This is attempt number two in efforts to create a more cake-like red velvet with beets. The first attempt was a tasty mishap, which actually turned into dark chocolate brownies. This time, my adaption was a big success! The chocolaty confection had a nice cake consistency and sweet flavor without a strong earthy beet flavor or a significant loss of color. The folks at my work greatly enjoyed it (despite mostly being unaccustomed to gluten-free or vegan foods; some even asked for my recipe). Unlike the brownies, the cake batter has more fruit puree, no chocolate bits, and less cacao and beets, so it is not as dense. I also used the same cream cheese frosting as before with the brownies, because it is so gosh darn delicious.
Red Velvet Beet Cake
Adapted recipe from my Chocolate Chip Beet Brownies.
Yields 15 to 20 Servings
2 T Chia or Flax Seeds, course ground
6 T Warm Filtered Water
1 C Cacao Powder
1/2 C Unsweetened Apple Sauce
1 1/2 C Unsweetened Pureed Pears
2 tsp Vanilla Extract
1 – 1 1/2 C Sucanat or Turbinado Sugar
1 3/4 C Gluten-Free All-Purpose Flour
1 1/4 tsp Xanthan Gum
1 1/2 tsp Baking Soda
1/2 tsp Sea Salt
2 Medium Beets, scrubbed, trimmed
1 T Fresh Lemon Juice
2 oz Gel or Liquid Red Food Coloring
Vegan Cream Cheese Frosting
Red Sanding Sugar, optional*
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Scrub the beets clean with a vegetable cleaning brush under cool water. Trim off the end of the tail and the top. Foil-wrap beets and place on foil-lined baking sheet. Roast 45 minutes. Cool slightly on wire racks away from heat. Unwrap and quarter. Puree in food processor with lemon juice. Set aside.
In a small bowl, beat chia or flax seeds and water with a fork until smooth to create “egg” substitute. Set aside for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent clumping.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour-dust a glass 9″ x 13″** baking dish. Set aside.
In a large bowl, mix cacao, apple and pear sauces and vanilla. Set aside.
Into a medium bowl, sift flour, xanthan gum, 1 cup sugar, soda and salt. With an electric mixer, gradually add in cacao-apple mixture. Blend in “eggs,” beets, and food coloring. Beat until fully incorporated. Adjust batter to desired level of sweetness with remaining sugar, mixing in a quarter cup at a time.
Bake for at least 30 minutes (mine took 70) or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool thoroughly on a wire rack.
Frost and decorate as desired. If you are using frosting that was chilled, let it soften at room temperature to prevent separation. Make sure to stir it thoroughly before spreading it on the cake. Serve and enjoy!
*To include a colorful decoration without adding extra sugar, even out the cake with a long serrated knife, carefully slicing off the top and trimming the sides to make them flat and level. Crumb the cut-off potion in a food processor. Use the crumbs in lieu of sanding sugar to decorate the cake after frosting.
**If desired, bake the cake in two round cake pans. Use the frosting as the cake topping and filling.