Ages ago I bookmarked a chocolate beet cake from Joy the Baker. I had never worked with beets before and they were on my New Food list. I had forgotten about the recipe until I was strolling around Brooklyn one sunny Sunday morning and walked pasted a farmers market with these beautiful beets. I was completely inspired!
There was no real reason to make these cupcakes besides pure fun and intrigue. How was a beet cupcake going to taste? I posted a picture on Facebook and asked my friends to guess the secret ingredient with a cupcake as a reward for the correct answer. After about 45 incorrect guesses, I had to give a little hint! The wrong guesses included everything from Jolly Ranchers to raspberries.
These cupcakes did not taste beety at all! I’m not the biggest fan of beets, so that pleased me! What the beets bring to the party is the spectacular jeweled pink color and lots of moisture! I wish Essie made a nail polish color called beet frosting. I would be all over that!
Also, I think these would be awesome for a little girl’s birthday party. They are so brightly pink and have zero artificial color. The kids wouldn’t even know they are eating vegetables and the parents would have the piece of mind of not giving their child a chemical laden dessert.
The chocolate cake is moist and tender with a gentle chocolate flavor. My friend who does not like chocolate, enjoyed this cupcake. It’s similar to a red velvet. The frosting is light, delicious, and incredibly creamy. I thought you would be able to the beet here, but not at all! You are left with the awesome pink color and little jewels of beet strands throughout. Trick your friends, make some beet cupcakes!!!
Chocolate Beet Cupcakes
Adapted from Joy the Baker
Yield – 24 cupcakes
3 beets, trimmed & cut into quarters
splash of oil
3/4 cup unsalted butter (12 tablespoons or 1 1/2 sticks) room temperature
1 cup packed brown sugar
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups flour
2/3 cup cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
scant 1 1/4 cup whole milk + juice of 1/2 a lemon (enough to make an even 1 1/4 cup)
- Preheat the oven to 400 F.
- Wash the outside of the beets and trim the green stalks. Cut into quarters and place in a large sheet of foil. Toss in some oil, wrap the beets in the foil, and roast for 40 minutes or until fork tender.
- Try to let the beets cool before pealing and then grate on a fine grater.
- This is messy and everything will be a beautiful bright pink color! Take 3/4 cup of grated beets and set aside for the cupcakes, leave 2 tablespoons aside for the frosting.
- Reduce the oven to 350 F.
- Beat together the butter and sugar until pale yellow for 4 minutes. Add in the eggs one at a time and then beat in the vanilla and 3/4 cup of beets. Scrap the bowl as needed.
- Sift together the flour, cocoa powder, soda, powder and salt.
- Turn the mixer on low and add in the flour mix, beat until just combined.
- Pour in the milk and mix until just combined.
- Using a standard size ice cream scoop, place the batter in lined cupake pans.
- Bake for 18 minutes and let cool completely.
Whipped Vanilla Frosting with Beets
Adapted from Tie Dye Cupcakes
1 cup whole milk
5 tablespoons flour
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1-2 tablespoons roasted beet puree
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
- In a small saucepan over medium heat, whisk together the milk and flour. Keep whisking until the mixture becomes smooth and thick resembling pancake batter.
- Remove from the heat, stir in the vanilla and beets, and allow to cool completely.
- Beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy – just keep beating until it is no longer grainy.
- Add in the cooled flour/milk mixture and beat until the entire frosting is light and fluffy. It looks very liquidy, but keep beating and it will whip up properly.
- Pipe onto cupcakes.