Chocolate Red Velvet Beet Cupcakes (with Chocolate Frosting)

 

Yields:  14-16 cupcakes          Prep Time:  15 minutes       Total Time:  35 minutes

 

Beets, applesauce and avocado oil help keep these chocolatey cupcakes nice and moist.  There is a hint of a red tint, reminiscent of the traditional red velvet, but without the artificial coloring.  A rich frosting lightly covers the top, bringing in the extra splash of cocoa sweetness for a decadent, (yet slightly healthier) cupcake!

 

Ingredients

1 cup peeled, diced beets (about 1 1/2 medium sized beets)

1 1/2 cups pure cane sugar

1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce

1/2 cup avocado oil

2 eggs

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

2/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons quality cocoa

1 1/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

 

Chocolate Frosting : (frosts about 14-16 cupcakes)

1 1/2 cups powdered sugar

1/2 cup quality cocoa powder

1/2 cup (1 stick) softened butter

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 tablespoon milk

 

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

 

2. In a food processor, combine diced beets, sugar, applesauce, avocado oil, eggs and vanilla until beets are pureed (about 1 minute).

 

3. In a separate bowl, combine the cocoa, whole wheat pastry flour, baking powder and salt.

 

4. Slowly incorporate the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients bowl, and combine until thoroughly mixed.

 

5. Line a cupcake pan and filled each cup about 1/2 to 3/4 of the way full.

 

6. Bake at 350 degrees for about 14-16 minutes until cooked through, or a toothpick comes out clean.  Let cool before frosting.

 

7. Frost* and enjoy!

 

8. *For the frosting, simply put all ingredients in a food processor and process a few second until smooth.  You can also use a hand mixer or using a spoon to whisk it all together.

 

As I have been writing, the fall is an incredibly busy time for our family, as we all have our birthdays during this season.  So, while I love a good cupcake and frosting, my body gets pretty tired of all of the sugar pretty fast.  It’s a bummer, because I love the taste, I just don’t feel very good.  Therefore, I am trying to find some creative ways to replace some of the sugar and butter with healthier ingredients to help avoid an overload for our family during this time.  And frankly, I just feel so much better, I can actually enjoy the celebrations.

 

To be clear, my goal is not to sneak vegetables in my desserts.  Frankly, I’d rather just have some roasted beets on a salad than in a cupcake.  However, beets help keep these cupcakes moist and even give a hint of a rich purplish-red color.  As a bonus, they do replace some of the less nutritious ingredients and add extra fiber and vitamins.  I prefer to view it as enhancing the nutrient density of my desserts!

 

Some of you may wonder about the taste, and there really is no detection of beets, nor does it taste like anything other than a chocolate cupcake.  There is a rich cocoa flavor, which because of its overpowering quality, really works well in this recipe. 

 

And folks, please bear with me on the frosting – not the taste, as that is delicious.  No, I’m talking about the piping.  I felt so good after the strawberry cupcakes, finally getting the hang of it.  Then, the chocolate frosting has me all scattered again.  I think it’s the tip.  I need a broader tip.  Anywho, just wanted to put a little disclaimer about the challenges I was having with this one!

 

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