A traditional buttermilk red velvet cake is light and fluffy with a beautiful red colour.
Historically, the red colour came from a reaction between non-alkalized cocoa powder and the acidity of the the buttermilk. Nowadays, all cocoa powder has been alkalized, so the red colour usually comes from food colouring.
However, there is a healthier option. These gluten free red velvet cupcakes are made with beets for the red colour.
A fermented cake
Since red velvet cake is made with buttermilk, it is ideal for fermented baking. It may seem strange to ferment cake batter, since there is nothing healthy about cake! However, there are several reasons why I ferment all my baking:
- It improves the digestibility of the complex carbs in grains, so you won’t feel quite so bloated and full.
- The texture and taste of gluten free baking really improves with fermenting.
If you are interested in fermenting your cake batter, here are a few suggestions:
- Fermenting is ideal for gluten free flours. Use your favourite blend or try my baking blend. Just don’t add any xanthan gum because it won’t do well with the fermentation.
- Alternatively use a single, wholegrain gluten free flour. I recommend rice or oat flour as they both have a good consistency for baking and fermenting.
- Though this recipe was designed for GF flour, it is possible to use a gluten contain flour. Just don’t ferment with wheat flour because it will develop a bread-like structure. Instead, use whole grain flours like barley, rye and spelt.
Red velvet cupcakes
Gluten free red velvet cupcakes are made with beet for a beautiful red colour. Fermenting the flour ahead of time with buttermilk makes it a richer and more flavourful cake. Perfect for cream cheese frosting.
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 20 minutes
- Total Time: 30 minutes
- Yield: 24 cupcakes 1x
- Category: Desserts
- Method: Fermented
- Cuisine: Gluten Free
- 1 3/4 cups GF flour (see section above for suggestions)
- 1 cup cultured buttermilk
- 5 tbsp melted butter
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1/4 cup finely grated beets
- 1/2 cup ground dates (affiliate link)
- 2 tbsp cocoa powder
- 1 3/4 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- Fermenting is optional, however, it does improve the flavour and texture of gluten free baked goods. To ferment the flour ahead of time, mix the flour and buttermilk in a glass bowl. Cover with a tea towel and allow to rest in a warm location for 12-24 hours.
- When ready to bake, mix the butter, eggs, vanilla and grated beets into the batter. Mix until smooth.
- Then mix in the remaining ingredients.
- Bake in a 350F oven until a cake tester comes out clean. It will take approximately, 18-20 min for cupcakes or 25-30 min for a cake.
- Allow to cool, then frost with a healthy cream cheese frosting.
- While buttermilk is traditional, this cake can also be made with milk kefir or yogurt.
- It is important to finely grate the beets so they can cook and disappear into the cake. Alternatively, use skip the beets and use 2 tbsp red food colouring instead.
- Ground dates are not nearly as sweet as other sweeteners. For a sweet treat, replace the ground dates with the equivalent amount of white sugar or brown sugar.
- This recipe will make 24 cupcakes or two 8-inch round cake pans.
Keywords: layer cake, cream cheese frosting, kefir frosting, soaked, prefermented, party, birthday, sugar free, healthy, beet, chocolate