Beet Red Velvet Layer Cake

March 03, 2020

Emerging sometime during the Victorian era, red velvet cakes were originally naturally dyed with beets instead of food coloring. Later and more regularly during the Second World War, bakers used beetroot juice to give red velvet cakes their familiar deep burgundy color, but also to allow them to retain their moisture more effectively.

Drawing inspiration from this age-old ingredient, we've put the beets back into this timeless cake, allowing it to return to its roots as a simply made, delectable dessert. Trading overt sweetness for a balanced and rich after-dinner (or whenever else; we don't judge!) delight, this red velvet cake recipe boasts the effectiveness of high-quality farm-to-table ingredients from Local Roots and an approach that takes us back to the basics of one of life's greatest pleasures: dessert. 

 


Ingredients
10 ounces Local Roots organic red beets, well scrubbed
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (from 1 lemon)
3/4 cup canola oil
3/4 cup whole buttermilk
4 large Local Roots pasture raised eggs
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa (not Dutch process)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 (8-oz.) package cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 (16-oz.) package powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon soy sauce (optional for an umami flavor)
1 cup chopped toasted pecans (optional)

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Wrap beets in parchment paper. Roast for approx. 30-40 min or until beets are soft enough to stick a fork in it easily. Cool beets wrapped in paper until just warm to the touch.

2. Peel beets with either a peeler or use hands and rub beet skin off, and coarsely chop. Process chopped beets and lemon juice in a food processor until finely chopped, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Add oil and buttermilk; process until smooth. Add eggs; process until completely combined. Whisk together flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder, salt, and baking soda (and optional soy sauce) in a large bowl; add beet mixture, and whisk just until combined.

3. Line 2 (12-cup) muffin pans with baking liners. Using an ice-cream scoop, a spoon, or a liquid measuring cup, fill liners two- thirds full with batter. Bake in preheated oven until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 15 to 18 minutes. Cool in pans on wire racks 5 minutes. Remove from pans to racks, and cool completely, about 25 minutes.

Alternative to make red velvet layer cake: Oil 2 circular baking pans. Pour in cake batter and split amongst both baking pans.  Bake in preheated oven until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 15 to 18 minutes. Cool in pans on wire racks 5 minutes. Remove from pans to racks, and cool completely, about 25 minutes.

4. Meanwhile, beat cream cheese and butter in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment or with a handheld mixer on medium speed until very smooth. Gradually add powdered sugar, beating on low speed until blended and light and fluffy. Beat in vanilla. Spread frosting on cupcakes using an offset spatula. Or spoon frosting into a ziplock plastic freezer bag; snip 1 corner of bag to make a small hole, and pipe frosting on cupcakes. Sprinkle with cocoa powder and pecans, if desired.

Alternative whipped cream frosting: 

Whip 1 pint heavy whipping cream and ¼ cup sugar together 





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