RECIPE OF THE WEEK: red velvet cake

red velvet cake
red velvet cake

A PERFECT addition to any Valentine’s menu.


few sweets to decorate, we used jelly hearts from a sweet shop (optional)


250g butter, plus extra for greasing

200g dark chocolate, broken into chunks

500g plain flour

500g golden caster sugar

2 tbsp cocoa powder

1 tsp bicarbonate of soda

½ tsp salt

2 large eggs

200g natural yogurt

400g cooked beetroot in natural juices (not vinegar)

4 tbsp or 2 x 28ml bottle red food colouring (optional- a natural liquid colouring will not work; we used Scarlett Langdale)


200g full-fat soft cheese , at room temperature

250g butter, softened

400g icing sugar, sifted

2 tsp vanilla extract


1. Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Make the first batch of sponges by greasing and lining 2 x 20cm round tins. Gently melt half the butter and chocolate together in a saucepan. Mix half the flour, sugar, cocoa, bicarb and ¼ tsp salt in a large mixing bowl. Whizz one egg and half the yogurt and beetroot in a food processor or blender until fairly smooth. Put the kettle on.

2. Tip the beetroot mix into the dry ingredients along with the melted chocolate mixture and 150ml boiling water, then stir to combine. Stir in half the food colouring, if using, and divide the mixture between the tins. Bake for 25 mins until a skewer poked into the centre comes out clean. Leave the cakes on a wire rack to cool completely.

3. Repeat Steps 1 and 2 to make 2 more sponges or if you’re lucky enough to have 4 x 20cm sandwich tins you can bake in a big batch all at once.

4. To make the frosting, briefly beat together the soft cheese and butter, then beat in the icing sugar and vanilla. Use a little to sandwich the cooled cakes together, then swirl the rest all over the sandwiched cakes and decorate with sweets, if you like. Sit the cake somewhere cool (not the fridge) to set a little before serving.