Friday, July 11, 2014

Beet Red Velvet Cake

Sometimes my roommate has trouble making decisions. Not on big, important things, at least I don't think so. He merely...gets bogged down in particulars? So it's often easier to just make a decision for him. Note that I do not enjoy doing this. Especially not about birthday cakes. How can one not care what kind of cake they have?! 

"Adam. Please. What kind of cake do you want, I can make anything." Know that no one ever asks for anything out of the ordinary, but I can always hope.
"Okay, I want Red Velvet," he says emphatically. 
NOOOOO. If you've been reading this blog for any amount of time, you might know my dislike for red velvet. There is something sinister about all that dye. But wait...
"Ugh, fine, I'll do it. But I'm going to use beets instead of food coloring." 
He looked somewhat taken aback, but didn't object. So there was indeed a way to make this cake out of the ordinary. 

It wasn't horrible! It didn't taste like beets! If I hadn't told everyone about the beets so they could prepare themselves in case it was barfworthy, I don't think anyone would have known. It's not going to be as shockingly red as it would be if you used dye, but it was still clearly red. Now I can make red velvet again without feeling gross. On the side note, the frosting on this was fantastic, a cream cheese Swiss meringue buttercream. Yeah, a little more complex than American buttercream/cream cheese frosting, but worth it to me. 

Beet Red Velvet Cake
from Korena in the Kitchen

1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened 
3/4 cup granulated white sugar
2 eggs, at room temperature
3/4 cup beet purée 
3/4 tsp vanilla extract 
1 1/4 cup all purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
2 tbsp natural cocoa powder (NOT Dutch process)

1/2 cup cultured buttermilk 
 1 1/2 tsp rice vinegar
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice 

Preheat the oven to 350˚F. Butter two 6″ round cake pans, then line the bottoms with parchment paper and butter the paper. Set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy, then beat in eggs one at a time. Add beets and vanilla.
In a medium bowl, sift together the dry ingredients:
In a liquid measuring cup, combine buttermilk, rice vinegar, and lemon juice. Add the dry and wet ingredients alternately to the beet mixture, making three additions of dry and two additions of wet (starting and ending with dry). Mix gently to incorporate, scraping down the bottom and sides of the bowl as needed.
Pour the batter into the prepared pans  Bake the cakes in the preheated 350˚F oven for 35 – 45 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few point crumbs sticking to it (start checking after about 25 minutes). Run a knife around the edge of the pan, invert the cakes onto a rack, and cool completely.
When cool, split the cakes in half horizontally and frost with Cream Cheese Swiss Meringue Buttercream Frosting. Use about 2/3 of the batch to fill between the 4 layers, then frost the top and sides with the remaining buttercream (you might need to chill the whole thing after stacking/filling the layers if the frosting gets very soft).

Put the cake in the fridge to chill while you make the 
White Chocolate-Cream Cheese Ganache:
In a small saucepan, heat until just boiling:
5 tbsp half and half cream
2 tbsp cream cheese
1 tsp butter
Pour the hot mixture over 5 oz chopped white chocolate and let it sit for a minute to melt, then stir until smooth. Stir in a pinch of salt and let it cool until thick enough to spread.

Pour the ganache over the chilled cake and spread it gently down over the top and sides of the cake (don’t be like me – put the cake on the serving platter AFTER you cover it in ganache). Chill again to set, then take out of the fridge about an hour before serving.


  1. So glad for everyone that this Red Velvet Cake turned out so nicely. I love the buttercream you used.

  2. Nothing like a good red velvet cake... and this was a GREAT red velvet cake!

  3. Oh my! I will definitely have to try this! Thanks for posting :)

    PicCell Wireless


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