Perhaps the most commonly used substitute for red food coloring is beet juice. When baking red velvet cake, red beet juice and puree can be as a replacement for a few drops of red food dye to achieve that iconic rich ruby-red hue, and not to mention add a little twist on the classic flavor. Because beet juice isn’t completely flavorless, the overall flavor shifts to a more earthy tone, but in no way does this take away from the sweetness of a slice.
Avoiding the controversial health effects of artificial red food dye, using beet juice actually provides further health benefits, making red velvet cake a — dare I say — healthy choice. According to Medical News Today, beetroots contain a plethora of essential vitamins including, but not limited to, iron, calcium, magnesium, copper and zinc. Beetroot juice is also known to contain antioxidants, according to Medical News Today, which reduces oxidative stress in the body, known as an imbalance of free radicals within the body that in the longterm, which can lead to a development of cancer, heart disease and diabetes.