Remember when I was so so sad that I couldn’t eat the gorgeous Red Velvet Cake that Lon made (because I’m allergic to artificial food coloring)? Well, I still can’t eat Red Velvet Cake, but I’m still researching into a way to make it red without artificial food coloring. King Arthur is now selling some natural food coloring and one of them is red/pink, but the reviews warn that it’s only able to do pink, so it probably won’t be able to over-power the brown of the chocolate. There was some talk of beets, perhaps the original Red Velvet Cake (many different theories), but they seem to loose their color when cooked or mixed with baking powder or baking soda. So, no solution for making me a good Red Velvet Cake yet, but this beautiful Beet Cake at Straight From the Farm inspired me to make Beet Chocolate Cupcakes.

Beet Chocolate Cupcake on B&W napkin 2

The cake part just looks like chocolate cake and to most will taste like chocolate cake, but it is the moistest cupcake you will ever taste! It feels like soft cake when you bite in but then it just melts away. The frosting will be a bubble gum pink, colored with beet powder (available at Kalustyan’s or on-line), but will taste like the forever lovable, creamy cream cheese frosting. Only two people I know were able to guess what the secret ingredient was and every single person that tasted it LOVED it.

It gets even better. Beets are good sources of iron, potassium, niacin, calcium and lots of vitamin A and C. This might be a good way to sneak it in for the little ones…or the big baby.

Beet Chocolate Cupcakes

Beet Chocolate Cupcakes
~24 cupcakes

  • 3 ounces dark chocolate
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened, divided
  • 1 1/2 cups packed light brown sugar
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • scant 2 cups beet puree (instructions at the bottom)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt


  • 4 cups confectioner’s sugar
  • 1 tablespoon beet powder
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Instructions –

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line muffin tins with paper liners.

2. Melt chocolate (70% dark provided by Askinosie Chocolate) and 1/4 cup (4 tablespoons) butter over a double boiler. Set aside to cool.

askinosie chocolate

3. Cream together 3/4 cup (12 tablespoons) butter with brown sugar in a large bowl with wooden spoon or paddle attachment on a stand mixer. Add eggs one at a time and mix well after each addition. Beat in chocolate/butter, beets, and vanilla. It’s ok if it looks clumpy.

4. In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking soda, and salt. Stir flour mixture into the batter and mix well.

beet chocolate batter

5. Divide into prepared muffin tins (should make 24 standard sized cupcakes). Bake for 14-16 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean. Cool the cupcakes in the pan, on the counter for 5 minutes. Remove cupcakes to a wire rack to cool completely. (Notice the little bit of red tinge.)

beet chocolate cake 2

6. To make frosting, sift together confectioner’s sugar and beet powder. Set aside. Beat cream cheese, butter, and vanilla extract with a paddle attachment on a stand mixer on medium speed for 5 minutes. Reduce to low speed and gradually mix in confectioner’s sugar with beet. When it is all incorporated, return to medium speed and beet for 5 more minutes.

pink frosting

7. Frost cupcakes once they are cool.

close up on frosting

Making Beet Puree

Remove roots and tops of beets. If you are using small beets, cut them in half. If you are using medium or large, quarter them.

raw beet halves 2

Place beets in a pot of water and bring to a simmer. Cook for 30 to 40 minutes or until tender. Run the beets under cold water until cool enough to handle. Remove the skin (which comes off easily just by rubbing with your fingers).

cooked beets

Place the beets in a blender or food processor to puree. Allow to cool before using in this recipe. For scant 2 cups of beet puree, I needed 10 small beets.

pureed beet

posted by jessica at 09:50 AM Filed under Desserts, Recipes. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.