Healthy cake recipe takes FST team into finals

Ershad Sheibani and Jordan Newkirk

Ershad Sheibani and Jordan Newkirk examine feedback from taste tests of their Red VelVEG cake.

The Food Science Product Development Team was selected as a 2013 finalist in The Knowledge Award competition, sponsored by DuPont Nutrition & Health, for its red velvet cake recipe.

Team leader Ershad Sheibani and members Allison Pisieczko, Ian Niblock, Jordan Newkirk, and Jian Wu developed Red VelVEG cake — a cake mix product that provides a full serving of vegetables. The students are all in the Department of Food Science and Technology.

The healthy cake mix comprises beet, carrot, and sweet potato powder. The frosting is made from nonfat cream cheese fortified with blueberry powder and chia seeds and supplemented with synbiotics — a combination of prebiotics and probiotics.

The idea for using beets in the cake was inspired by the team’s desire to use something other than red dye to give the cake its signature color, but the team took the nutrition component a step further after experimenting with recipe development.