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!
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! 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.
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!
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- Preheat oven to 350º F. Line two 12-cup muffin tins with paper liners.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, Truvia (or sugar), baking soda, salt and cocoa powder.
- Peel the cooled beets and place in a blender or food processor. Blend until pureed.
- 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.
- Bake in preheated oven for 15 – 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
- 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.
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