Sunday, 24 June 2012

Virtuous Red Velvet Cake

As much as I love red velvet cake I always question if it really is a good idea to use the best part of a bottle of food colouring purely for the visual effect.

Now this isn't a virtuous cake from the point of view of fat or calories or anything but rather because it uses all natural ingredients to achieve the colour rather than red food colouring.

I wasn't really sure where to start with this recipe other than thinking that beetroot and raspberries both made very red smoothies/juices so probably had a reasonable chance of replacing the colouring. I looked at lots of recipes for red velvet cake, carrot cake and chocolate and beetroot cakes. I also looked at Harry Eastwood's book as she uses a lot of vegetables.

None of them had a recipe for red velvet, with no food colouring so I made one up. The mixture was slightly wet so next time I might use less liquid and it isn't quite the same flavour so I think I'd use maybe 1 tbsp more of cocoa but I have to say I'm pleased with the over all result. In particular that I managed to get a good depth of colour with all natural ingredients.


Makes a 9" square cake plus an extra cup cake

10oz self raising cake flour
10oz caster sugar
8oz margarine (I always use stork)
4 eggs
1/4 pint whole milk
1/4 pint natural yoghurt
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp cream of tartar
3 tbsp cocoa powder
1tsp vanilla bean extract
4oz raw beetroot, grated
4oz frozen raspberries, defrosted, blender and sieved to remove all seeds.

Measure the yoghurt, milk into a jug. Add the beetroot and raspberry purée and blitz with a hand blender until very smooth.

Beat together the margarine and sugar. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing in between each.

Add the flour, cocoa, baking powder, cream of tartar and blend.

Add the yoghurt mixture and stir well until combined.

I took a large spoonful of the mixture out to make a single cupcake. I did this so I could check the colour and also so I had some 'spare' to crumble for the decoration on the top.

Pour the rest of the mixture into a lined and greased tin and bake in an over pre-heated to 180C for about 40-50 mins (the cup cake will need to come out after 15-20 mins).

Once cooked remove from the oven and cool.

I iced the cake with a standard buttercream with cream cheese mixed in and the topped with crumbs of red velvet cake from the cupcake I made.

Here is the finished result

And the cupcake so you can see the colour achieved

I am going to submit this as part of the Alpha Bakes challenge from The More than Occasional Baker and Caroline Makes. This months letter is V hence the Virtuous Red Velvet cake


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    1. Thanks David. Not sure I'd try this one as an easy one just yet as I def need to adjust the quantities a bit as I say :)

  2. Well done for making a 'natural' red velvet! The colour is amazing!! What did the cake taste like? I'm bookmarking immediately to try. Thanks for entering this to AlphaBakes!

    1. Thanks I was really pleased with the colour. The taste was good. You couldn't taste the beetroot or raspberry which I was worried about. However, the texture wasn't quite right. I knew it wouldn't be as the mixture was too wet. I should have added more flour or used less liquid. It'll be spot on next time :)