Red Velvet Beet Cupcakes
The nutrient-dense sweet treat you need to try
Valentine’s Day is traditionally filled with sweets, chocolate and baked goods—but who said it can’t be healthy too? These red velvet cupcakes are baked with a secret nutritious ingredient: beets. Surprisingly, their taste doesn’t overpower. In fact, in Brittyn Howard’s newest recipe, you won’t be able to taste them at all! These cupcakes, seasoned with cacao powder and vanilla extract, are paired with a delicious pink, dairy-free cream-cheese icing (with natural coloring from beets). So grab your whisk and oven mitts, and let’s get to baking!
Valentine’s Day Red Velvet Beet Cupcakes
Serves: 12 cupcakes
(Nutrition facts do not include icing.)
● 2-3 medium beets, roasted
● 1 cup unsweetened almond milk (or nut milk of choice)
● 3/4 cup raw sugar
● 1/4 cup melted coconut oil
● 1 cup gluten-free flour
● 1/2 cup cacao powder (or cocoa)
● 2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
● 1 tsp. baking soda
● 1 tsp. baking powder
● pinch of sea salt
● Serving Size: 1 cupcake
● Calories: 140
● Carbohydrates: 23g
● Fat: 6g
● Fiber: 3g
● Protein: 2g
1. Preheat oven to 375º F.
2. Cut off the stems and roots from the beets. Wash and scrub beets under warm water with vegetable wash. Dry and wrap in foil to roast for 60 minutes, or until tender. Place a cookie sheet on the bottom rack to catch any liquid.
3. Once beets are roasted, unwrap and place in a bowl in the refrigerator to cool. Do not drain any of the liquid. You’ll use it in the icing!
4. Once beets are cooled, add beets only (set aside any collected beet juice) to high-speed blender and puree. Add water if needed to aid mixing. Once pureed, measure out 1/2 cup.
5. Add all wet ingredients (almond milk, melted coconut oil, 1/2 cup beets and vanilla extract) and whisk until thoroughly mixed.
6. In another bowl, mix gluten-free flour, cacao powder and baking powder together. Sift the dry mix into the wet ingredients and add a pinch of salt. Use a hand mixer to blend ingredients until completely blended.
7. Pour batter into a 3×4 (12 muffin) pan and place in oven for 21-24 minutes or until completely cooked. Insert a toothpick or fork in center of a muffin to ensure they are finished. While cupcakes are baking, prepare the icing.
● 1 cup vegan cream cheese
● 3-4 cups powdered sugar
● 1-2 tsp. beet juice
8. Place cream cheese in large mixing bowl and beat with a hand blender until whipped. Sift 1 cup of powdered sugar to cream cheese at a time and use the hand mixer to mix. Continue to desired sweetness. Add beet juice and mix. Leave in the refrigerator until ready to use.
9. Once removed from the oven, let cupcakes cool in the muffin tin until cool enough to remove—about 10 minutes. Transfer to cooling rack to finish cooling.
10. Once completely cooled, ice with cream cheese icing. If you don’t have an icing bag, you can place icing in a plastic baggie and snip off a small part of one of the corners to use as a makeshift icing bag. Or simply ice with a butter knife.
11. Store cupcakes in the refrigerator for up to five days. Enjoy!
Photo by Brittyn Howard/Brittynhoward.com
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Brittyn Howard, MS, RDN/LD is a registered dietitian nutritionist based in Oklahoma City, OK. She is the creator and food photographer behind Local Roots Dietitian, a plant-based, gluten-free blog that advocates for local, organic, and whole foods. She also practices as an outpatient pediatric dietitian for children with developmental disabilities, namely autism spectrum disorder.