I get a lot of beets when they’re in season. Since I have a farm box delivered to me, I sometimes get beets week after week, and honestly…. there are only so many roasted beets a person can eat. Next time we get beets I’m definitely using Caralee’s recipe!!
Let me know what you think.
Red Velvet Beet Cake from Intern (turned Dietitian!!!) Caralee
I have worked on perfecting a red velvet beet cake recipe for a while now. Unfortunately, my beet cakes always resulted in a brown, earthy tasting cake. Disappointing to say the least.
I have done more research and adjusted the recipe. As you can see, the adjusted recipe resulted in a very nicely colored cake. The flavor? Fantastic! My husband even approved (he can detect strange tastes in a heartbeat). There is no earthy beet flavor in this cake and absolutely NO artificial dyes (in most cases, red velvet cakes require 1 to 1 1/2 bottles of red food dye!). Not to mention, you get the added benefit of what beets have to offer – in a CAKE!
Beets are high in:
- vitamin C,
- essential minerals like potassium and manganese.
WHY WERE ADJUSTMENTS NEEDED?
Betanin, the red color found in beets, is sensitive to light, heat, oxygen and pH changes. In basic or alkaline environments the betanin degrades, resulting in a brown color. However, antioxidants (like ascorbic acid) can slow down the degradation process.
Knowing this, I made adjustments to the recipe to make the batter more acidic (in hopes of retaining the red color).
Acidic ingredients used: buttermilk, lemon juice, yogurt, cake flour (which I understand is more acidic than regular flour). I also microwaved the beets in water rather than subjecting them to the high heat of the oven.
- 3 Medium sized fresh beets
- ⅔ Cup buttermilk
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 2 Tbsp plain greek yogurt
- 1 Cup sugar
- ¼ Cup butter, softened
- ¼ Cup vegetable oil
- 2 large eggs, 1 egg white
- 2 tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp salt
- 2 Cups cake flour
- 3 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder (not dutch processed)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees
- Microwave beets in shallow water for approximately 10 minutes.
- Peel the skin off of the beets.
- Blend the beets in a food processor until you reach a pureed consistency.
- Add buttermilk, vanilla, lemon juice and yogurt and blend.
- In a separate container beat oil, butter and sugar until fluffy.
- Add eggs and beat until incorporated.
- In a separate bowl combine flour, salt, baking powder and cocoa.
- Add beet mixture and dry mixture to butter and oil mixture a little at a time.
- Add cake mixture to 2 round cake pans or 18 lined cupcake tins, filling each ⅔ full.
- Bake round cake pans for 20-25 minutes or cupcakes 15-18 mins. Allow to cool.
This cake tastes great without frosting. If you are feeling really adventurous – try topping your slice with a dollop of vanilla greek yogurt! However, who doesn’t love a good cream cheese frosting with red velvet cake?
To make a healthier frosting I suggest:
- 4 oz of 1/3 less fat cream cheese,
- 4 oz non-fat plain greek yogurt
- powdered sugar to taste.
Beat these ingredients together and frost your cake or cupcakes. (Note: this frosting will be thinner than a typical cream cheese frosting. Strain your yogurt using a coffee filter for a thicker frosting).
– Dietitian Caralee