we didn't put a lot of thought into what we were going to do for dinner and dessert on valentine's day this year. at the last minute we decided to order take out from a local italian restaurant for dinner. then, for dessert we decided to bake a cake. we wanted to try a new recipe for dessert, so we made this chocolate beet cake with beet buttercream frosting.
since i'm not a huge fan of beets, i was a little bit apprehensive about how the cake would taste, but much to my surprise, i could not taste the beets in the cake or the frosting at all! the cake had a wonderful flavor and a really great texture. it was so light and fluffy. the buttercream frosting was tinted the perfect shade of pink from the beets. (ryan and i both thought that the frosting even had a little bit of a raspberry flavor.) beets are loaded with vitamins, so this recipe is a good way to sneak some good stuff into your dessert! :-)
since it was valentine's day, we made the cake in the shape of a heart. we didn't have a heart-shaped cake pan, so we divided our batter between one square pan and one round pan. once the cakes cooled, we turned the square cake so that it looked like a diamond. then we cut the round cake in half and put each half of the round cake up against the two top edges of the square cake. it made the perfect heart shape. we covered the cake in the pink beet buttercream frosting and added a few festive heart-shaped sprinkles around the edge of the cake for decoration. perfect for valentine's day!
ps: since it was so last minute i didn't get any really great photos of the cake, but i did manage to snap these two pictures. you get the idea.
. . .
prep time: 10-15 minutes
baking time: 40-45 minutes
yields: two 9-inch round cakes
adapted from joy the baker
1 (15 oz.) can low-sodium beets in water
3/4 cup salted butter, softened
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/4 cups buttermilk
4 tablespoons salted butter, softened
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 tablespoon pureed beets
2 - 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. open the can of beets and drain the beet water into a glass measuring cup. set the beet water aside. puree the beets in a blender until smooth, adding beet water as needed. set the pureed beets aside.
in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugars until smooth (about 3-4 minutes). add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. the batter should be light and fluffy. add in the vanilla and the pureed beets to the batter (be sure to set aside 1 tablespoon of pureed beets for the frosting.) mix until combined. in a separate bowl, sift the dry ingredients together. add half of the dry ingredients to the batter and mix until combined. slowly add in the buttermilk and mix, then add the remaining dry ingredients. mix until combined.
evenly divide the batter between two 9-inch round cake pans (be sure to butter and flour the sides of the cake pans and line the bottoms of the cake pans with parchment paper). bake for 40-45 minutes, or until a knife inserted into the center of the cakes comes out clean. once baked, allow the cakes to cool in the pans for 10-15 minutes before removing them from the pans and transferring them to a wire rack to finish cooling.
to make the frosting, combine the butter, vanilla, pureed beets, and half of the powdered sugar in the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. whisk together until combined. gradually add the remaining powdered sugar. add the leftover beet water as needed to adjust the consistency of the frosting. once the cakes have cooled completely, spread the filling between the two layers of cake. spread the frosting evenly over the entire cake.