Hot pink cheeseburgers (the Barbie burger)

Here's a burger that Ken would make for Barbie. Or maybe Barbie would cook these for Ken? I'm not sure if Skipper is old enough to cook yet, but either way, these are the pinkest burgers you can make!
Instructions for 1 burger, with extra buns and cheese for at least 5 additional burgers
schedule 35 minutes
schedule 40 minutes
schedule 3 hours and 15 minutes


Hot pink burger buns
  • 280 grams all-purpose flour (2 1/4 cups)
  • 17 grams granulated sugar (1 tablespoon)
  • 8 grams salt (1 teaspoon)
  • 6 grams instant yeast (2 teaspoons)
  • 38 grams butter, room temperature (3 tablespoons)
  • 175 grams beet juice (or a beet juice blend - 3/4 cup)
  • sesame seeds (optional)
Hot pink cheese slices
  • 7 to 8 ounces Monterey jack, shredded
  • 7 to 8 ounces white cheddar, shredded
  • 14 grams sodium citrate (a heaping tablespoon - see notes below for links to order)
  • 12 cup beet juice, or a blend of beet and other juices
Cheeseburger cooking and assembly
  • 13 pound ground beef
  • 1 hot pink bun (from above)
  • 1 slice of hot pink cheese (from above)
  • condiments of your choice
  • lettuce, pickles and tomato (all optional)


Hot pink burger buns: in a large bowl or the bowl of your mixer, weigh out and add your all-purpose flour, sugar, salt, and instant yeast and stir to combine all your dry ingredients making sure there are no clumps. 

Add the butter and the beet juice to the dry ingredients. 

If using a stand mixer, knead for 8 minutes on medium speed. If you are kneading by hand, you will need about 15 minutes of kneading after all the ingredients are incorporated together. 

The dough should be smooth and a little bit sticky. 

Place your pink dough in a lightly oiled bowl and cover. Let dough rise in a warm place for 1 to 1.5 hours. The dough should be doubled in size. 

Remove dough from bowl to a lightly oiled counter and divide into 6 pieces. I like to weigh my buns at this point to keep them all fairly consistently sized, and I usually get 6 buns that are all between 85 and 90 grams each. 

Roll each of your six pieces of dough on the counter until you have 6 balls. 

Add each ball to a parchment-lined sheet pan. 

Press down the top of each ball with a lightly oiled hand or the lightly oiled bottom of a mixing cup or small pan. If you want very tall and round buns, don't flatten them at all. If you want medium-height but still rounded buns press down only a little. If you want flat buns as you see in fast food restaurants, you should flatten each one fairly flat. 

Cover your buns with lightly greased plastic wrap or a second sheet pan flipped over on top of the pan you're using. 

Let the shaped buns rise for another hour or hour and a half until they are nearly doubled in size.

Near the end of your final proofing time, preheat your oven to 350 degrees F (177 C). 

If you want to add sesame seeds, put a little water in a bowl and paint it carefully on top of each bun. Sprinkle the sesame seeds on top of the buns and the water should help the seeds stick to the top. 

Bake your buns for 12 to 14 minutes rotating the sheet pan halfway through the baking time. I typically bake for 7 minutes and then rotate and come back in another 5 minutes to make sure they aren't browning. At that point your buns should be done all the way through, you're just trying to make sure they stay pink and do not turn brown. 

Remove the buns to a cooling rack to cool before slicing. 

Hot pink cheese: add a greased or silpat lined sheet pan to your oven on its lowest setting. Mine is 150 F.

Add beet juice to a medium-sized pot and bring to a simmer. 

Add sodium citrate and stir to combine.

Slowly add all the shredded cheese, stopping to stir the cheese into the sauce after every handful. Once all the cheese is added, using an immersion blender, blend the sauce to a smooth consistency. If you do not have an immersion blender, you can pour the sauce into a regular blender or food processor. Be very careful doing this because the sauce will be very hot.

Once the sauce is blended, carefully pour the sauce over the warm sheet pan and shake the sheet pan to allow the sauce to spread out. You may need a knife or offset spatula for this. Once the sauce is in a consistently thin layer, cover the sheet pan in plastic wrap and move to a refrigerator to cool.

Once the cheese is fully cool, you can carefully remove it from the sheet pan and slice the cheese into 3.5-inch squares or whatever shapes you desire. To store the cheese, place a piece of parchment or wax paper between each slice and store it in the refrigerator for up to three weeks.

Cheeseburger cooking and assembly: place a medium skillet or griddle over medium-high heat. 

Butter and add your sliced buns face down on the warm pan or griddle to lightly toast them. Keep an eye on them to make sure you do not brown them too much.

Form a third pound of ground beef into a thin patty (about a 3/4-inch thick) that is a little bit wider than one of your buns (or as close as you can get). Salt and pepper the ground beef patty and place the seasoned side down in the hot pan. Season the second side and allow the patty to cook, untouched, for 3 to 5 minutes.

Flip the patty and add a slice of hot pink cheese to the top of the patty. Cover the pan to help the cheese melt and cook the second side for at least 2 minutes. If you're worried about undercooking the burger, cook the second side for an additional 2 to 3 minutes.

Remove the patty to a plate while you assemble the rest of your burger.

Add any condiments to the bottom bun and top the condiments with lettuce if using.

Add the pink-cheese-topped burger patty on top of the stack and then add pickles (if using). Add additional condiments to the top bun and use it to cover everything, completing the burger.

Serve and enjoy.

Have you made this recipe? Tag @beerinator and let him know!


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