Our Favourite Red Velvet Cake / by Linda Klimack

When it comes to cakes, you really can't beet Red Velvet. And you'll really be rooting for this recipe.  Pardon the beet puns but the cake is made with beets! How could we resist! 

Cake

4 ounces unsweetened chocolate
1 cup pureed cooked beets*
2¼ cups all purpose unbleached flour
⅓ cup cocoa
2 teaspoons baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
¾ cup unsalted butter, softened
1¼ cups brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
3 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
⅔ cup buttermilk
2 teaspoons cider vinegar

  • Preheat oven to 350℉ and grease two 9" round cake pans.
  • Reserve 2 tablespoons of beet juice to colour frosting.
  • Melt chocolate in double boiler and set aside.
  • Sift together flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt.
  • In a bowl beat butter, sugars, eggs and vanilla until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. 
  • Beat in chocolate. 
  • Mix vinegar into buttermilk.
  • Alternately beat in flour mixture and buttermilk mixture until incorporated. 
  • Add pureed beets and mix until well blended.
  • Divide the batter between the pans. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until cake tester inserted in center comes out clean and top of cake springs back when lightly pressed.
  • Cool cakes in pans on wire racks for 10 minutes and invert onto racks to cool completely.

Cream Cheese Frosting

8 oz package cream cheese, room temperature
¼ cup unsalted butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 to 4 cups icing sugar
A few tablespoons beet juice to give frosting a pink colour.

  • Beat cream cheese with butter and vanilla until combined. 
  • Gradually add 2 cups of icing sugar.  
  • Continue to add more icing sugar until you reach a good consistency for spreading. 
  • Add beet juice and blend for even colour.

*How To Make Cooked Beet Puree (the easy way)

  • Buy a can of cooked beets (NOT pickled).
  • Drain the beets, reserving the liquid, and puree the beets in a food processor adding liquid as needed.
  • Reserve remaining liquid for Cream Cheese Frosting.
  • Traditional Method:
  • Cut 3 medium size beets into small pieces.
  • Cook covered in water over medium heat for approximately 45 minutes or until soft.
  • Drain the beets, reserving the liquid.
  • Puree the beets in a food processor adding liquid as needed.
  • Reserve remaining liquid for Cream Cheese Frosting.
  • Beet puree can be frozen for later use.