Thursday, October 11, 2012

Gluten-Free, Grain-Free Chocolate Red Velvet Cake with Buttermilk Frosting ~ A Recipe

The holidays are coming!  And that means lots of red food dye!  
If you know me, you know I love to get all festive-like.  However, I must draw the line at artificial food coloring (stay tuned for a post on natural food dyes next week).  Guess what?  When it comes to coloring food red and keeping things real, you can have your gluten-free cake and eat it, too.  This is when I pull out my red food coloring of choice: the beet.  You beetcha!
I just finished my cup of coffee for the day.
Coffee makes me extra cheerful (and cheesy, apparently).

Red velvet cake is the ultimate holiday dessert.  Serve it on a autumn-y platter and you've got a harvest party treat.  Doll it up with your favorite wintertime accents and add a drop or two of peppermint oil to the frosting and it's a candy cane cake.  Bake it in a heart-shaped mold and it's perfect for Valentine's day.  Decorate the top with blueberries and raspberries in a flag-like fashion and it's a healthy Fourth of July indulgence.  See?  This cake has got you covered for every holiday of the year.

Because we had to use more than one beet in the recipe to make the color pop, there is a slight earthy taste that the root imparts. The folks I've served this cake to said they actually enjoyed it.  No, they weren't just trying to be nice (these are truly honest friends) and no, they aren't of the health-nut persuasion.  So I trust their critique.

If you've never tried buttermilk frosting, you're in for a treat.  This fluffy frosting is lighter than buttercream and is the perfect, pillowy topping for this moist cake.

Grain-Free Red Velvet Cake with Buttermilk Frosting
Prep time: 20 min; Bake time: 35 min; Serves 9

For the cake:
  1. Preheat oven to 350ยบ.  Cut the beet(s) in quarters and place in blender.  Add remaining ingredients and blend until smooth.
  2. Pour batter in a greased 8x8-inch baking dish.  Bake for 35-40 minutes.  Allow to cool before frosting.
For the Frosting:
  • 1/3 cup soft butter (don't use ghee.  I tried it and it doesn't taste good in this recipe.)
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons buttermilk
  1. Cream butter and sugar until smooth.  Add vanilla and buttermilk and beat until smooth and fluffy.  If the frosting is still too thick to your liking, add one more tablespoon buttermilk.


  1. great idea to use beets instead of red food coloring. i am with you on the food coloring... i just can't bring myself to use it!

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  2. Looks fab! No grains and no artificial coloring! It's going on the list of yumminess to try!

  3. OK, so I almost yelled out loud when I saw this post! I'm at the
    beginning of my gluten-free, grain-free journey and have been missing
    baking. This looks wonderful.Thanks for sharing this recipe!

  4. You're so welcome! I hope it makes your gluten-free beginnings sweeter. :)

  5. Is there something else I could use in the frosting besides powdered sugar? I'm not really sure I feel totally comfortable baking with powdered sugar.

  6. I don't usually comment .. But I had to here!!! Thank you thank you Thankyou for the best gift .. A cake my kids and hubby love that won't hurt them!!!!!!

  7. Made this for tomorrow. Added 1 chopped bar of organic 70% dark chocolate to the batter. I also used stevia instead of honey (but I don't know how much because I just added little by little until it tasted good to me.)

    Brittany, I whirl xylitol in my magic bullet until it is powder sugar consistency and use that instead of "regular" powdered sugar.

  8. Brittany, I always whirl xylitol in my magic bullet until it is powdered sugar consistency. It seems to work just fine as a substitute.

  9. That is one very impressive cake, I would love to try this too if only it didn't sound so intimidating!

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