaking VEGETABLES into our meals and we hadn’t a clue!

Editor’s Note: And it just wasn’t our meals, it was dessert!

Teresa goes on to say that “My own mother was one of the cafeteria sneaks for 10 years at an elementary school down the street from her own home. She didn’t tell me what was in the cake until after I’d graduated from Putnam West.”

Sneaking…well yes….my own mother had done some time as a cafeteria cook in the Jenks public school system….and she never exposed this secret to me. It was one she took blissfully to her grave.