Get a new taste of a classic American cake.
Red velvet cake’s history goes back to 1800s, when cocoa was added to soften flour and produce a velvety texture to the cake. During World War II, in an effort to save food rations such as sugar, cooks began widespread use of beets and beet juice, giving the cake a reddish tint.
Contemporary iterations rely on food coloring. At District Kitchen + Cocktails in Austin, Texas, executive pastry chef Dennis Van gives diners a taste of the traditional classic while adding modern touches like cream cheese mousse and brown butter served with bourbon-brown sugar ice cream. He shares the cake recipe below. For the fixings, you’ll just have to drop into District Kitchen + Cocktails.
Beet Red Velvet Cake
1½ cups red beets, boiled, peeled, and diced
1 cup oil
¾ cup buttermilk
1 tablespoon lemon juice
4 large eggs
2½ cups flour
1¾ cup sugar
¼ cup cocoa powder
2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon baking soda
Nonstick baking spray
Cream cheese frosting (recipe follows)
Combine beets, oil, buttermilk, lemon juice, and eggs in a blender. Blend until smooth.
Combine and sift all dry ingredients into a bowl. Pour contents of the blender into the dry mixture and whisk just to combine.
Line 2 8-inch round pans with parchment paper and nonstick baking spray and divide the batter evenly. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes, checking with a toothpick until it comes out clean.
Cool and frost with your choice of cream cheese frosting, or with the below.
Cream Cheese Frosting
12 ounces cream cheese
¾ cup butter, softened
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
5 cups of powdered sugar
Combine cream cheese and butter in mixing bowl (or electric stand mixer with a paddle attachment) and mix until smooth and combined, 2 – 3 minutes. Add salt, vanilla and half of the powdered sugar and mix, slowly add remaining powdered sugar until mixture is smooth and fluffy.
For more information on District Kitchen + Cocktails or to make reservations, visit the restaurant’s website.
Photography: Courtesy District Kitchen + Cocktails
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