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Looking for a new, healthier way to make Red Velvet Cake?!  Try substituting all of that food coloring for beets!  It tastes even more delicious and you can't taste the beets at all.

A few weeks ago I tasted the best Red Velvet Cake ever at a catered event.  I was told then that the cake was made with sweet potatoes and beets.  To me throwing in vegetables and it tasting awesome made this little weight watcher girl’s birthday wish come true!!

I got home and went on a crazy search to find a recipe.  I couldn’t find one anywhere so then I went begging on my hands and knees to the caterer of the event to see if they would share it.  The Spotted Salamander is one the top caterers in Columbia SC, making “inventive Southern Cuisine” and striving to only use local ingredients.  I think at first they thought I was crazy and ignored me so then…

My best friend Amy called and begged.  She was going to just order one from them but they were sweet and gave us the recipe!  Amy being The Bake Caker tackled the job of recreating this dream cake for me.

Turns out it didn’t have sweet potatoes in it, but it did have beets.

Before you squinch up your nose and don’t want to try it, you can’t taste the beets at all.  They do add a lot of healthy stuff to the cake though and help to take out a lot of unhealthy stuff.

Comparing a recipe with Beets to a traditional recipe you get:

Less Sugar
Less Oil
Less Flour (significantly less)
No Buttermilk needed
No Food Coloring

Plus add in all the fiber and vitamins from the beets!

Many of you asked that I share the recipe with you when I found it, so head over to Amy’s Bake Cakery and see her notes, tips and the full recipe to make this.

Thanks to Linda for figuring out Weight Watcher’s points! 5 points plus before frosting!!

A huge thanks to The Spotted Salamander for sharing!

    • Terri

      reminds me of a great recipe I saw on the Oprah channel, Flourless chocolate cake:

    • Thank you for this! I am so excited to try a much healthier cake for family celebrations!

    • Sarah

      This is fabulous!!! Thanks for sharing it Jenny! Do we know how many WW points per serving?

      • LynetteC.

        I am wondering the same thing. Is it just healthier or actually fewer points too??

    • It looks very yummy.

    • Chloemcgillicuddy


    • Imissvabad

      I'm going to try this one, looks good. Quick question…. in your write up you mentioned it has sweet potatoes in it but when I look at the recipe I don't see that. Is this a different version?

      • Imissvabad

        Ok nevermind I just reread and saw where you said it didn't.

    • Alyson

      I'm definitely trying this one; I love that it doesn't include that bottle of red food dye which is just horrible for you!!!!

    • Musickep

      AWESOME, thx so much for sharing. We love to bake healthy!! Can't wait to try it! Thanks!

    • Amgtt_18

      Curious point wise how much it is….

    • Linda

      I just figured out the points. I doubled the cake (to make the 2 layers) and then I said it was 24 servings (cupcake size)….and it is 5 points per serving without the frosting. I can only imagine how many points the standard recipe would be……and this is so much healthier. The last time I made Red Velvet cake I had to use TWO BOTTLES of red food coloring. Took the eating enjoyment away for me. Thanks for sharing this!!

      • Methodistmom333

        Linda, is that 5 pp with sugar or Splenda?

        • Linda

          Sugar. I was thinking 1/2 splenda, 1/2 sugar might be good and that makes it 4 points each. All Splenda still comes out to 4 points each, so I'd rather have half real stuff! I also used fat free yogurt and fat free milk for the calculation.

          • Methodistmom333

            Sounds great! Thanks!

    • Mhmazzoli

      I am so excited to try this! Both my daughter and I are senstive to red dye–gives us migraines–so we never get to have red velvet cake! I am so baking this cake this weekend!

    • Bee

      Oh wow, thanks to you and your friend for being persistent! I love to put vegetables in baked goods…I make a chocolate zucchini bread that is the most flavorful, tasty concoction!

      The only thing is…I will have to make this cake when the husband is not home. Beets are the only food from any food group he will not touch!…about the same way many people feel about liver. I guarantee if he knows there are beets in it, he won't take the first bite!

      Thanks again for your creative posts!

    • Chrissy

      Thank you for sharing, Jenny! Each year I search the internet for a red food dye free red velvet cake for my sister (she hates red food dye). We tried non-alkalyzed Dutch cocoa and beet juice once, but the cake did not turn out red – it wasn't chocolate brown, but it wasn't red. It was kinda…muddy. Tasty, but muddy. Thank you so much for helping us find a better recipe!!

    • Methodistmom333

      I'm thinking the frosting would use 2 cups of Splenda. Sixteen ounces of Splenda would be almost two bags full. Splenda is much lighter weight than sugar. Just would hate for anybody to try to substitute without realizing that! Would be very expensive and I can't imaging the taste!

    • Robin @ Our Semi Organic Life

      I've seen recipes that include beets in cakes or sweet potatoes in (vegan) cookies but none with both in one! I'm too excited! Can't wait for an occasion to make!

    • For all the beet haters, you should really try roasting them and eating them with goat cheese, oranges, and vinegar. My husband doesn't like fruit in his salads, so I use an orange-flavored vinegar from Trader Joes. Raw beets are blech, but roasting them brings out the sugars, and I swear beets roasting in the oven smell like brownies to me! I just started making these after having them in a restaurant, and now I'm a roasted beet fiend!

      • Methodistmom333

        That sounds so good! I love roasted vegeatbles of all kinds!

    • Busycarebear

      This is so cool. I can't wait to try it. MY husbands B-day is coming up and I know what kind of cake he is getting.

    • Paigejade

      This sounds wonderful! We are on a no processed no food dyes diet. :)

    • Cndyrelly

      Does anyone know how many beets it takes to make 3/4c of puree beets?

      • Amy B.

        Good question! I roasted 6 medium beets and it made about 2.5 cups of puree. To get the 3/4 c, you would need 2-3 beets.

    • YUMM! Cant wait to try!

    • ireneY

      That looks soooooo good — thank you for sharing Jenny!!

    • Cber

      I remember when you mentioned this on SS, and am so glad you found it! Thanks for sharing.

    • Nolachan6

      I have been looking for a red velvet cake using beets for years. Looks great! Thank you for posting. Definitely going to try this – and soon!

    • Misty P.

      Happy Birthday! Is today your birthday? Mine is today too!

    • Teresa

      Happy Birthday! My birthday is next week!

    • judebluiz359

      Happy Happy Birthday Jenny!!!
      Your website is the best one out there -so easy to follow. Thank you for all you do for us and all your time- I have saved so much money by following this site.

    • Vhollie56

      I found another site that has a recipe for a Red Velvet Cake with beets. The site is http://www.healthygreenkitchen.com/red-velvet-cake-with-beets.html. I going to print both of them. If I find a recipe with both ingredients (sweet potatoes/beets) I will let you know.

    • Andrea

      Thanks for posting this, Jenny. I join WW next week and I'm already mourning the loss of yummies.
      Now to find the coupons for beets :P

    • Ctmize2512

      This is wonderful1 My 7 year old can not have any food coloring in her diet and her birthday is in 2 weeks….we've been going crazy over how we're going to make her a cake with no food coloring in it. Red Velvet is her favorite and this will also give me a chance to sneak in some yummy veggies too! Thanks Jenny!

    • Malissa

      If you've ever watched the show “Cook Yourself Thin” on Lifetime, they always use vegetables in their desserts. Check out their website for recipes.

    • caroline

      I've always wanted to make a red velvet cake but could never bring myself to put in a whole bottle of red food coloring! Thanks, Jenny

    • momof3

      The recipe is great for diabetics as well–I'm very brittle, so sugar isn't a good option…I would use stevia, though…Thanks!

    • Emmayun2

      I made this recipe last night for a very suspicious husband. It turned out GREAT. Tasted just like Red Velveet cake. I just made the one layer instead of doubling it and making two and I only made half of the icing so I would waste a bunch since it was just the one layer. It was perfect to have some to try and I will be making it again! :)

    • Create4good

      I had a hard time finding fresh beets at my grocery store (and was a bit intimidated to bake with them) so I found a recipe that uses canned beets:
      I haven't tried the recipe yet, but I'm much more likely to if I can just use canned beets!