Red Velvet Cake with Juniper Syrup and Citrusy Goat Cheese Icing

Photo by Jennifer Hitchcock

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1 double layer cake, about 12-16 servings

  • ½ cup warm coffee
  • 1 cup melted butter (2 sticks)
  • 3 eggs
  • Splash of buttermilk
  • 2 cups sugar
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 2 cups plus 3 tablespoons cake flour
  • ⅔ cup cocoa powder
  • 2 cups roasted beet purée
  • Juniper Simple Syrup
  • 1 tablespoon juniper berries
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • Icing
  • 3 ounces goat cheese, room temperature
  • 3 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • Zest of one orange
  • ½ vanilla bean (scraped)
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon orange juice
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease (or line with parchment paper ) 2 half-sheet trays.
  2. Place first 4 wet ingredients for cake in a standing mixer. Mix until combined. Add all dry ingredients and mix until combined. Add beet purée. Mix until fully combined.
  3. Pour evenly into each sheet pan and bake for 15-18 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in  middle comes out clean. Set aside to cool completely.
  4. For juniper syrup, add berries, water and sugar to a saucepan and bring to a simmer. Steep for 20 minutes. Strain and chill until ready to use.
  5. For frosting, in a standing mixer fitted with paddle attachment cream the cheeses, zest, vanilla bean innards, and sugar until smooth, about 10 minutes. Add orange juice to taste, and mix until combined. Chill until ready to use.
  6. Once cake has completely cooled, brush with juniper syrup and then frost with citrusy goat cheese icing.

Beet Purée

Roast whole red beets in oven at 425 until very tender, 45 minutes to 1 hour. Cool and peel, then purée in food processor until perfectly smooth.

  • from Pastry Chef Kyle McKinney of Barley Swine in Austin, Texas

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