This natural red velvet cake recipe pairs mini naturally dyed beetroot powder cake layers with a light and airy whipped cream cheese frosting.
Preheat the oven to 180ºC (350ºF) and grease, line, and flour a 15 cm (6 inch) round cake tin.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the cake flour, cane sugar, cacao powder, baking powder, salt, and 1 tablespoon of the beetroot powder until well combined. Set aside.
To a large bowl add the egg yolk, vanilla, rapeseed oil, vinegar, and buttermilk. Whisk well to combine and set aside.
Pour the egg whites into a very clean bowl and whip them on high speed using a hand mixer until they reach soft peaks. Dust over the remaining teaspoon of beetroot powder and then continue whipping the whites until they reach stiff peaks. Set aside.
Add one half of the dry ingredients into the bowl with the wet ingredients and whisk to combine. Then add the remaining half of the dry ingredients and whisk until all the flour disappears and you have a smooth, thick batter.
Take a small spoonful of the whipped egg whites (about 2 tablespoons) and add it to the batter. Mix the two together to loosen the batter slightly. You do not need to be super gentle at this point.
Add the remaining egg whites to the batter and very gently fold them into the batter until all the egg whites are incorporated and the batter is smooth, light, and voluminous. This will take some time so be patient and go slowly.
Pour the batter into the prepared tin and jiggle the tin gently to smooth the top. Bake the cake for 28-32 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted at the centre comes out clean or with just a few crumbs attached.
Leave the cake to cool in the tin for 5-7 minutes, then turn it out onto a wire rack to finish cooling completely.
Prepare a stand mixer with the whisk attachment. Pour the cream, agave, salt, and vanilla into the bowl of the mixer and set it whipping on a medium-high speed. Bring the mixture to medium peaks and then reduce the speed to medium-low.
Start adding the cream cheese, one cube at a time, to the frosting while the mixer is running. After all the cheese has been added, scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl. Turn the mixer up to a high speed and whip the frosting until it’s smooth and fluffy.
Cover and refrigerate the frosting until you’re ready to use it.
Once the cake is completely cool, trim off any excess dome from the top and reserve the scraps for decoration.
Slice the cake horizontally into two equal layers. Place one layer of cake on a cake stand or serving plate. Top with 1/2 cup of frosting and spread evenly. Repeat with the remaining layer and apply a thin coat of frosting all over the cake. Chill for 20 minutes.
Use the remaining frosting to frost the cake and do a rustic swirl on the sides and top with a small offset spatula if desired.
This cake is best eaten the day it is served. It will keep in the refrigerator, but note that the beetroot may dye the frosting pink if left over 8 hours.