Beet Chocolate Cupcakes (Vegan and Gluten-Free)

Vegan and Gluten-Free Beet Chocolate Cupcakes.jpg

This decadent dessert is chocolate and beet goodness all condensed into a vegan and gluten-free cupcake. Want to "sneak" some vegetables into dessert for the kiddos? Beets are heart healthy and filled with fiber, minerals, and vitamins. Your heart will "BEET" for these cupcakes! 

I was first introduced to these delightful cupcakes while attending a baby shower in Long Beach catered by Hilary Zuraspi, who baked brilliant vegan and gluten-free beet chocolate cupcakes along with a vast array of vegan dishes. Beet cupcakes, baby shower shenanigans, beautiful surroundings in nature with friends: it was the perfect afternoon for celebrating. Brenda and Robby, we are excited to meet your little one! 

Adapted from the Minimalist Baker's recipe, these cupcakes are light, moist, and super chocolaty. If vegan and gluten-free baking is your preference, these cupcakes are perfect for you; be prepared for shimmies and smiles! For beet non-enthusiasts, I double-dog dare you to indulge and try this recipe. You may discover a new-found love affair with beets. Happy baking! 

Beet Chocolate Cupcakes (Vegan and Gluten-Free) Recipe


for cupcakes

  • 2 flax eggs (2 Tbsp flax seed meal + 5 Tbsp water) or other vegan egg substitute, such as chia seeds & water (3:1 ratio)

  • scant 1/2 cup Unsweetened Original Almond Milk + 3/4 tsp apple cider vinegar

  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda

  • 1/4 cup + 1 Tbsp maple syrup or agave nectar (sub honey if not vegan)

  • 1/3 cup cane or granulated sugar

  • 1/4 cup melted coconut oil or vegan butter (coconut butter is also an option)

  • 1 cup beet puree (sub butternut squash, applesauce, or another hearty fruit puree with varied results)

  • 1/4 tsp sea salt

  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

  • 1/2 cup almond meal (finely ground)

  • 1 cup gluten free flour blend

for vegan frosting

for mascarpone orange frosting, visit Just Beet It's Beet Chocolate Cupcakes (non-vegan)

DIRECTIONS (as featured on Minimalist Baker)

1.  FOR BEETS: To roast beets, preheat oven to 400 degrees F, drizzle 2 large beets with oil of choice and wrap in foil. Bake for 50 minutes - 1 hour, or until a knife slides through easily. Peel away skins by rubbing foil around and it should shed off easily. Add beets to a food processor or blender and add 1/4 cup liquid of choice (water or orange juice). Blend until creamy, smooth and pourable, scraping down sides as needed. Otherwise, sub another fruit puree, such as applesauce, with varied results. 

If time and prep is an issue, use natural organic packaged beets. Love Beets provides fresh, prepared beets for a no-fuss way to eat beets. 

2. FOR CUPCAKES: Preheat oven to 375 degrees F and line 11 muffins with paper liners or lightly grease. Also measure out almond milk and add vinegar. Stir and let curdle while moving onto the next step.

3. Prepare flax eggs in a large mixing bowl and let rest for 5 minutes.

4. Add baking soda to the almond milk vinegar mixture and stir. It should fizz.

5. Add the sugar, maple syrup and almond milk mixture to the flax egg and beat to combine. Then add beet puree, melted coconut oil, salt and mix.

6. Add cocoa powder, almond meal, oat flour and gluten free flour blend and beat to combine. If the batter appears too thick, add a touch more almond milk, but it should be perfect. If too thin, add a little more gluten free flour blend + cocoa powder. It should resemble a thin batter that’s pourable.

7. Divide batter evenly between muffin tins (should be enough for between 11), filling 3/4 full.

8. Bake for 29-34 minutes or until puffy and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. 

9. Let rest in the tin for 10-15 minutes, and then remove. Let cupcakes cool COMPLETELY on a cooling rack. Don’t try to sample early because they need to fully cool or they tend to stick to the wrappers.

10. FOR FROSTING: Add almond milk to your rinsed out mixing bowl from earlier and microwave for 1 minute. (Alternatively, heat in a saucepan until just simmering and then transfer back to mixing bowl.)

11. Immediately add chocolate to warm milk but don’t touch for 2 minutes so it can melt.

12. Stir with a wooden spoon to incorporate, and then add softened butter and cover. Let rest untouched for another 10 minutes to meddle.

13. Use your mixer to beat the mixture together. Then add 1 cup powdered sugar, mix again, and place in fridge to set for 20-30 minutes. You will know the frosting is ready when you tip it and the texture is slow to move.

14. Remove from fridge and beat again. If it’s still too thin, add another 1/4 - 1/2 cup powdered sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Chilling for a total of 20 minutes and adding 1 3/4 cups total powdered sugar seems about perfect.

15. Frost cupcakes generously. You will likely have leftover frosting. Sprinkles, mint leaves, or fresh raspberries would make the perfect garnish.

16. Will keep well-covered at room temperature for several days, though best when fresh. 

Recipe by Minimalist Baker/Photo Credit (Photo #2 - ingredients): Minimalist Baker