I am 32 today! To celebrate, I baked us pretty Pink Cake. It’s super moist, buttery, and a little boozy, and its lovely pink hue is completely natural. I adored the whole process of creating this cake, my friends had fun sharing it with me, and I hope it makes a delightful, unexpected addition to a celebration of yours soon too.
A baking enthusiast who a) loves any excuse for cake, b) can be a bit particular about said cake, and c) happens to post cake recipes online, I love sharing a new sweet treat with you every May.
It’s as if we are virtual elementary school classmates and it’s my turn to bring birthday treats!
Well, maybe not elementary school. I completely soaked this year’s Pink Cake in an orange and rosé wine syrup. Oops.
Want to come over for a virtual grown-up birthday cake potluck instead?
While pink cake mix would have been the fastest route, I wanted to make my pink cake recipe from scratch, so I turned to two pink ingredients I’m always happy to find in my refrigerator.
One: Rosé wine. Bring me all the sips.
Two: Beets. Wait, don’t go!
I promise you this Pink Cake is delicious. Think of it as carrot cake’s second cousin (the fun one).
Carrot cake, especially this healthy carrot cake recipe, is one of my longstanding top desserts. I adore zucchini cake and Pumpkin Sheet Cake too, so I’m not sure why it took me so long to try a similar approach with beets.
Like carrots (and pumpkin and zucchini and even apples), beets are naturally sweet and add incredible moisture to baked goods.
This Pink Cake is pleasantly sweet with a dense (though certainly not dry or heavy) crumb that’s similar to pound cake. It’s lovely on its own right out of the Bundt pan with a cup of coffee…or a matching glass of rosé wine.
THAT SAID, when the option to soak the Pink Cake with a butter-laden, booze-infused orange syrup presented itself, I couldn’t resist finding out what it would taste like.
Oh. My. Heavens. This is one of my favorite cakes I’ve baked in a long time. The orange is an ideal complement to the beets, and the soaking approach makes the cake even more moist and gratifyingly complete. It doesn’t need frosting. It doesn’t even need a scoop of ice cream (but go ahead if you must).
Even if you aren’t a big beet fan, this Pink Cake is worth trying. The beet flavor is subtle, and the orange syrup transforms it.
Evidence: the sworn beet hater amongst my group of girlfriends finished her slice.
A Pink Cake Recipe—And a Birthday Somewhere In Between
Sooooo, I’m 32. It feels just right.
In certain ways, I consider myself “old.”
I started using eye cream. I subscribe to NPR. My favorite show is still The West Wing. I willingly put vegetables in my own birthday cake.
In other ways, not so much.
I still take gummy vitamins. I never got over my crush on Justin Timberlake. I question what I’m doing with my life on a regular basis.
And, perhaps the most convincing evidence that 32 might not be so old after all…
I picked a bright pink birthday cake!
Birthday Cakes From Other Years
- 33rd birthday: Coconut Flour Cake
- 31st birthday: Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake
- 30th birthday: Lemon Layer Cake (one of my all-time most popular recipes!)
- 29th birthday: Mocha Cake
- 28th birthday: Almond Joy Cake
- 27th birthday: Banana Cake with Coconut Cream Cheese Frosting
Recommended Tools to Make Pink Cake
- 2 medium raw beets about 8 ounces each, peeled and cubed
- 1 1/2 cups sugar divided
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour or swap white whole wheat flour or additional all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 8 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 stick) softened to room temperature, plus additional for greasing the pan
- 3 tablespoons plain nonfat Greek yogurt
- 4 large eggs at room temperature
- 1/2 cup nonfat milk at room temperature (or any milk you prefer)
- Orange Rosé Cake Soak
- Place a rack in the center of your oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9x13-inch rectangular pan with butter, or butter and flour a 10-cup (9- or 10-inch) Bundt pan, tapping out the excess.
- Place the beets in a high-powered blender or food processor with 1/2 cup sugar. Pulse a few times then blend into a puree (it will be a little grainy). Measure out 1 cup (there will be extra; save it to mix into a smoothie or even to flavor yogurt).
- In a large mixing bowl, stir together the all-purpose flour, white whole wheat pastry flour, baking powder, and salt. In a separate large bowl, cream 8 tablespoons butter, Greek yogurt, and remaining 1 cup sugar on medium speed until creamy, pale yellow, and evenly blended, about 2 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, beating until fully incorporated between each. Beat in the beet puree. The mixture will look curdled.
- Add one-third of the flour mixture to the beet mixture. Beat on low speed just until the flour disappears. In turns, beat in half of the milk, then the next one-third of the flour mixture, then the second half of the milk, then the remaining flour mixture. Stir gently, just until the batter evens out.
- Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Bake just until the middle of the cake is set (your fingers will leave only a small indentation when you press the cake), 40 to 45 minutes (the time is the same whether you bake the cake in a sheet pan or a Bundt pan). While the cake bakes, prepare the rosé cake soak.
- Let the baked cake cool 10 minutes, then pour half of the soak over the cake. Let sit at least 1 hour for the glaze to absorb. If using a Bundt pan, unmold it after 1 hour. If using a sheet pan, let cool completely in the pan.
- When ready to serve, drizzle the remaining soak over the cake. Let sit a few minutes to set. Enjoy!
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