good lord. sorry.
Beets are the secret ingredient in purple velvet cake and frosting. I didn’t want to go out of the gate with “chocolate beet cake with beet cream cheese” because I thought my little cousins might cringe, so the name purple velvet was born. Ta Da. If you have any other name suggestions – let me know in the comments
First off. These cupcakes do not taste like beets. They taste like the most moist delicious chocolate cake (that’s not overly sweet) with a great little cream cheese frosting that my grandmother swears has raspberry in it (nope – those are beets too!). Did I mention these were for her 83rd birthday? Love her. Anywho, the beets basically melt in to the batter and the frosting turns a beautiful color purple so it’s not beet-y, it’s just yummy. Again, not beet-y. ( Beat It now stuck in my head. thank you very much.)
Ok enough story time. I recommend roasting your own beets. I got fresh beets (with the greens and everything) from whole foods and roasted a bunch for the cake and for dinner. Once they’re all roasty and done, let them cool and peel them. Then toss a few in the blender with a bit of water and ta da – you have beets for your cake and frosting (and the red hands to prove it).
I’ve been hearing about beets in cake for a while now, but finally committed to a recipe from Joy the Baker (who I’m also now a little obsessed with). I adapted it a bit to my own taste, but she had a good thing going…
Happy Beet-y Baking!
- 3 medium beets, unpeeled but trimmed of their greens
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 6 ounces (3/4 cup) unsalted butter(at room temp)
- 1 cup packed brown sugar
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (I used half dark cocoa and half regular)
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 1/4 cups buttermilk
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
- 8 ounces (1 brick) cream cheese (at room temp)
- 3 - 4 cups powdered sugar
- 3-4 tsps beets (from the blender)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1-2 tsps milk or whipping cream
- 1/4 of a lemon squeezed
- Preheat oven to 375 (I cranked mine to 400 after an hour)
- Thoroughly wash beets under running water, and trim their leaves (I saved these for dinner - yum)
- Toss clean beets in pyrex dish with some foil. Drizzle with just a bit of olive oil. Seal up with some more foil.
- Roast until beets are tender when pierced with a knife, about 1 hour - 1.5 hours. Remove the beets from the oven. Let the beets cool completely then dive in and peel these suckers. Yes, your hands will be red BUT they will return to normal with soap and water.
- Once cooled and peels, chop up the beets in quarter or whatever and toss in the blender with a touch of water. Measure 1 cup of pureed beets for the cake and 3 tablespoons for the frosting. Set aside (You'll have left overs).
- Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
- In a stand mixer, fitted with a paddle attachment, cream together butter and both sugars. Beat on medium speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
- Beat in eggs, one at a time, for one minute after each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as necessary.
- Once eggs are incorporated, beat in beets and vanilla extract until thoroughly combined.
- Add half of the dry ingredients to the butter and egg mixture on low. Slowly add the buttermilk. Once just incorporated, add the other half of the dry ingredients. Beat on medium speed until milk and dry ingredients are just incorporated. Don't over mix...
- Bowl can be removed from the mixer and mixture folded with a spatula to finish incorporating ingredients. It's a thick batter - you'll need an ice cream scooper.
- In a stand mixer, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy (about 3 minutes). Taste it to make sure it no longer tastes like just butter. good.
- Add lemon, vanilla, beets and milk or whipping cream. Continue beating until fully combined.
- Add the cream cheese last and beat until fully incorporated. Be careful not to over beat, cream cheese tends to get super loose if it's played with too much.
- Taste it - make sure it's good. If not, try a touch more vanilla or beets or whatever. Make it your own :)