Beet red velvet cake

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Red velvet without the dye? You bet! Beets act as a natural food colouring in these moist, tender cake made with homemade creamy goat cheese, topped with beet chips and toasted pecans. 



Beet Red Velvet Cake

  • 3 cups (710 ml) beet puree (cooked beets blended to a slightly chunky paste)
  • 1 cup + 2 tbp (300 ml) buttermilk
  • 4 1/2 tbsp (67.5 ml) lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 bsp (22.5 ml) vanilla extract
  • 3 3/4 cups (890 ml) cake flour
  • 41 1/2 tbsp (67.5 ml) cocoa powder, not Dutch-process
  • 1 1/2 tbsp (22.5 ml) baking powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp (7.5 ml) cream of tartar
  • 1 1/2 tsp (7.5 ml) salt
  • 3/4 cup (180 ml) vegetable oil
  • 3/4 cup (180 ml) unsalted butter, softened
  • 3 cups (710 ml) granulated sugar
  • 5 large eggs

Goat Cheese Frosting

  • 1 pound (454 g) goat cheese, room temperature
  • 1 pound (454 g) unsalted butter
  • 2 tbsp (30 ml) sour cream
  • 2 pounds (907 g) icing sugar
  • 2 tsp (10 ml) vanilla extract


  • Beet chips, pulsed in a food processor to a powder
  • 8 toasted pecan halves, to garnish


For the Cake

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F (175 C) and position a rack in the center of the oven. 
  2. Butter three eight-inch springform cake pans and line them with parchment paper. Butter the paper as well.
  3. Add the beets, buttermilk, lemon juice, and vanilla extract to a food processor fitted with the steel blade and process until very smooth.
  4. Sift the cake flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, cream of tartar, and salt together in a bowl.
  5. In a large bowl, beat the sugar, oil, and butter together until creamy. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing for 30 seconds after each addition.
  6. Alternating, add the flour mixture and beet mixture, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Divide between the prepared pans. 
  7. Bake until a tester inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, about 1 hour.
  8. Cool the cakes on a rack for 20 minutes, then invert onto the rack to cool completely.

For the Goat Cheese Frosting

  1. Beat the butter and goat cheese together on high speed until fluffy and smooth add the sour cream. 
  2. Turn the mixer to low and gradually add the icing sugar until just combined, then turn the mixer up to medium-high and beat until fluffy and smooth.
  3. Scrape down the sides, then add the vanilla extract. Mix to combine.

To Assemble the Cake

  1. Trim the tops of the cake layers so they are flat, if necessary. Place one layer on a serving plate or pedestal and spread about one cup (240 ml) of frosting on top. 
  2. Top with the second cake layer and frosting.
  3. Repeat for a third layer, then ‘crumb-coat’ the sides and top.
  4. When the crumb coat has set, neatly apply a thicker layer of icing.
  5. Transfer remaining frosting to a piping bag with a large round tip.
  6. Dust the top of the cake with powdered beet chips. 
  7. At even intervals around the edge of the top, pipe out eights mounds of frosting and top each mound with a single toasted pecan half.
  8. Slice and serve.