Farmhouse Beet Cake

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Just when I thought I came up with a scrumptious Cake That Can’t Be Beet recipe, I beat it with a new idea. In between my weed whacker stringing nightmare and coddling tomato seedlings, I stumbled upon even more rows of new beets springing up amongst the mature ones. Geez, those darn beets! Struck with an idea, I dropped everything, ran into the kitchen, and whipped up a batter for carrot cake using beets instead (multitasking at its finest!). The results were amazingly successful as the reluctance of my hapless guinea pigs turned to awaiting eager fans for second helpings. Let’s face it, for many people, beets are repulsive, but if you serve them up tasting less rooty or beety, and more savory and sugary, you will amaze everyone, as many delighted skeptics will question, “Are you sure there are beets in this?!”

This recipe was adapted from Mrs. Garrett’s (original) Carrot Cake, a famous and favorite dessert of Malibu, California’s Getty Villa. The beauty of this recipe is that carrots and beets are interchangeable with the same fabulous results and it can easily be made in vegan fashion. Below are two Farmhouse Beet Cake recipes: Regular and Vegan.

Regular (Non-Vegan) Cake Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ cups canola oil (can use unrefined canola, esp. if you plan on eating most of the cake yourself!)
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 tsps vanilla or rum
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 tsps baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsps cinnamon
  • 2 cups peeled and shredded beets
  • ½ cup crushed pineapple (pineapple only, no syrup, and drained if using canned)
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350° F and grease a 9×13 baking pan.

In a large bowl, combine the oil, sugar, and vanilla (or rum). Add the eggs.

In a separate medium-sized bowl, combine the flours, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon.

Add and stir in the dry mixture to the wet mixture in the larger bowl.

Add the beets, pineapple, and walnuts to the batter and mix well.

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Add the cake batter to the greased pan and bake at 350°F for about 50 minutes, or until a butter knife inserted in the center comes out clean..

Frosting Ingredients:

  • About ½ Tbsp or so of juiced beet (for color)
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • ½ cup softened butter
  • 2-3 Tbsps cream (creamer, whipped cream, whole milk, or alternative milk)
  • 2 tsps vanilla or rum

Frosting Directions:

Using one side of an electric hand-held mixer will make your life easier. Otherwise, use a sturdy fork. Mix the first two cups of powdered sugar, butter, cream, vanilla (or rum), and a sprinkle of beet juice. Add in more powdered sugar a half cup at a time until desired consistency- may have to add a little more cream or powdered sugar. Add more beet juice for a deeper pink. Mix well until light and fluffy.

Let the cake cool completely to room temperature before icing.

Vegan Cake Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ cups canola oil (can use unrefined canola, esp. if you plan on eating most of the cake yourself!)
  • 2 cups vegan cane sugar (Sprouts brand, or other)
  • 3 fleggs (Each flegg= 1 Tbsp flax meal mixed with 3 Tbsps hot water)
  • 2 tsps vanilla or rum
  • 1 ¼ cup flour (Bob’s Red Mill All Purpose Gluten Free flour, or other)
  • ¾ cup coconut flour
  • 2 tsps baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsps cinnamon
  • 2 cups peeled and shredded beets
  • ½ cup crushed pineapple (pineapple only, no syrup, and drained if using canned)
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts

Cake Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350° F and grease a 9×13 baking pan.

Make the fleggs and set aside. In a large bowl, combine the oil, sugar, and vanilla (or rum). Add the fleggs.

In a separate medium-sized bowl, combine the flours, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon.

Add and stir in the dry mixture to the wet mixture in the larger bowl.

Add the beets, pineapple, and walnuts to the batter and mix well.

Add the cake batter to the greased pan and bake at 350°F for about 50 minutes, or until a butter knife inserted in the center comes out clean..

Frosting Ingredients:

Be prepared to play around a little bit with the ingredients to make it the consistency you want. This mostly involves the powdered sugar and alternative milk.

  • About ½ Tbsp or so of juiced beet (for color)
  • 3 cups (or more) of powdered sugar (Wholesome brand, or other)
  • 3 Tbsps of Earth Balance or other vegan butter
  • 2-3 Tbsps (to start off) of rice milk (or any other alternative milk)
  • 2 tsps vanilla or rum

Frosting Directions:

Using one side of an electric hand-held mixer will make your life easier. Otherwise, use a sturdy fork. Mix the first two cups of powdered sugar, vegan butter, alt. milk, vanilla (or rum), and a sprinkle of beet juice. Add in more powdered sugar a half cup at a time until desired consistency- may have to add a little more alt. milk or powdered sugar. Add more beet juice for more color. Mix well until light and fluffy.

Let the cake cool completely to room temperature before icing.

Storage tips: The beet cake will be fine on the counter in a lidded container, or wrapped in plastic, for 3 days in temperatures 70° F or less. For longer storage, keep refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks, or vacuum seal and freeze for up to 3 months. If refrigerating and wrapping an iced cake in plastic, place the carrot cake in the fridge for an hour or so first until the frosting hardens, then wrap.

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