Red Velvet Cake frightens me. I know it's red color is beautiful and I can deal with a drop of red food coloring every now and then, but when it's added to the batter by the tablespoon or even the bottle, you've lost me. There is a way however to have your cake and eat it too. I'm talking about red beets! If you've ever cooked with them, you know their red color stains everything! But you may be thinking that beets and cake don't exactly go hand in hand, well think again. It's much like adding zucchini to cake batter. You get a wonderfully moist cake and you really don't taste the zucchini. Beets work in much the same way. So next time you want to make Red Velvet Cake or cupcakes, ditch the food coloring and go all natural.
Remove the leaves and most of the stems. Scrub the beets, but do not dry them.
Wrap tightly in a parchment lined foil packet and roast until fork tender in a 375F oven for about 1-1/2 hours. Allow to cool, then puree in a food processor with 4- 5 T. of water. This can be done in advance and the puree can be frozen until you are ready to use it.
Serves: makes 12 cupcakes
- 1 lb. red beets or about 3 large
- 2 cups sifted cake flour
- 1 t. baking powder
- 1 cup plus 2 T. sugar
- 3 large eggs, beaten
- 2/3 cup vegetable oil
- 1 t. vanilla
- pinch salt
- CREAM CHEESE FROSTING:
- 1-8 oz. pkg. cream cheese at room temp.
- 1/2 cup butter at room temperature.
- 2 cups confectioners' sugar
- 2 t. vanilla
- Preheat oven to 375F
- Trim green leaves from beets.
- Scrub but do not dry.
- Wrap tightly in parchment lined foil.
- Roast in oven until fork tender, about 1-1/2 hours.
- Allow to cool.
- Lower oven to 350F
- Peel and puree the beets in a food processor with 4-5 T. water.
- You should have about 1-1/4 cups puree.
- The puree can be prepared in advance and frozen.
- Defrost before using.
- Line a 12 cup muffin pan with liners or spray with Pam.
- Sift flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl.
- Set aside.
- Whisk together beet puree, sugar, eggs, oil, and vanilla in a large bowl.
- Stir in the flour mixture a little at a time.
- Do not over mix.
- Spoon batter into muffin cups, filling about 3/4 full.
- Bake until cupcakes spring back when pressed and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 25-30 minutes.
- Let cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then turn out onto a rack to cool completely.
- CREAM CHEESE FROSTING:
- In a medium bowl with an electric mixer, cream together cream cheese and butter.
- Mix in the vanilla.
- Gradually add the confectioners sugar and beat until smooth.
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