In Time For Valentine’s Day: Chocolate + Beets Natural “Red Velvet” Cupcakes With a Pink Cream Cheese Frosting. Eggs Free!

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner and I know many of you might still be looking for ideas on what to do to surprise that special someone in your life. I say what better way to do that than with something sweet and delicious, prepared by yourself? After all, the best presents are those which we make with our own hands and fill up with love and good energy. Plus, you know they say that the way to someone’s heart is through their stomach, right? I think there is some truth and wisdom to this statement.

Since Valentine’s Day is all about sweet little things (both literally and figuratively) where usually chocolate is the star of the day, I want to share these irresistibly delicious chocolate and beet red velvet cupcakes recipe with you.

I chose this recipe for two reasons: first of all, I wanted to use ingredients I already had in my kitchen and second I wanted something “chocolatey”, but different.

About the first reason, I had raspberries as well as a bunch of beets which I got for my previous recipe, so I started browsing the web to see what I could come up with on the chocolate-beets-raspberries combination. Much to my surprise, the chocolate beets cake is a somewhat popular recipe, thus I figured it had to be good.

I got inspired by some of the recipes I found, took a little from here and there and came up with a recipe of my own. The result was AMAZING! The beets give a rich (and best of all, natural!!) magenta color to both the cake and the frosting, but nobody could ever guess that there is beets in these cupcakes if you wont tell them 😉 So go ahead and give it a try!

Ingredients for the cupcakes:

1¼ cup organic unbleached all purpose flour

¾ cup organic granulated cane sugar (Add up to ¼ cup more if you like your cupcakes on the sweeter side)

1½ tsp. baking powder

3 Tbs. unsweetened dark cocoa powder

2 medium size fresh beetroots, cooked, peeled and pureed – You will need ¾ of puree.

1/3 cup vegetable oil (such as sunflower or canola oil)

1 tsp. vanilla extract

2 Tbs. lemon juice

For the frosting:

200 g. cream cheese at room temperature (about ¾ of a 250 g. brick)

3 Tbs. unsalted butter at room temperature

¼ cup beets pureé (left from the 2 beetroots you are going to cook)

½ cup fresh raspberries, pureed and strained. It should give about ¼ cup of puree.

¾ cup powder sugar, sifted

1 tsp. vanilla extract

My method:

Set the oven to 425 F.

Cut the stems off the beets and wrap them in foil. Place in the oven for about one hour or until they feel soft when pricked with a fork.

Allow them to cool and then remove the peel, cut into chunks and puree using a blender or food processor. 

Measure ¾ cup of puree and set aside.

In a big bowl, mix together the dry ingredients (flour, sugar, baking powder and cocoa) to combine. Make a well (hole) in the center and add the wet ingredients (beets puree, oil, lemon juice and vanilla extract) and mix well until you get a smooth batter.

Pour the batter into the baking tray, dividing evenly among the cups. Bake for 18-20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean.

In the meantime, prepare the frosting by combining the cream cheese and the butter in a bowl. Beat using an electric mixer until soft.

Add a ¼ cup of the remaining beet puree and the raspberry puree and mix again. Add the vanilla extract and the sifted powder sugar and mix one more time, until smooth and creamy.

Pour the frosting mixture into a zip-lock bag (or a pastry bag, if you own one) and refrigerate until you are ready to use it.

When the cupcakes are done, take from the oven and allow them to cool completely.

To decorate with the frosting, take your zip-lock bag and cut one of the bottom tips. Cover the top of each cupcake by gently pressing the cream cheese mixture out of the bag.

Serve, and enjoy with a smile.

Happy Valentine’s day!


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