Whenever I come up with a "new idea" I google it, and usually someone has already thought of it. Beet plus Cake, and there it was, a delicious recipe for Beet Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting. Usually I leave well enough alone when I find a great cake recipe, but I am obsessed with fresh ginger and it seemed like it would really take this cake to the next level. I made it for Yui and Miguel's Wedding BBQ/Moving to Japan Party. Yui loves carrot cake, ginger and anything fruity, so I new this would be perfect because this cake really does resemble carrot cake in texture and root vegetable flavor. So I added fresh ginger, plus lemon and orange zest to bring out the ginger flavor, and I used olive oil as the vegetable oil, which I am really loving to bake with. Also, I added lemon zest and butter to the cream cheese frosting to stiffen it up.
The batter for this cake is a gorgeous hot pink. Without the frosting this cake is vegan and dairy-free, and it has such a nice spice you can skip the frosting, sprinkle some powdered sugar on it and enjoy it guilt-free! Calling it a Beet cake is not always a selling point, but I did a good job at convincing everyone at the party to try it and I think the few skeptics have a new found respect for beets. This is also one of my first non-crooked cakes that I did not have an "accident" transporting, so I will include the details of my success in the "assembling the cake" section.
BEET CAKE WITH CITRUS CREAM CHEESE FROSTING
About 2 medium sized beets, grated
2/3 C. sugar
2/3 C. brown sugar
1/2 C. olive oil
2 1/2 C. Flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. ground ginger
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup soy milk (or regular)
2 tsp. grated fresh ginger
1 tsp. grated orange zest
1 tsp. grated lemon zest
Preheat oven to 350 and spray 2-8in. round pansi with cooking spray.
Clean peel and grate the beets.
Beat sugar, brown sugar, oil and eggs until blended.
Beat in the beets and the ginger, lemon and orange zests.
In a separate bowl whisk together all of the dry ingredients.
Alternate the flour and the milk into the egg mixture starting and ending with the flour.
Beat until well combined.
Pour into cake pans and bang the bottom of the pans on the counter to release air bubbles.
Bake at 350 for 30 minutes. Cool on counter for few minutes then remove onto cooling racks. If the cake is not sliding out, just bang it on the countertop.
CITRUS CREAM CHEESE FROSTING
1 8oz. block of cream cheese
1 stick of butter
3 C. confectioner's sugar
2 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. lemon zest
1 tsp. orange zest
Can of mandarin oranges for garnish
Beat all ingredients in a cold bowl until combined. Add confectioner's sugar until desired thickness. If its runny it will run down the side of the cake and not be fun. Once frosted let the cake set in the fridge for at least 20 minutes.
ASSEMBLING THE CAKE
If you are transporting the cake, the its best to use a special cake transporting tupperware. If when you arrive, you want to transfer the cake onto a cake stand, then you will have to create a circular base for the cake. I take a piece of cardboard and trace the bottom of the cake pan, cut it out, then cover it with aluminum foil. I then secure this with take to the base of the cake tupperware with some heavy duty tape.
For the bottom piece of cake, choose the cake with the largest crown (thats the curved top the bakes up high so the cake is not flat out of the oven). Cut this crown off to make a flat surface with a bread knife. Cut it like you would cut a steak in half, one hand over the top, the other slicing carefully underneath.
Before you place your cake on your cardboard cut-out or onto the cake stand, place a dollop of frosting onto the bottom. This serves as glue and the cake will not move around while you are frosting.
Place the cake, bottom down, on the cake tray, then frost the top. Then put the other cake on top, bottom down. You will have a rounded top cake, but it looks cute and homemade this way, plus it shouldn't be crooked! Now frost the top and sides of the cake. A good trick for keeping your cake tray clean is to slide some wax paper underneath, frost then remove the wax paper, and it will be so clean and neat.
Once frosted let the cake set in the refrigerator for at least 20 minutes.
Transfer from tupperware to cake stand once you are ready to serve.
Note: this cake should be refrigerated until about 30 minutes before you serve it.