10 Feb Rosemary & Honey Cake with Beet-Dyed Cream Cheese Icing

Rosemary & Honey Cake with Beet-Dyed Cream Cheese Icing // butterlustblog.com

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.

Rosemary & Honey Cake with Beet-Dyed Cream Cheese Icing // butterlustblog.comRosemary & Honey Cake with Beet-Dyed Cream Cheese Icing // butterlustblog.comRosemary & Honey Cake with Beet-Dyed Cream Cheese Icing // butterlustblog.com

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.

Rosemary & Honey Cake with Beet-Dyed Cream Cheese Icing // butterlustblog.comRosemary & Honey Cake with Beet-Dyed Cream Cheese Icing // butterlustblog.com

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!

Rosemary & Honey Cake with Beet-Dyed Cream Cheese Icing // butterlustblog.com Rosemary & Honey Cake with Beet-Dyed Cream Cheese Icing // butterlustblog.comRosemary & Honey Cake with Beet-Dyed Cream Cheese Icing // butterlustblog.com

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)

XO, Katie

Rosemary & Honey Cake with Beet-Dyed Cream Cheese Icing // butterlustblog.com

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

Rosemary & Honey Cake with Beet-Dyed Cream Cheese Icing

Makes: 1 single-layer cake

8-12 slices


    For the cake:
  • 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
  • For the frosting:
  • 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


    For the cake:
  • 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.
  • For the 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.
  • Michelle @ Hummingbird High
    Posted at 11:25h, 10 February Reply

    omg, the colors of this cake are simply stunning! I love working with beets for dessert — it’s really hard to match that vibrant pink using artificial dyes, and beets make it taste much, much better.

    Also congrats on all your life news!!! So exciting!

    • KWahlman
      Posted at 12:36h, 10 February Reply

      Right?! I can’t get enough of that vibrant hot pink! <3 beets <3 And ugh, LIFE. So fun but SO tiring. 🙂 Have a great Valentine's Day, Michelle!

  • Alexandra
    Posted at 12:26h, 10 February Reply

    I absolutely love the new look for the website! This recipe looks incredible and I can’t wait to try it out. Just one question though, where you write “3/4 cup + 2 tables plus 1 tablespoon separated”- is that the amount of honey needed. I don’t see honey anywhere else in the recipe so I’m just guessing that there is a slight typo there. Thanks so much!

    • KWahlman
      Posted at 12:35h, 10 February Reply

      Thank you, Alexandra and great catch! Something got messed up in between typing up the recipe and publishing it, but it should be fixed now! XO

  • cynthia
    Posted at 13:11h, 10 February Reply

    Oh my gosh, you have SO MUCH going on!!! I know exactly how you feel — knowing that you should be totally jazzed and yet just feeling so. tired. haha. But I’m SO SO excited for you and all these amazing things coming your way!! First, this design is A. MAZING, second, yay for columns and more Butterlust goodness around the Internet (we want all we can get!!), yay for Steve moving in, bridesmaid fun, and most of all this stuuunning stunning cake! That color is unbelievable, and it looks so perfectly moist. Perfection. Happy Valentine’s Day, lady!!!
    cynthia recently posted…Miniature almond dorayaki.My Profile

    • KWahlman
      Posted at 18:51h, 10 February Reply

      SO SO MUCH! But all so exciting! Happy Valentine’s Day to you too, hoping you and B2 have a perfect one! 🙂 XO

  • Abby
    Posted at 15:52h, 10 February Reply

    Katie, your 2015 sounds amazing!! I’m so excited for everything you’re going to be doing over the next few months. Looking forward to following and hearing more about your adventures. xx
    Abby recently posted…my absolute favorite sweet treats & desserts (featuring a mini recipe for chocolate bark)My Profile

    • KWahlman
      Posted at 17:46h, 10 February Reply

      It’s going to be a BIG year, for sure. Not even year, just 4 months…by June I’ll finally be able to just chill. *knock on wood* 🙂 XO

  • Rachael | Spache the Spatula
    Posted at 16:57h, 10 February Reply

    This is so unbelievably adorable and gorgeous all at once!

    And I just LOVE your new blog look!!

    AND I’m so jealous of your European vacation!!!

    -Whew- That was a lot of stuff that required lots of exclamation points! Haha
    Rachael | Spache the Spatula recently posted…Raspberry Red Velvet Protein ShakesMy Profile

  • Thalia @ butter and brioche
    Posted at 02:13h, 11 February Reply

    This cake is incredible Katie! Think I definitely am guilty of re-pinning the images too many times. Love your fabulous new blog design too!
    Thalia @ butter and brioche recently posted…Crystallized White Rose CakeMy Profile

    • KWahlman
      Posted at 09:12h, 11 February Reply

      AW, thanks Thalia! Keep on pinning! 🙂

  • Amanda @ Cookie Named Desire
    Posted at 17:52h, 11 February Reply

    Oh my gosh, you have SO much going on!! It would make my head spin, but in a good way because it’s all happy things! I’m so jealous of your vacation. I miss being in Europe so much. But oh, this cake is perfect! I love the flavors and that beautiful color from the beets. Imma have to eat about four slices. Maybe (definitely) more.
    Amanda @ Cookie Named Desire recently posted…Blood Orange Crème BrûléeMy Profile

  • June Burns
    Posted at 19:41h, 12 February Reply

    This is so cool! Rosemary is so great in cakes like this, always adds something really magical to the dessert 🙂 Love the beet color too!

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    Posted at 06:23h, 14 February Reply

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  • molly yeh
    Posted at 15:13h, 14 February Reply

    rosemary, that pretty pink frosting, MARZIPAN HEARTS. ok this cake has my heart, not pun intended. gorgeous!!!
    molly yeh recently posted…fairy toast, three waysMy Profile

    • KWahlman
      Posted at 10:26h, 16 February Reply

      Thank you, Molly! The marzipan hearts were 100% inspired by the cute little squirrel you posts a couple weeks bacK! XO

  • Liz @ Floating Kitchen
    Posted at 22:09h, 14 February Reply

    Dang girl, you got a lot going on! I hope you took a little time to enjoy this cake. It looks fabulous! Love the little heart garnishes! Happy Valentine’s Day!
    Liz @ Floating Kitchen recently posted…Stout Hot Chocolate with Ice CreamMy Profile

  • Kelsi | Savour the Sweet
    Posted at 11:38h, 15 February Reply

    I love rosemary in cake. Anything, really, but especically cake. And beet dyed icing! I just recently made a baby shower cake for my friend with a beet-dyed goat cheese frosting. It’s the perfect natural dye! Plus, as Michelle mentioned, added flavour! Bonus.
    Gorgeous web design as well 🙂

    • KWahlman
      Posted at 10:28h, 16 February Reply

      Omgosh beet-dying everything is my new obsession, I can’t get over how beautiful the color is! Thanks for the kind words, Kelsi!

  • LoveCompassionateLee
    Posted at 16:25h, 18 February Reply

    It may be 4 days after V-Day, but I’ll still celebrate love by enjoying this cake 🙂 I wouldn’t mind the weeks going by faster if I had a European vacation coming up in April. How exciting! Happy Wednesday, Katie 🙂

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  • Aysegul
    Posted at 13:26h, 03 March Reply

    Oh wow.. where to start? 1- this cake is genius. Love love love the beet-dyed cream cheese frosting. 2- I am originally from Turkey (though I spent most of my life in the US). You will love Istanbul. Make sure to take your camera with you. I have never been to Prague but I know that it is gorgeous. Enjoy your trip..3. It is probably over by now, but good luck with your bf moving.
    Aysegul recently posted…Plum GaletteMy Profile

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