Red Velvet Beet Cupcakes

Red Velvet Cupcakes with a secret ingredient – BEETS! They are moist, decadent and a bit healthier, too!Red Velvet Cupcakes with a secret ingredient - BEETS! They are moist, decadent and a bit healthier, too!It’s Mystery Dish time again! I LOVE this challenge! Every month I get a list of ingredients and I have to make something yummy using at least two of them. Some months I look at the list and I immediately know what I want to make and other months, I struggle. This month was a struggle month.

Allie from Baking a Moment was this month’s creator and she choose some amazing ingredients for January: Champagne, Strawberries, Oranges, Beets, Filet Mignon, Lobster, Cream, Chocolate, Rosewater, Rice. An awesome list but for some reason, I just couldn’t get creative with it!

Red Velvet Cupcakes with a secret ingredient - BEETS! They are moist, decadent and a bit healthier, too!I tried to put together a few dishes and they were all flops. It was pretty discouraging, but I kept on. Then I saw a recipe in The Chew cookbook for Red Velvet Cake using roasted beets instead of most of the food coloring, and it got my brain stewing.

And then I get a Birthday package from my sister, Nicole and it included a darling light pink cupcake stand, and I instantly knew that I wanted to make Red Velvet Beet Cupcakes!

I love beets. My husband and I are weirdos and like to buy cans of sliced beets and eat them cold, straight from the can. But I’m going to be honest, I’ve never bought a fresh beet before, let alone roasted one. But it turned out to be super easy!Red Velvet Cupcakes with a secret ingredient - BEETS! They are moist, decadent and a bit healthier, too!My mom has an amazing red velvet cake recipe that like most red velvet recipes, uses a LOT of red food coloring. 2 ounces of red food coloring, to be exact. That’s FOUR tablespoons!!

This recipe has only one tablespoon and the rest is natural from the pureed roasted beets. Red coloring in food has been linked to hyperactivity in children and other health issues, so in my opinion, it’s best to stay away as much as possible from it.

Red Velvet Cupcakes with a secret ingredient - BEETS! They are moist, decadent and a bit healthier, too!Don’t be frightened away by the beets in these, though! They don’t taste like beets – especially with frosting on the top! My mom was in town this last weekend and I had her try one without any frosting. She ate it and had NO CLUE they had beets in them!

Red Velvet Cupcakes with a secret ingredient - BEETS! They are moist, decadent and a bit healthier, too!And don’t you agree that there’s just something awesome about red velvet? Red is the color of passion and love, making these the perfect treat for your Valentine!
Red Velvet Cupcakes with a secret ingredient - BEETS! They are moist, decadent and a bit healthier, too!

Red Velvet Beet Cupcakes
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Red Velvet Cupcakes with a secret ingredient - roasted BEETS! They are moist, decadent and a bit healthier, too!
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 18-24 cupcakes
  • 2 large beets
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 2½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup Truvia sweetener (or 1½ cups granulated sugar)
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ½ cup coconut oil, melted
  • ¾ cup low-fat buttermilk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 Tbsp. red food coloring
  • 1 tsp. white vinegar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • your favorite cream cheese or vanilla frosting recipe
  • chocolate shavings
  1. Preheat oven to 400º F. Slice off beet leaves close to the stem and scrub the beets clean. Place each beet on a large square of foil and sprinkle with the salt, olive oil and a splash of water. Wrap each beet loosely with the foil.
  2. Place foil-wrapped beets on a baking sheet and roast until a knife or fork comes out with ease when inserted into the beet, about 30 minutes or so (smaller beets will cook quicker than large beets so it really depends). Remove the beets and set aside to cool just enough to handle.
  3. Preheat oven to 350º F. Line two 12-cup muffin tins with paper liners.
  4. In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, Truvia (or sugar), baking soda, salt and cocoa powder.
  5. Peel the cooled beets and place in a blender or food processor. Blend until pureed.
  6. Add coconut oil, buttermilk, eggs, food coloring, vinegar and vanilla to the beet puree and blend. In two parts, mix the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, until just combined. Do not over mix. Scoop batter into lined cupcake tins, filling about ⅔ full.
  7. Bake in preheated oven for 15 - 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
  8. Let cool and then frost with your favorite frosting (I used a store-bought sugar-free kind). Top with chocolate shavings. Enjoy! Keep leftovers in an airtight container.
Adapted from The Chew cookbook's Red Velvet Cake

Check out what my Mystery Dish friends made this month:January Mystery Dish

1. Carmelitas by Pass the Cocoa
2. Strawberry Champagne Cupcake Trifles by The Dessert Chronicles
3. Strawberry Orange Stuffed French Toast by I Dig Pinterest
4. Strawberry Orange Ice Cream with Chocolate Chips by Joyful Healthy Eats
5. Chocolate Strawberry Pudding by See Hubby Cook
6. Chocolate Doughnuts with Strawberry Cream Cheese Icing by Chez CateyLou
7. Champorado (Filipino Chocolate Rice Pudding) by The Pajama Chef
8. Whole Wheat Orange Scones with Vanilla Cream Glaze by The Well Floured Kitchen
9. Chocolate-Filled Cream Puffs with Strawberry Sauce by Culinary Couture
10. Red Velvet Beet Cupcakes by Yummy Healthy Easy
11. Chocolate Covered Strawberry Milkshake by I Want Crazy
12. Strawberry Rose Chocolate Verrines by Baking a Moment


  1. 2


    I don’t like using food coloring, and red velvet is about the only place I do. This is a great option, and your cupcakes are perfect, Jen!

  2. 3


    Yum! I’m glad you made these! We considered doing so too but to be honest…we’re not big fans of red velvet over here. Not sure why, we LOVE chocolate in every form. Maybe the food dye has been messing with the flavor too much? Must try these and see if they solve our red velvet conundrum. Bless you for being a beet lover and giving sweet tooth people everywhere a reason to say, “But these ARE healthy! It has vegetables in it!”

  3. 5


    This month was a struggle for me too girl. I was all excited about this beet ice cream i was going to make, made it, and it turned out to be a major flop. Super sad about it because, like you, I love beets. My mom use to can them when we were little. :)

    This cupcake sounds soo awesome. I have 2 more beets left in my frig, I see this red velvet cupcake in my future. LOVE IT Jen. Your so creative. Beautiful pics too! Pinned!

  4. 6


    I love that you used beets! I think you were the only one…? I love beets too, pickled beets, Harvard beets, roasted beets, you name it. And I’ve actually made a very similar cupcake recipe from Sophistimom- it’s fabulous! Hers has no food coloring at all and you’d never know there were beets. Even my beet-hating hubby couldn’t tell! Yours are absolutely gorgeous- your photos are stunning!

  5. 7


    These look delicious! I actually made red velvet brownies last week from a recipe in Runner’s World. They were delicious, so I am very interested in these!

  6. 8


    What gorgeous cupcakes, Jen! You did such a beautiful job on the photos. I really want to try these! I have never bought a beet either, but this is a perfect excuse. I don’t like red velvet with all the red dye, so these sound way better to me!

  7. 13

    Crystal says

    I can’t wait to try these. They look amazing!! My family is all trying to eat healthy and lose weight. I’m going to make these for Valentine’s Day dessert. Now we can have a healthy dessert. Thanks so much!

  8. 15


    These cupcakes look amazing! I would have never thought to add in beets! I’ve never cooked with whole beets before either. You make it sound so easy. Thanks for sharing these! I’d love for you to link them up to our All Things Thursday Blog Hop when you get a chance. Have a great weekend!

  9. 22


    awesome looking cupcakes! i made a red velvet cake with beets in it. it ended up being a little heavy/mushy inside…still edible, but not as picturesque. next time i’ll try your cupcake version–looks wonderful!

    • 23


      Thanks Sarah!! I was shocked at how the beets didn’t change the texture on these cupcakes. Did you roast your beets beforehand?

  10. 26

    reann says

    I’m right in the middle of making your cupcakes, and I just realized I don’t have truvia or enough white sugar, I have splenda though. Can I use that? How much? Thanks!

    • 27


      Hi Reann! I’m just now reading this, I’m not sure if you’re still making the cupcakes or not, but here’s a conversion chart from Splenda that you can use depending on what type of Splenda it is (they have a baking blend, brown sugar kind, or the basic sugar substitute) Splenda should be fine in the cupcakes although I’ve never tried it. Let me know how it goes!

  11. 28

    ron says

    Well…, I liked these red velvet cupcakes using beets, but my family instantly did not. They tasted the “dirt” right off, and though I could too, for some reason I actually liked that taste – strange. Unfortunately, I won’t be able to make these again for just me. Also, my batch did not retain the red color as show in the photo though the batter was a bright red. They came out brown, but still very moist. Oh well, time to find another recipe where the “dirt” can be disguised I guess.


  1. […] Red Velvet Beet Cupcakes – These totally threw me for a loop but my sister in law writes this blog and she is crazy talented and they HAVE to be delicious! I can’t wait to try them! Then I can say I got my kids to eat beets!!!  […]

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