Now that the winter months are here — even though the season officially begins with the Winter Solstice on December 21 —  sweet baked goods are finding their way onto the tables of holiday revelers across the city and beyond. Everything from pumpkin pie, to gingerbread, to rugelach pastries, to coconut cake and even the legendary fruitcake are popping in and out of ovens. While we don’t have an official Allergic to Salad take on fruitcake, we have something (debatably) better: a vegetable cake.

We love Healthier Sweets, our theme for December! Whether we’re whipping up a simple spinach and banana smoothie, enjoying baked seasonal apples, or sneaking veggies into cake, the occasional sweet treat creates a positive relationship with food in a balanced diet. While one of the best parts about baking a special dessert is enjoying it with those we love, creating memories together in the kitchen is equally meaningful. This recipe for our Beet Red Velvet Cake starring folate- and fiber-filled beetroot has a rich red color that is sure to evoke smiles from the time you mix the batter to when you pass around the finished cake.

Beet Red Velvet Cake

Course Dessert
Keyword baking, beets, cake, cupcakes, frosting
Servings 2 layers or 24 cupcakes


Beet Red Velvet Cake

  • 3 medium beets
  • ¾ cup/ 170 grams butter, plus more for greasing pan
  • ¾ cup/180 milliliters buttermilk
  • Juice of 1 large lemon
  • 2 teaspoons/10 milliliters white vinegar
  • teaspoons/7 milliliters vanilla extract
  • 2 cups/200 grams cake flour, sift before measuring
  • 3 tablespoons/24 grams Dutch process cocoa powder
  • 1⅛ teaspoon/6 grams baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon/6 grams salt
  • ½ teaspoon/3 grams baking soda
  • cup/350 grams granulated sugar
  • 3 eggs

Blood Orange Buttercream

  • Makes enough for 1 layer cake or 12 cupcakes
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • zest of 1 large orange
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract


Beet Red Velvet Cake

  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Wash beets and wrap in aluminum foil. Bake until the tip of a knife slides easily into the largest beet, about 1 hour 15 minutes. Cool until beets can be handled, then peel. (This may be done up to a day ahead.)
  2. Butter two 9-inch cake pans. Line the bottoms of the pans with parchment and then butter again. If making cupcakes, place liners in muffin tins.
  3. In a food processor, chop beets to a fine dice. Measure 1 cup of beets and add to the food processor. Purée with buttermilk, lemon juice, vinegar and vanilla until smooth. Sift together flour, cocoa, baking powder, salt and baking soda. Set aside.
  4. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat butter until soft. Slowly add sugar and beat until creamy. Beat in eggs one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl after each addition. Alternate adding flour mixture and beet mixture to butter mixture, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients, and beating for 10 seconds after each addition. Scrape down the bowl after each addition of the wet ingredients.
  5. Divide batter between prepared cake pans, smoothing the tops. Bake until a cake tester inserted in the cake comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Check cupcakes for doneness at 15 minutes. Remove pans from oven and cool completely on a wire rack.

Blood Orange Buttercream

  1. Beat butter with a mixer on high speed until very smooth. Add powdered sugar, orange oil, and vanilla; beat on low speed to blend, then on medium until fluffy and smooth.

Plus, this recipe can be made as a cake or cupcakes for easier serving!

Stay tuned for more tips about Healthier Sweets throughout the rest of this month.

Until next time!

Team Allergic to Salad

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