Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Deadline Recipes :: Red Velvet Beet Cake

The mommy-guilt can really get to a writer who's had her head in a novel for an entire month (ahem, NaNoWriMo anyone?). The Pink Heart Society editor Jenna Bayley-Burke step into the kitchen to try and ease some of the angst her family collected while surviving on skillet meals and crockpot fare.

My eldest is allergic to red food coloring. If you're kid is going to have a food allergy, it's teh one to get. I mean...if it's red, it's not for him. Easy. And he gets a rash, not some scary rection. No big deal most of the time.

He only really mentions it for two things - Fruit Punch Kool-Aid and red velvet cake. Not a lot I can do about either, being red is part of their schtick. Except I got to thinking...what if there were a natural way to color the cake?

I found lots of recipes online, with lots of different results. I combined a few in what I hoped would give me the reddest cake. The cake...is reddish brown. BUT it tastes like red velvet cake. That dense, rich with hint of cocoa flavor. I suppose it's not the best recipe for Valentine's Day, but I think the tall boy appreciated the effort.

1 ¼ cup - sugar
1 cup - (1 stick) butter, softened
3 - eggs
2 cup - cake flour
½ cup - unsweetened cocoa powder
1 ½ tsp. - baking powder
½ tsp. - baking soda
1 tsp. - salt
1 cup - buttermilk
2 tsp. - balsamic vinegar
2 tsp. - vanilla extract
1 can shoestring beets, pureed

Cream the butter and sugar, add the eggs. Sift the flour and dry ingredients. Add the beets to the butter mixture, then half the flour, then the buttermilk, vanilla, and vinegar, then the rest of the flour. Bake as you'd like to serve, we tend to bake in 13x 9 pans (45 minutes).

I frosted it with my go-to cream cheese frosting. 1 brick of cream cheese, 1/2 a stick of butter, 3 cups powdered sugar, 1 t vanilla.

Jenna's trying to decode what she wrote for NaNoWriMo. Oops. Be sure to check out her latest release. Private Scandal is ripe with secrets, sass, and sensational sex. Jenna's ode to retail, For Kicks, will be out in just a few weeks to help everyone through their post holiday shopping haze. Keep up with Jenna's spin on things on her website & blog.


  1. I have always loved Red Velvet Cake, being a Southerner, but stopped eating it a few years ago because I found out that red dye is made from bugs and that's just a big ewww to me. Plus, I really prefer more of a chocolate taste so my fave has always been Devil's Food Cake (and, yes, I'm definitely more of a devil than an angel). This recipe is worth trying. Thanks.

  2. I'll make it again, but with less cocoa powder to see if I can turn the red up :) It tastes right, it's just not red enough.