Red Velvet Cake without the FD&C Red Dye #40

By Kristie Turck •  Published 05/27/09 •  3 min read

redvelvetI don’t usually post food recipes on SafeMama, as you may well know but I had to share this one.  One of my girlfriends loves Red Velvet Cake.  I never really had it and from what I could tell, what made it “red velvet” was red food coloring.  I love to bake but never did red velvet for that reason.  I always thought “Why add food coloring when you could have just regular un-dyed cake?”.  But apparently people really love their red velvet cake (or cupcakes) so when I saw this recipe I was happy to see an alternative to just dyeing it red.

I heard about this on The View (I know, but I was on the treadmill and there was nothing else on!) and Tyler Florence was doing a segment on hiding vegetables in food.  I was fairly uninterested since I am a user and a fan of Jessica Seinfeld’s book Deceptively Delicious but when I saw his take on Red Velvet Cake  – using beets to make it red I thought it was a great idea and it looked delicious.  Here’s the recipe:

Red Velvet Beet Cake

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, to grease baking pans
1 1/4 cups finely chopped red beets
1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
a pinch of kosher salt

2 tablespoons pomegranate molasses
2 large eggs
1/2 cup buttermilk
3/4 cups dark brown sugar
1/3 cup vegetable oil

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Begin by lightly greasing tins with butter (oven proof ramekins or cocotte dishes work well).  Peel beets and cut into pieces so they can fit comfortably in a food processor.

In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and spices.  In a separate bowl, mix molasses, eggs, buttermilk, oil and sugar together.  Now mix wet ingredients with dry ingredients and then fold in the processed beets.

Place cake tins on a roasting tray.  Divide batter amongst tins and bake in the oven for 40-45 minutes until they have puffed up and a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean.

Allow to cool and then frost with cream cheese frosting, layering the cakes on top of each other.

Cream Cheese Frosting
3 lbs cream cheese, room temperature
3 sticks of unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
3 cups powdered sugar

Using a kitchen mixer, combine cream cheese and butter until blended and you have a smooth, light texture.  Add the vanilla, lemon zest and powdered sugar and beat until combined.  Continue to beat until smooth and glossy – about 7 minutes.

Recipe from Tyler Florence on The View Blog