Food historians may differ about the origin of red velvet cake, some uses the entire bottle of artificial red food colouring, while some uses beets puree/juice. But one thing is certain: if you omit using artificial red colouring, recipe should use natural cocoa powder not dark or dutch processed (Hershey’s cocoa powder works perfectly but not the Special Dark variety).
In this recipe we use beet and beetroot powder instead of red colouring. However, if you prefer a vivid red, feel free to add the red colouring to suite your personal preference.
Steamed or boiled beets will have a reddish-brown color in end result. Here are two methods to maintain the red colour from beet:
1) Grate peeled raw beet and then puree it in food processor (about 10min) to as fine a texture as possible (add a few spoonfuls of water if necessary.) Tips from Big Cake Theory.
2) Preheat oven to 350 degrees (165 degrees celsius). Place beets in a small baking dish and add ½ cup of water. Cover with parchment paper and foil, and roast until quite tender, about 60-90 minutes. Allow to cool completely. Peel the beets and cut into large chunks. Place in a food processor and pulse until smooth and pureed. Stir in the vinegar. - Tips from Sophisti Mom.
Recipe: Red Velvet Cupcakes (With Beetroot Powder)
Makes: 12 Cupcakes
Ingredients for Cupcakes:
• 260g cups all-purpose flour
• 4 tablespoons beetroot powder
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 3 tablespoons natural cocoa (not Dutch)
• 1 tsp baking powder
• 300g sugar (i use 250g)
• 1½ cups vegetable oil
• 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
• 2 large eggs, room temperature
• 1 teaspoon white distilled vinegar
• 1 cup buttermilk, room temperature
• ¼ cup beet pureed from raw beet (i will increase to ½ cup (estimate 100g) as I like the unique taste)
Ingredients for Cupcakes:
You can use your favorite butter/cream cheese frosting or you can click HERE for the recipe.
Method for Cupcakes:
1. Preheat the oven to 175C. Line 12-cup muffin pans with cupcake papers.
2. Grate peeled raw beet and then puree it in food processor (about 10min) to as fine a texture as possible, add a few spoonfuls of water if necessary.
2. Sift together dry ingredients and set aside.
3. Cream the oil, sugar and vanilla extract on medium speed in a mixer. Beat in eggs one at a time, mixing until combined.
4. In a separate bowl, whisk the vinegar, beet puree and buttermilk.
5. Alternate adding the dry and wet ingredients to the creamed mixture, mixing until combined.
6. Divide the batter evenly among the cupcake pans about 2/3 filled. Bake in oven for 18 to 22 minutes, turning the pans once, half way through. Test the cupcakes with a skewer for doneness.
7. Remove from oven and cool completely before frosting.
8. Prepare the cream cheese frosting just before you are going to use it. Spoon them into a piping bag to decorate the cupcakes. Sprinkle some cake crumbs/sweets or eat it plain, they're equally tasty and beautiful.
Tips to share:
- Frosting: I use Wilton 1M tip
- Beetroot Powder: I'm using organic beetroot powder from Australian. You can buy from Four Seasons Organic Market @ S$42.70
The results are mouthwateringly good! We love the unique flavour from the beet. This will be a hit for Valentine's Day, Christmas, or any other special occasion where red and white are the colors of choice (even our Singapore's National Day!).