Last Updated on April 27, 2021 by laurenpacek
These Beet Red Velvet Cupcakes are moist and a little chocolatey, just like any good red velvet cupcake should be. AND they're 100% food coloring-free! Their gorgeous red hue comes from the addition of cooked beets. But don't worry - you can't taste the beets!
I have to get this out of the way: I am generally not a big fan of red velvet. I know, I know.
Sure it's really pretty, and is super moist. But it's this like, vaguely chocolatey cake that's usually made with a TON of food coloring. What gives?
There's even a scene about it on an old season of Orange is the New Black. Remember?
Red velvet IS bullshit. EXCEPT when it's made without a ton of food coloring. Like these cupcakes right here.
Plus beets are the best. I love them in a way that if they weren't a vegetable would maybe be considered unhealthy.
Though it may seem a little daunting, these cupcakes are actually very easy to make. Microwave some beets, chop 'em up, and toss 'em in a blender/food processor. Blitz them with wet ingredients, add them to the dry, and mix. Bake. Frost. Voila!
The red/white color combo makes these cupcakes an easy choice for Valentine's Day or Christmas. But make them whenever you're in the mood for a pretty, sweet treat!
For the cupcakes
- 10 oz (by weight) fresh red beets, peeled
- 1 lemon, juiced
- ¾ cup canola or vegetable oil
- ¾ cup buttermilk
- 4 eggs
- 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
- 3 tbs unsweetened cocoa powder, see note
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 2 tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp baking soda
For the cream cheese frosting
- 8 oz cream cheese, softened
- 16 tbs unsalted butter, softened
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- ¼ tsp kosher salt
- 4 cups powdered sugar
To make the cupcakes
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line two 12-cup muffin tins with paper liners. Set aside.
- Wrap the beets in parchment paper. Microwave on high until they are tender (about 8 to 10 minutes). Allow the beets to cool, still wrapped in the paper, until they are just warm to the touch.
- Coarsely chop the beets. Add them, along with the lemon juice, to a food processor. Process until they are finely chopped. Stop and scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.
- Add the oil and buttermilk and process until smooth. Add the eggs and process until completely combined.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder, salt, and baking soda. Add the beet mixture, and whisk until just combined.
- Using an ice-cream scoop, fill the prepared cupcake liners two-thirds full with batter.
- Bake 15-18 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Allow the cupcakes to cool in the pans on wire racks for about 5 minutes. Remove the cupcakes from the pans to the racks, and allow them to cool completely.
To make the frosting
- Combine the softened cream cheese and butter in the bowl of a stand mixer. Beat until creamy and well-combined.
- Add the vanilla extract and kosher salt. Beat again until combined.
- Gradually add the powdered sugar on low speed until it is completely combined. Beat on medium-high speed for a few minutes to really whip things up.
- Frost the cooled cupcakes.
Notes: Do not use dark cocoa powder. It will really mask the red color that the beets impart.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 24 Serving Size: 1 grams
Amount Per Serving: Unsaturated Fat: 0g