Red Velvet Bars Cake with Marsala Syrup

Red velvet cake is beautiful, isn’t it? Those cupcakes piled high with cream cheese frosting are some of my favorites, if for no other reason than they’re gorgeous.

Have you ever made a red velvet cake though? The amount of food coloring most recipes call for is slightly alarming, in my opinion.
This recipe is made ​​with beets. This is to replace the artificial coloring . Sure you can choose to use it , but I wanted to give another option

Note: add too little cocoa powder; if you add too much, you lose the color.

  • -I was also a little worried that the beet flavor was going to shine through, so -I went heavy on the vanilla.
  • -I worried that it would lose its luster as it baked. But it stayed pretty red and lush as I pulled it from the oven
  • -I whipped up a quick buttercream, because I didn’t have any cream cheese, and it was very tasty.

Note: I sprinkle red sugar (I had saved a little there) and also placed third in Marsala syrup over the cake. This is optional … but also included the recipe for Marsala syrup

Marsala Syrup

  • 1 cup sweet Marsala
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  1. In a small saucepan, combine the Marsala with the sugar and bring to a simmer, stirring to dissolve the sugar, cook over low heat for 5 minutes. Let cool.

Red Velvet Bars Cake Marsala Syrup
So let’s get baking…
(for bars)

  • 1/2 cup pureed boiled or roasted beets, cooled
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 scant tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1 cup flour (I used unbleached all-purpose; shoot for something LIGHT, if not white, here.)
Quick Chicken Lazone

(for buttercream)

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons milk


  1. Preheat oven to 350. Mix together pureed beets, sugar, milk, and egg in a large bowl. Add baking powder, salt, and vanilla. Stir in cocoa powder, then slowly mix in flour. Pour batter into greased 8″- or 9″-square baking pan. Bake for 18 minutes. Allow to cool completely before frosting
  2. For buttercream, beat butter, sugar, and milk for three minutes until perfectly smooth and fluffy. Use spatula to spread in even, thick layer over bars.
  3. I like to keep these in the fridge this time of year; in winter, I might not bother.
  4. These have a dense, cake-like consistency and have a sweet, mild chocolate taste. They do NOT taste like beets… but they sure do have the color!

Slow Cooker Roast Beef

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