We got a bundle of beets in our produce basket this week, and while I love them roasted and chopped in a salad or sauteed in butter and garlic, my husband’s not a huge fan. I saw a recipe for Chocolate Cupcakes made with Beets on an episode of Good Morning America Health several months ago and have been waiting for a chance to try it. So, when I saw we were getting beets in our basket, I started looking for recipes and came across this one from Simple Bites. The beets give it a deep dark color, almost like Red Velvet cake, while keeping the cupcakes moist and semi-nutritious. These were a definite win for kids and adults alike!
First, you have to make the Beet Puree, so here’s how to do that from Simple Bites:
“1. Roast beets as directed in my recent Roasting Vegetables 101 post [excerpt below].”
Excerpt from Simple Bites Roasting Vegetables 101: “Preheat oven to 425°F. Group beets by 3′s on 2 separate sheets of aluminum foil. Wrap tightly, making sure the package is it as airtight as possible. Place on a baking sheet and bake until beets are slightly soft to the touch, about an hour. Remove from oven, open packages and cool beets slightly, then trim ends and rub skins off.”)
[I sprayed mine with olive oil and put 2 small beets in each piece of fool. I might recommend peeling them before you roast them, but this worked fine.]
“2. Peel and roughly chop beets. Transfer to a food processor and whiz until finely chopped, but not totally smooth. It’s better to still have some texture. Beet purée is now ready to use.”
[We didn’t have a food processor, so we used a potato masher and it worked fine. If you don’t have access to fresh beets, canned beets would probably work because they’ve already been steamed. Drain and pat dry, then mash or throw in your food processor.]
Here’s the cupcake recipe from Simple Bites:
“Makes 12 cupcakes
- 2 oz dark chocolate, chopped [I used an organic 70%; 6 of 10 squares on a 3.25 oz. bar; I saved 2 of the squares to chop and sprinkle over the icing at the end, and Julie and I ate the other 2.]
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter [aka, 1 stick]
- 1 cup cake flour [I used organic all-purpose flour, and it worked fine]
- 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup raw cane sugar [I used Florida Crystals organic sugar]
- 1 egg, room temperature
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- 3/4 cup beet purée (about 4 small)
1. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with cupcake papers. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. Place the chopped chocolate and 2 tablespoons of the butter in a microwavable bowl and microwave on low, at 30 second intervals, until ingredients are melted. Stir often during the melting process. Stir until smooth and set aside to cool slightly. [You can do this step in small saucepan over low heat, if you prefer.]
3. Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
4. In the bowl of a stand mixer, using the paddle attachment, beat remaining butter and sugar together until well combined. Scrape down the sides often. Beat in egg and vanilla. Beat in beet purée, followed by melted chocolate mixture.
5. Remove paddle attachment, and using a sturdy spatula, fold in flour mixture by hand. Do not over mix.
6. Using a lever ice cream scoop to make the job easier and mess-free, divide cupcake batter among muffin cups.
7. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 25 minutes. Cool in tins for a few minutes, then cool cupcakes completely on a wire rack.
8. Use a spatula or piping bag [I used a ziploc bag with the tip cut off] to frost cupcakes with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting (recipe below). Just before serving, top with desired ‘extra’ decoration… Enjoy!”
While the cupcakes are baking, mix up your maple cream cheese frosting. Here’s Simple Bites’ recipe:
“This rich frosting is the decadent touch that really puts these cupcakes over the top. If you don’t have maple syrup, a half a cup of powdered sugar and a few drops of milk will work as well.
- 1/2 cup cream cheese, room temperature
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- 1 tablespoon, plus 1 teaspoon pure maple syrup
- pinch of salt
- With an electric mixer, beat together cream cheese and butter until smooth. Add maple syrup and a pinch of salt and beat again until smooth.
- Frost cupcakes as desired. Makes enough for twelve cupcakes.”
[Note: It only makes enough for a dollop of icing on each cupcake, so if you like to spread it on thick, double the recipe. Also, it’s not a very sweet frosting, so if you prefer, add powdered sugar (and possibly a Tbsp. of milk) till you get the desired thickness and sweetness.]
[Note: Comments in brackets are mine. ~Melissa]