The beet powder in this recipe replaces the customary red food coloring, producing a lovely hue and a complex flavor. This cake can also be made in 9" pans, but the recipe should be increased by half to compensate for the increased pan size.
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 1/3 cups (9 3/8 ounces) sugar
2 large eggs
3 Tbsp beet powder
, sifted to remove lumps
1/2 oz high-quality, natural (non-alkalized) cocoa powder, sifted
2 1/4 cups (9 1/2 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
1 1/4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 cup (8 ounces) buttermilk
2 tsp fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 tsp high-quality vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare two 8" cake pans by greasing them with shortening
, lining them with parchment paper, and greasing the parchment. Set aside.
In a stand mixer, whip butter and sugar on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, at least 2 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, whipping between additions. Scrape down sides of bowl and whip 1 minute. Add beet powder, cocoa powder and salt. Beat until combined, scraping sides of bowl as needed.
Combine flour, baking powder and salt in a small bowl; stir to blend. In a measuring cup with spout, combine buttermilk, lemon juice and vanilla. Stir to blend. Add flour mixture in 3 parts alternately with buttermilk mixture, beginning and ending with flour. Beat only until mixture comes together. Scrape sides of bowl as needed.
Divide batter evenly between prepared pans. Batter will be thick. Tap pans on counter to spread batter and remove bubbles. Bake 20-25 minutes, turning once, or until tops are slightly browned and sides pull away from pan. Cool 15 minutes on racks, then turn out of pans and cool thoroughly. Frost with Basic Wedding Buttercream
or your favorite cream-cheese-based frosting.