Red Velvet Pancakes with Maple Cream Cheese (Dye-Free)

I am genuinely intrigued by the wild popularity of “Red Velvet” sweets, but can never bring myself to consume something that calls for a whole bottle of food coloring.  Just cannot go there.  This version of pancakes uses a puree of beets and water, instead–and no, you cannot taste the beets in the finished dish.  I am not a huge fan of beets, and this is my new go-to recipe for the CSA beet surplus we are destined to deal with.

These are a nice red color when finished, but not as vivid as the food coloring would produce–you can also cut back on the cocoa to preserve more of the color of the beets, but I like a light chocolate flavor.  I consider the maple cream cheese essential, but of course these would also work with syrup.  Here is the recipe:

Red Velvet Pancakes with Maple Cream Cheese

1 cup cooked, chopped red beets
1 1/4 cup water
2 eggs
1 tablespoon maple syrup
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 1/2 tablespoons cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking powder
pinch of salt
1 1/2 cups flour
8 ounces light cream cheese, at room temperature
1/3 cup maple syrup (I like the darker, grade B for the flavor)

Place the beets and water in a blender and puree until totally smooth.  Pour the puree into a medium mixing bowl.  Whisk in the eggs, tablespoon of maple syrup, and vanilla.

Sift together the cocoa powder, baking powder, salt, and flour, and stir the mixture into the wet ingredients.  If the batter seems too thick, add a little more water.

Heat an oiled skillet over medium-high heat, and cook 1/3 cup measures of the batter until golden on both sides.  Makes about ten pancakes.

For the maple cream cheese: use a fork to whisk together the cream cheese and maple syrup until fully blended.

Thanks for reading,
-Angela
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6 Responses to Red Velvet Pancakes with Maple Cream Cheese (Dye-Free)

  1. Karen Harris April 11, 2011 at 12:29 am #

    Girl I hear you on that red food coloring, but I've been known to bend the rules myself for a red velvet cake. These pancakes just look delicious. I went to a cooking class a year or two ago and they made a roasted beet salad with goat's cheese dressing that was really great just in case you have a bumper crop of them delivered to you this summer.

  2. Dan April 11, 2011 at 1:12 am #

    That's awesome!

  3. Angela FRS April 11, 2011 at 2:00 am #

    I like beets but in small amounts–I guess I have a low beet threshold…a nice roasted beet salad with goat cheese sounds pretty amazing, however.

    Thanks Dan!

  4. Jill@MadAboutMacarons April 11, 2011 at 4:58 pm #

    I am totally with you! Adore it. I've done chocolate beetroot in fondant cake and macarons but never even thought of pancakes. AND with glorious maple must be devine. They look just beautiful!

  5. Angie's Recipes April 15, 2011 at 5:48 pm #

    I like beets in the baking goods too. Lovely natural purple…

  6. Lorie May 1, 2011 at 7:48 pm #

    I'm from the South and they are red velvet crazy here. I love the idea of these pancakes with maple cream cheese, since cream cheese is pretty standard on a red velvet cake.

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