I don't know if you'd noticed but... we have a brand-new website! With the help of the people at SquareSpace, we created an amazing new website with new content and beautiful photos to show off the products our top-notch vendors create. To celebrate, we baked a cake that's - believe it or not - full of fresh local produce!
What's the secret ingredient? Well if you must know, the pink frosting in the photo isn't a product of food coloring, but beets! Beets can be used to add moisture and color to baked goods like cakes, with the added bonus of pumping them up nutritionally with fiber, folate, and magnesium.
The beets in this cake are roasted in foil until they're soft and tender, then shredded and mixed into the batter. I reserved a bit of the shredded beets and their juices to add to the frosting as well, tinting it a lovely soft pink with little pockets of magenta. Tangy cream cheese frosting is the perfect foil for the rich, slightly chocolatey sweetness of the cake.
If you've ever cooked with beets before I'm sure you know this, but be warned, that brilliant natural color comes at a price. Beet juice will stain your cutting board, fingers, and white t-shirts - the former will both wash off and fade eventually, but consider wearing purple when shredding the beets in your blender...
We hope you're as in love with our new website - and delicious, vegetable-rich baked goods - as we are. Happy cooking!
Chocolate Beet Cake
For the Cake
- 2-3 medium beets
- 1 tsp vegetable or coconut oil, for roasting beets
- 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 3/4 cup buttermilk
- 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2/3 cup cocoa powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp salt
- 3/4 cup unsalted butter
- 1 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 3 eggs
For the Frosting
- 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 8 oz cream cheese, softened
- 4 to 5 cups powdered sugar
- 2 tbsp grated beets
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1-3 tsp milk
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Cut the tops off of your beets and rub them with 1 tsp vegetable or coconut oil. Wrap beets in foil and place on a baking sheet. Roast until soft - a knife should slide through the beets easily - about an hour.
Remove beets from the oven, unwrap the foil, and allow them to cool. Once cooled, remove the peel of the beets with your fingers - they should slip off easily - and discard them. Shred the beets by hand with a box grater or in a blender or food processor until they are finely grated. Measure out one cup and place in blender, and set the rest aside. Add vinegar, lemon juice, buttermilk and vanilla to blender with beets and blend until smooth.
Reduce the oven heat to 350.
In a medium bowl, sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt (I'm usually too lazy to go to the trouble of sifting flour, but cocoa powder tends to form lumps in batters if it isn't sifted, so I have recommend that you do so).
In a medium-to-large bowl, or the bowl of a stand mixer, beat butter for a minute or two, until soft and aerated. Add the sugar and beat until creamy, another minute or so. One at a time, add the eggs and beat until incorporated.
About a third at a time, alternate incorporating the beet-buttermilk mixture and the flour mixture to the butter, beating each addition until incorporated. Divide the batter into two greased and floured round 9" cake pans, and bake 20-25 minutes, until a tester inserted in the middle of the cakes comes out clean.
When done, remove cakes from the oven and rest on a cooling rack for 10-15 minutes. After resting, invert cakes on cooling rack and remove cake pans. Allow to cool completely before frosting.
To make the frosting, beat cream cheese and butter together in a medium bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer until creamy and aerated. Add powdered sugar 1 cup at a time until combined. Add the lemon juice, beets, and vanilla. Add milk 1 tsp at a time until the frosting becomes smooth and spreadable, but not too thin.
Assemble cake by adhering the two cake layers with a layer of frosting, then frosting the top and sides of the cake. Store cake in refrigerator, where it will keep 4-5 days. Enjoy!