Red Velvet Cupcakes with Strawberry Santa Hats

Red Velvet is a classic southern cake and I was thrilled to have it selected for the Martha Stewart's Cupcakes Club this month!  Red Velvet cake is essentially a moist light chocolate cake infused with red color and topped with cream cheese icing.  Yumm!!

Although Martha's recipe looked fantastic just the way it was, I had to start with a few substitutions:  White Whole Wheat Flour (it's better for you, and you can really not tell the difference!), dark cocoa (because that is what was in my pantry) and Beets. Yes, you heard right.  The only reason I have not made a red velvet cake before is because it sort of freaks me out to put an entire bottle of red dye no. 40 into a single recipe of cake.  The side bar of the cookbook, however, mentioned that some bakers use beet juice instead of red dye.  A natural food color sounded much more appealing!

I started with two tablespoons of beet juice (NOTE:  Get cooked beets, NOT pickled beets!).

Two tablespoons, I decided, was not red enough.

I decided to put the entire can of beets and juice in the blender.

Slowly, I added the pureed beets little by little into the batter.  
After the entire can of beets was in it, it looked like this.
I was slightly hopeful, thinking it had a bit of a garnet hue.

Here's the finished cake.  Not very red, but very delicious!
Amazingly, none of my taste testers could perceive any beet flavor!
The cake is made with buttermilk and oil and is very moist.
I do believe the color would have been evident had I used regular cocoa powder instead of the dark.

I've seen these cute little strawberry Santa hats on line and thought they would be a great topper to a Red Velvet Cupcake.

A delicious and festive cake.  Thanks to Cindy at Everyday Insanity for this great holiday selection!

You can find this delicious recipe on Martha Stewart's Website HERE!


Joy Burkhart said…
Hey Rachel! I had to let you know I pinned this! Will have to try your recipe soon! I like the idea of using the beets/juice for the red coloring. Your cupcakes are just so cute, with their little Santa hats!
Wende said…
Very cute and I love the idea of a natural food coloring.
Anonymous said…
Your cupcakes look grand! Love the santa hats. Pat
Katie said…
Oh red velvet is my favorite! Now I have an excuse to make them! :)
holly said…
Those hats are adorable! I'll have to try those out sometime :)
Kim McCallie said…
I admired these earlier this week. They're gorgeous! So glad you shared them on Sweet Indulgences Sunday.
Anonymous said…
These red velvet cupcakes are so popular, but I haven't seen any as cute as these. Love them!
Miz Helen said…
Hi Rachel,
This is a great idea, these are just adorable! Hope you are having a great week and thanks so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday.
Come Back Soon!
Miz Helen
Mindie Hilton said…
Featuring this week at Bacon Time :) I hope you have a merry Christmas.
Julie said…
Your cupcakes are beautiful! We enjoyed these! Look forward to seeing next years recipes.
Andi said…
These are so cute, I recently made my first Red Velvet and I really liked. It was made with lg. brown sugar better than the white sugar. I like the idea of the coloring food coloring is expensive.........Nice post andi

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