Beets in a dessert? That may sound like crazy talk; however, beetroots contain natural sugar and a unique taste making them a wonderful vegetable to add to desserts. I am a dessert fiend, so I have to keep my composure and not devour an entire batch of these beet chocolate cupcakes.
The beets and applesauce retain the cupcakes' moisture as gluten-free flour is often more dense than all-purpose flour. Fresh is best, but for the easy factor, using organic packagedbeets is also a great option. Top cupcakes with your favorite frosting. Mascarpone and citrus frosting (see below) is one of my favorites. Add a hint of orange-juice dyed pink with beet juice for flair.
Want to Create a Healthy, Natural Red Dye?
Use beets! Beet dye is the perfect alternative to synthetic, artificial red food coloring. Cheers to your beet dessert adventures!
for beet chocolate cupcakes
- 1 1/4 cup cooked, mashed (or puree) red table beets
- 1/2 cup unsalted grass-fed butter (use 1-2 tbsps of coconut oil as an alternative)
- 2/3 cup raw cocoa
- 1 1/8 cups unsweetened applesauce
- 1 1/2 tsp vanilla
- 1 cup sugar (or sweetener of your choice - I tend to avoid using added sugar when baking with beets as they are naturally sweet - sweeten to your preference)
- 1 1/2 cups gluten-free flour (Almond flour creates denser cupcakes, so use all-purpose flour if you prefer)
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- a dash of cinnamon
- 3 eggs, beaten (or egg substitute)
- 1/3 cup dark chocolate chips (optional)
for Mascarpone Orange Frosting (Beet Dyed)
- 3/4 cup chilled heavy cream (optional-coconut butter)
- 1/4 cup powdered sugar (varies depending on your preference for sweetness)
- 1 cup mascarpone cheese
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 2-3 tbsp fresh orange juice (optional)
- 1-4 tbsp beet dye (creating red dye.)
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Cook beets unless you are using prepared baby beets. Beets (with their skins) can be steamed for 15-20 minutes, roasted, or boiled. Beets need to be cooked with skins removed and mashed in order to blend. Mixing in a food processor works best to create a beet puree.
3. In a bowl, combine cocoa, applesauce and vanilla, and mix well. In another medium bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder, sugar (if using), cinnamon, and salt. Mix well and add to cocoa mixture.
4. Blend in eggs, butter (softened), and beets. Beat two-three minutes with an electric mixer. Stir in chocolate chips, if desired.
5. Spoon the batter into the paper-lined muffin cups until 3/4 full. Bake about 18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in a cupcake comes out with just a few crumbs clinging to it. Cupcakes will continue cooking for a few minutes after removed from the oven.
6. Let the cupcakes cool on rack.
Directions for Mascarpone Orange Frosting (Beet Dyed)
1. In a medium bowl, use a handheld mixer and whip the chilled cream (or coconut butter) until texture becomes slightly stiff. If using coconut butter, texture will remain soft and less firm than heavy cream. Add vanilla extract and sugar and beat until mixed.
2. Slowly add mascarpone cheese by adding spoonfuls at a time, mixing on slow speed, just long enough so the mascarpone is mixed.
3. Lastly, add orange juice and beet dye (Beet dye measurement varies based on preferred color. Add a few drops at a time until desired color is achieved). Slowly incorporate both orange juice and beet dye.
4. Place the icing in the fridge for about an hour to chill. The frosting becomes soft, so refrigerating is best until ready to be served.