Naturally-dyed Red Velvet Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting


This cake gets its intense red color from a combination of fresh beet purée and a highly acidic batter. The finished cake has the slightest earthy flavor, but it is barely noticeable, especially with a healthy swipe of cream cheese frosting.

What you will need

1 cup beet purée, from fresh red beets (not cooked)

3/4 cup buttermilk

1 tablespoon white wine vinegar

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

2 1/2 cups cake flour

3 tablespoons cocoa powder, not Dutch-process

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon cream of tartar

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup neutral-flavored oil

1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened

2 cups granulated sugar

3 large eggs

8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature

8 ounces unsalted butter

2 tablespoons crème fraîche

1 pound confectioners' sugar

1/2 teaspoon lemon zest

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 pinch salt


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