Un-Red Velvet Cake

If you take a moment to peruse our Recipes page, I think you’ll quickly figure out what our favorite type of food to make is.  Yep, you guessed it, dessert.  Now, when I arranged our recipe page and discovered this, I thought I would try to focus more on the other categories of food to make it more even.  Well, symmetry is just going to have to wait, because I have been trying to make this recipe for what seems like forever.  I’ve attempted red velvet pancakes, red velvet brownies, and red velvet cake, but have not succeeded.

So why have I been trying so hard to succeed in making a Skinnyfat version of this Southern delicacy?  Well, let’s just say that I have a special spot in my heart for this cake.

Yes, I had red velvet cake for my wedding.  It was the most delicious, moist, melt-in-your mouth slice of heaven I have ever had.  Maybe part of it was the how special the day was, but my memory of that cake has been difficult to get out of my head.

I have finally succumbed to the idea that I may never achieve the brilliant red color naturally, ergo I give you  my very own un-red velvet cake.

The best part of this cake is that it has no artificial coloring or white flour and it has beets in it!  Have your dessert and prevent cancer too.  How much better can it get?

Un-Red Velvet Cake

  • 2.5 cups whole wheat pastry flour, sifted
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1 heaping cup fresh beets, peeled and chopped (about 2 small beets or 1 large beet)
  • 1 cup raw sugar (or healthier sugar alternative)
  • 1 cup coconut cream (canned coconut milk with guar gum)
  • 2 organic eggs (or 2 flax eggs)
  • 1/4 cup butter (or vegan alternative)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar (use whatever cooking vinegar you have, I used pomegranate vinegar)

Preheat your oven to 350.  Sift your flour and mix your dry ingredients, except for the sugar, together.

Peel and chop the fresh beets.

Then blend the beets, sugar, and the rest of the wet ingredients until smooth.

Gradually add the liquid ingredients to the dry ones, stirring constantly.

Take a picture, because this will be the last time the mixture will be such a pretty color.

Pour batter into an oiled cake pan and bake for 30-40 minutes until you can insert a knife and it comes out clean.

Once you remove it from the oven, be sure to let it cool completely before taking it out of the cake pan.  I wasn’t that patient and it fell apart a little bit.

Even though this cake is obviously not red, it is a velvety, delicious, treat.  You can top it with this cheesecake batter for added perfection.

~Elesha, a skinnyfat girl

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  1. Can you taste the beets? I would love to try this, but I can’t get over my distaste for beets no matter how hard I try.

    • You know, it’s weird because the beets actually give the cake a good flavor, a flavor I don’t think it would have without them. I’ve never loved beets either, but I love them in this cake! If you’re still nervous about them, try halfing the amount in the recipe. If you like it you can always go for the full amount in your next try. 🙂

      • So I ended up making a red velvet cake with beets. I was going to use your recipe, but then I happened upon a different one in one of my recipe books. It turned out red. I have posted in my blog, and I hope you don’t mind but I gave you a bit of a shout out for the idea. You were right about the nice flavor that the beets added. Thanks again!

      • Thanks for the shout out! After posting this recipe and doing some more research I’ve discovered the cooking the beets does indeed make the un-red red. 🙂 The cake you made looks absolutely stunning. I can’t wait to make it myself!

  2. Shawn Carter

     /  May 15, 2012

    I believe your lack of red comes from to many alkaline ingredients in the recipe. Most beet-based recipes I’ve come across use vinegar and cream of tartar and buttermilk instead of baking powder/baking soda to raise the pH of the batter. Also, be sure you’re using natural cocoa and not Dutch processed. Apparently, the color in beets is very sensitive to pH, heat, and water.


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