A Beet Red Velvet Cake For My Pink Princess

Enjoy the richness of the traditional red velvet cake without artificial colors with this Beet Red Velvet Cake. And yes, the kids will still love it!

Beet Red Velvet Cake with no artificial colors by FamilySpice.com

Something changed in me when I had my daughter. It happened to my husband, as well. After bringing two beautiful boys into the world, we knew we would be happy with a healthy baby, girl or boy. My husband did admit that he secretly wanted a girl. I, on the other hand, was terrified to have a girl. I had two boys, I knew how to raise and take care of boys. I had everything ready for another boy. When I learned we were having a girl, something changed.

I became excited. I went through a nesting stage that I never experienced with the two boys. I spent hours scouring the website examining girls’ rooms and came up with a two-tone pink room with white bead board. My husband handled my obsession well, and put the room together as I so meticulously specified.

Our life has been full of pink since then.

Pink blankets. Pink tights. Pink dresses. Pink barrettes.

My daughter turned six this week. She still adores pink. And dresses. And butterflies. And flowers. And glitter.

She’s a very girly girl. Yet, she’s tough, too. You have to be if you are the youngest of three, with two older brothers.

Quite a contradiction.

I have been making her pink birthday cakes from the beginning.

They started simple and have turned a bit on the elaborate side.

From pink flowers on top:

To Pink Strawberry Cupcakes:


A dash of purple with these horrifically yummy and artificially colored & flavored Grape Kool-Aid Mini Cupcakes:

Grape Kool-Aid Mini Cupcakes by FamilySpice.com

And for this year, an All-Natural Beet Red Velvet Cake, using no artificial colors or flavors.

All-Natural Beet Red Velvet Cake

Typically red velvet cake is a chocolate cake with two bottles of red food coloring. Not very appetizing, but very popular. This red velvet cake is make with beets, resulting in a very moist, fruity and irresistible red velvet cake - au naturale! Recipe adapted from Sophistimom


  • 2 large beets, fresh, (enough to make 1 1/2 cups of beet purée)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1 TBS white wine vinegar
  • 1 cup butter, unsalted, room temperature
  • 24 oz cream cheese, room temperature
  • 2 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 4 eggs, large
  • 2 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup natural cocoa powder, unsweetened, (not dark or Dutch processed)
  • 1 lb powdered sugar, (4 cups)
  • 2 TBS heavy cream
  • 1 tsp almond extract


  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF.
  2. Place in a small baking dish:
    • 2 large beets, fresh , (enough to make 1 1/2 cups of beet purée)
    • 1/2 cup water
  3. Cover with parchment paper and foil, and roast until tender, about 60-90 minutes.
  4. When beets have cooled completely, peel and cut into small chunks.
  5. Place beets in a blender or food processor and pulse until smooth with:
    • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  6. There should be 1 1/2 cups of purée. Stir in:
    • 1 TBS white wine vinegar
  7. Line the bottom of 3 8-inch cake pans with parchment paper. Apply non-stick spray along the sides and bottom of the pans. Reserve.
  8. In a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together:
    • 1/2 cup butter, unsalted , room temperature
    • 8 oz cream cheese , room temperature
  9. Mix in until smooth and fluffy:
    • 2 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  10. Mix in, one at a time:
    • 4 eggs, large
  11. Mix in until incorporated:
    • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  12. In a separate bowl, whisk out the lumps of:
    • 2 cup all-purpose flour
    • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
    • 1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
    • 1/4 cup natural cocoa powder, unsweetened , (not dark or Dutch processed)
  13. In batches, mix flour mixture into the wet ingredients.
  14. Measure out 1 1/2 cups of the beet puree mixture, and fold into the cake batter.
  15. Divide the batter evenly between the 3 cake pans. Tap pans on the counter to remove any air bubbles.
  16. Bake at 350ºF for 20-35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cakes comes out clean.
  17. Invert cakes onto cooling racks, and allow to cool completely.
  18. If not frosting after cooled, place another piece of parchment paper on top of the cake rounds and wrap with plastic wrap.
  19. To make the frosting, combine in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment:
    • 16 oz cream cheese
    • 1/2 cup butter, unsalted
    • 1 lb powdered sugar , (4 cups)
    • 2 TBS heavy cream
    • 1 tsp vanilla extract
    • 1 tsp almond extract
  20. Switch to the whisk attachment, and mix until smooth and slightly fluffy.
  21. Frost cake as desired.


Serving Suggestions: This is a dense cake where one thin slice is all you need per serving.

Cooking Tips: Canned beets can be used, but the resulting color will not be as vibrant.

Lemon juice used can be substituted with 1 tsp citric acid.

Prep Time:

Cook Time:

All-Natural Beet Red Velvet Cake Detail
More contradictions.

But she doesn’t mind. My girly girl loves them all.

She’s just like her mom, you know.

I like all kinds of shoes. I like jeans with bling. I like my yoga pants. I like my science fiction. I’m an artist. I’m good with numbers.

I’m full of contradictions, too.

UPDATE: Stella, from Gilt Taste, wrote this great post:

The Unknown History of Red Velvet Cake
No beets, no sugar shortages. How America’s most nostalgic cake really came to be.

A great read. Check it out here!

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12 Responses to A Beet Red Velvet Cake For My Pink Princess

  1. That is a gorgeous cake. Like you my third child was a daughter (after two boys). Caroline is a wonderful girly girl…and I think you and I can appreciate how much fun that is…but oh how much work it is after having two boys (which to me always seem easy).
    Thanks so much for sharing a wonderful, and natural, recipe.

  2. What a great post! Such a sweet tribute to your girly girl 😉

    This cake is really great and the fact that it is natural is just fantastic

  3. Lizzy at #

    What a stunning cake…and beets are so much better than all that red food coloring. My 23 y/o daughter asked for red velvet cake for her birthday this year!

  4. Love it! Happy birthday to your princess!

  5. @RecipeGirl This beet cake is more dense than traditional red velvet and has a fruity flavor. I'm not a fan of traditional red velvet, which is chocolate based cake. The beet cake only has about 1/4 cup of cocoa powder.

  6. Valentina at #

    wonderful! I love contradictions: we all are full of them, we have black&white;, yin&yang…; xoxo, Valentina from Italy*

  7. This cake is so pretty and perfect for your daughter! i love that you colored it with beets instead of food coloring!

  8. RecipeGirl at #

    Pretty!!! I love red velvet… would love to try an all-natural variety. Does it still taste like red velvet cake?

  9. Girls are often treated with extra time and attention and I can't really blame you if you will find extra preference on "pink objects".

  10. In defense for my boys, I've made plenty of Batman, volcano, football and soccer cakes. Even a giant Lego cake!

  11. Dzoli at #

    I am 14 years younger than my brother.My mother was 30 when she got me..unexpected the clock was ticking..almost.My grandma told me she was at ourt place when they called her from the hospital to tell her it was a girl and everything looked ok.She tought my mom won the Lotto;))(love that story)
    And I have a little princess now myself and you are right to spoil her :))

  12. Ann at #

    A beautiful cake (as are all the others) and a delightful tribute to your daughter. Please wish her happy birthday!

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