10 Feb Rosemary & Honey Cake with Beet-Dyed Cream Cheese Icing
And just like *that*, we’re almost half way through February. Is it just me or is 2015 moving at a million miles per hour?!
To say things have been hectic around here is an understatement. Between my day job, Butterlust (Do you love the new design as much as I do?! Tell me what you think!) and my social life — which includes setting aside time to spend with my very, very patient parents. Hi Mom! — I feel like I’m constantly switched ON. I’d like to say that there is rest in sight for this weary soul, but alas, there is none.
Two of my favorite people are getting married this Spring, which means that between now and May my weekends are jam-packed with bridal showers, bachelorette parties, the actual weddings of course, and all of the baking/crafting/planning/shopping/Pinning that comes with bridesmaid territory. On top of that, I’ve drafted out a pretty aggressive posting schedule for this space (which let’s be honest, I’m already behind on BUT I’m going to try super super hard to stick to it in the coming months), not to mention I’ve taken on a new column with the fabulous Camille Styles in addition to my monthly contribution to Lark & Linen. Oh, and as I mentioned in my last post, Steve and I are planning an April vacation to Istanbul, Prague and Budapest. PLUS — yeah, there’s more!– Steve is moving into my 564 square foot condo (!!!!), which requires a huge reorganization effort of [what was previously] my space, not to mention some serious emotional preparation for this gal who is now going to have to share everything. <– only child panic
Is your head spinning from reading that?! Mine is. I’m also a little short of breath, because y’all, shit CRAY.
As I sit here and type out these things, these quasi-complaints, I’m thinking to myself Snap out of it, Katie! Your life sounds pretty freakin’ awesome! And it is. And I know that. And I refuse to take any of it for granted. But damn, y’all, I’m tired!
I know how crazy lucky I am that while I may be pooped, it’s exhaustion in the best possible way. I’m eternally grateful for all of the smart, talented, beautiful women I have the honor of calling my best friends, and who I get to stand beside on their wedding days – most likely bawling my eyes out and stuffing the crumpled up tissue into the bra of my tulle bridesmaid dress. (I’ll also be avoiding the photographer, at all costs.)
Plus, Steve. I mean, the guys a saint. He’s moving into my teeny tiny space (do I have to start saying our space?) because I refuse to move out of it, and he’s agreed to indulge my wanderlust by following me all over eastern Europe for two and a half weeks in April. EUROPEAN VACATION. IN APRIL. I’M SO PUMPED!!! How am I supposed to think about any of the other 752 things I need to do between now and then, when a vacation of the most epic proportions is on the horizon!? The Istanbul/Turkey plans are covered because we’re going with a good friend who grew up there, but if you guys have any pointers for Prague and/or Budapest, I’m all ears. We can use some serious help with planning, so throw ‘em my way!
Anyway, thanks for listening, but let’s rewind a bit, back to the present. Valentine’s Day! Do you love or hate it? I feel like it’s kind of a polarizing holiday, for obvious reasons I suppose, but whether you’re planning on getting smooshy with your sweetie or practicing the single ladies dance with your girls, both are perfect excuses for eating cake. And though I’ve never been a super fan of all the cheesy teddy bears and baby’s breath accented bouquets, any excuse to flood my Instagram with hearts and pink desserts is A-OKAY with me, so I’m hopping on the smooshy, smooshy-cake-loving train. Let’s pretend you are too, because this Rosemary & Honey Cake? It’s the bee’s knees.
It’s one simple, perfect layer of rich, golden honey & rosemary infused cake, topped with the purrrrtiest beet-dyed cream cheese frosting I’ve ever laid eyes on. It’s fluffy, it’s moist, it was devoured in about 2.5 hours by four bored Super Bowl half-watchers (#hereforthecommercials) plus two honey-loving Turkish dudes.
Oh, and let’s talk about the naturally-dyed icing for a moment — pure perfection. For years I’ve avoided using artificial pink and red food dyes because I find that they tend to have a chemically aftertaste. Problem solved! I admit, I was worried the beets would impart a dirt-ish flavor, but the tang of the cream cheese is potent enough to mask any beet-y notes, resulting in a beautiful, hot pink frosting that adds the perfect tart contrast to the earthiness that the rosemary imparts in the cake.
I guess you could say, I’m a converted beet-liever. (hehe)
A Few Notes About This Recipe:
To make the beet puree, wrap half a beet in foil and roast in a 400F degree oven for 40-45 minutes or until it can easily be pierced with a fork. Let cool enough to handle, then peel under running cold water. The skin will slip off easily as you rub it with your fingers. Place the beets in a blender or food process and blend until pureed. You may need to add a few teaspoons of water to help the puree along, as I did. If this is the case, you can place the puree on the stove in a small saucepan and cook of some of the extra liquid to prevent runny icing, though this step is completely optional. Depending on the size your beet, this method should yield 4-5 tablespoons of beet puree.
If you don’t have yogurt on hand, you can substitute 3/4 cup of buttermilk for and equally tangy, fluffy cake.
Adapted from Vintage Cakes
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons butter, room temperature
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1/3 cup + 2 tablespoons honey, separated
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 2 eggs + 1 egg yolk, room temperature
- 9 tablespoons full fat greek yogurt, room temperature
- 3 tablespoons milk, room temperature
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh rosemary
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- 2-3 tablespoons beet puree (see notes)
- 8 oz. package cream cheese, room temperature
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- Marzipan for cutting into heart shapes, if desired
- Preheat oven to 350F. Grease a 9-inch springform pan and line the bottom with parchment paper.
- In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, and salt then whisk to ensure the ingredients are well mixed.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, combine the butter, sugar, 1/3 cup honey and vanilla on low speed until well blended, then increase the speed to high and cream until like and fluffy, about 5-7 minutes, stopping to scrape the sides of the bowl once or twice during the process. Add the eggs and egg yolk one at a time, mixing well in between each addition. Add the lemon zest and rosemary and mix until well combined.
- In a small bowl, mix together the greek yogurt and milk.
- With the mixer on low, add the flour mixture in three parts, alternating with the yogurt mixture in two parts, beginning and ending with the flour. You should mix in the flour until just barely combined, making sure not to overmix. Stop the mixer before the last third of flour has been incorporated and complete the blending by hand with a runner spatula to ensure you do not overbeat the batter. The batter will be thick.
- Spread the batter into the prepared pan, then firmly hit it against the counter a few times to release any air bubbles.
- Place pan on the center rack of the oven and bake for 45 minutes, checking for doneness at about the 40 minute mark. The cake with be deep golden and firm on top. Remove from the oven and let cool.
- When the cake is cool, use a fork to poke holes all over the top of the cake and brush with the remaining 2 tablespoons of honey. While the honey is soaking in, make the beet frosting.
- To make the frosting, cream the cream cheese for 1-2 minutes in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment. Add in 2 tablespoons of the beet puree and mix until well combined. At this point, if the color is deep enough add the powdered sugar and blend for another 1 - 2 minutes until creamy. For a deeper color, add the remaining puree before incorporating the powdered sugar.
- To assemble, frost the top of the cake with and garnish with marzipan hearts and sprinkles. This cake will keep 3-4 days stored in an airtight container at room temperature.