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Chocolate Velvet Beet Cupcakes

Catherine McCord

Now and then, we love taking the kids by our favorite neighborhood cupcake store to enjoy a special treat. Of course their eyes are always drawn to the most colorful cupcakes in the display case. My kids may have no idea how they actually taste, but put something like a red velvet cupcake made with crimson food dye in front of them and their immediate response is, “That one.” These chocolate velvet cupcakes have a rich chocolate flavor, and while they aren’t as artificially red as cupcakes that use chemical food dyes, they and their icing gets their bright reddish-pink color from a surprising, delicious, and 100% natural guest: roasted beets. And the best part is that you’d never know, since there’s no beet flavor in them. Just deep, rich chocolate!

I offer two ingredient versions for the frosting, one white and one a delightful beet-stained pink!

Makes 14 cupcakes

1/3 cup cocoa powder

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

¾ cup sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 large eggs

1 cup milk

1/3 cup vegetable or canola oil

1 large beet, roasted, cooled, peeled, and pureed (about ¾ cup) (see the Beet Puree recipe on page 000)

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.

2. Sift the cocoa powder, flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, and salt into a large bowl.

3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the rest of the ingredients.

4. Slowly add the dry ingredients into the wet, stirring to combine thoroughly as you go.

5. Pour about 1/3 cup batter into paper-lined muffin cups and bake for 25 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.

6. Cool thoroughly, frost, and serve. The cupcakes will keep in a covered container on the counter for 1 day, or in the fridge for up to 3 days, or you can freeze them for up to 3 months.

Cream Cheese Frosting

For white frosting

One 8-ounce package cream cheese, room temperature

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature

1/4 cup powdered sugar

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

For pink frosting

One 8-ounce package cream cheese, room temperature

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature

1/2 cup powdered sugar

1 medium beet, roasted, cooled, peeled, and pureed (about ½ cup) (see page 000)

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1. Place all the ingredients in a mixer and beat on medium-high speed until fluffy.

2. Spread the frosting onto cooled cupcakes.

*Recipe from “Weelicious: One Family. One Meal

*For Catherine’s Full Story, Click Here



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