I have wanted to make Red Velvet Cake ever since I heard the name - it sounds so luxurious and the color looked so lovely! But even the vegan recipes contained a huge amount of red dye much to my disappointment and when I found out that some of the dyes are made from crushed beetles (yikes!), I just could not stomach the idea of eating beetle juice any more than eggs. Until ............ I had the "Eureka" moment to make a healthy one with - Yes, Beets!
I kept buying beets to make the cake but kept eating them up in salad or as thoran :P. Finally, I saved a few for the cake and decided to test out my theory by adapting an old zucchini cake recipe from King Arthur Flour with the beets standing in for the zucchini; I used 6 small beets. I also tweaked the ingredients to make it a vegan cake. To my pleasant surprise, the cake turned out quite successful. Although Keeshu insisted that he could taste the beets a little, it did not in the least discourage him from gobbling up a lion's portion of the cake ;D.
Although I am not a fan of icing, I have included it here as it gives the cake a nice finish and also gives it a bit more orange flavor. If you use the Tofutti cream cheese instead of the regular, it will still be vegan fare.
Using a microplane for zesting the orange makes it a breeze; use only the colored top layer.
2 cups Unbleached Flour
1 cup Sugar
1/4 cup Oil
1 tsp Baking Powder
1 tsp Baking Soda
1/2 tsp Sea Salt
3 Tbsp Cornstarch
1 tsp Cinnamon
1/2 tsp Freshly grated Nutmeg
1/3 cup Cocoa Powder
2 Tbsp Lemon Juice
1/2 cup Soy/Rice Milk
Zest and Juice (1/2 cup) from 1 Orange
2 cups grated peeled Beets
1 cup Almond meal/ground almonds
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
Icing: 8 oz. Tofutti or regular cream cheese, 1/2 cup confectioners sugar, 1 Tbsp orange zest, about 1 Tbsp fresh Orange juice without any pulp
Preheat the oven to 350 F. Prepare a 9x13" pan by oiling lightly or spraying with cooking oil spray.
Puree the grated beets with the orange juice until smooth using a blender.
Combine the dry ingredients in a large bowl; stir to mix well and make a well in the center.
Add the pureed beets, the rest of the liquid ingredients, and zest.
Stir well to combine.
Spoon the batter into the prepared pan.
Bake for about 50 to 60 minutes.
Remove from the oven and set the pan on a rack to cool.
Prepare the icing: Place the tofutti/cream cheese to soften in a bowl. Sift the confectioner's sugar into the bowl. Add the zest and beat until fluffy with a tsp of the juice at a time to help mix- there should be no lumps.
Spread the icing over the completely cooked cake. Cut the cake into desired size pieces and serve. Enjoy!