Ruth from Makey-Cakey was our March 2013 Daring Bakers’ challenge host. She encouraged us all to get experimental in the kitchen and sneak some hidden veggies into our baking, with surprising and delicious results!
This is my very first Daring Baker’s Challenge post and I am beyond excited to be apart of this community. If you are not familiar with this challenge, check out their website. In a nutshell, it is a blogging community website that proposes a different baking and cooking challenge each month. I stumbled upon the site when checking out some of my other favorite blogs and signed up immediately. I honestly think it’s the most fabulous idea ever for fellow food bloggers to share their ideas with each other and to challenge each other to improve their skills.
I loved this month’s challenge because sneaking veggies into baked goods is something that I do regularly. However, since it is a “challenge,” I wanted to try something that I had never done before. I did some research and came across this amazing cake by Joy the Baker. Inspiration!!! I actually already had a package of Trader Joe’s Steamed & Peeled Baby Beets in the fridge that I swear was begging me to be used in something other than a salad. I contemplated making a cake out of the beets, but I wanted to bake something that I could easily share. It had been a long time since I made whoopie pies, so I figured they would be the perfect compromise. I stumbled upon this scrumptious red velvet whoopie pie recipe from The Candid Appetite and decided to give it a try. Instead of using red food coloring I added beets to the batter, for a moist chocolatey cake. I also used the beets in the frosting as a natural pink food coloring and raspberry extract to disguise the source of the color. They turned out beautifully and the best part of all: Romain had no clue that his delicious whoopie pie was chock full of “betteraves” (that’s beets in French!). Maybe if he actually reads my blog post, he will figure it out!
If you are feeling really ambitious, you could buy raw beets and roast them yourself, but the packaged beets from Trader Joe’s will save you a lot of time and clean-up. I made 12 whoopie pies and 6 baked doughnuts with this recipe.
- ¼ cup semisweet chocolate chips
- 12 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- ½ cup buttermilk
- 2 large eggs
- 1½ teaspoons apple cider vinegar
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2¼ cups cake flour
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- ¼ cup King Arthur Flour’s unsweetened double dutch dark cocoa powder
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 package Trader Joe’s baby beets, grated and divided
- 12 tablespoons (1.5 sticks) butter, softened
- 4 oz cream cheese, softened
- 2-4 tablespoons beets, mashed
- 3-4 cups powdered sugar
- 1 tsp natural raspberry extract (optional)
- ½ tsp vanilla bean paste
- Preheat the oven to 375°. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper or prepare a Wilton Whoopie Pie Pan with cooking spray. Melt the chocolate chips in the a microwave safe bowl in 30 second increments until you are able to stir it smooth.
- Whisk the melted butter, buttermilk, eggs, vinegar, vanilla and food coloring in a bowl (or standmixer) until combined. In another bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
- Slowly add the flour mixture to the butter mixture in three equal batches, mixing each batch completely before adding the next. Stir in the melted chocolate.
- Drop tablespoon sized scoops onto parchment or into whoopie pie pan using an ice cream/cookie scoop. Flatten out with damp finger. Bake until the cookies spring back when lightly pressed, 8 to 10 minutes. Let cool 5 minutes on the baking sheets, then transfer to racks to cool completely.
- For the frosting, beat the butter and cream cheese together in your standmixer until smooth. Add the mashed beets and any extra beet juice from the package, vanilla and raspberry extract. Slowly add powdered sugar until desired consistency is achieved. Pipe the frosting onto half the cooled cookies and top off with other half.