I’ve been wanting to put beets in my dessert for a while now, seeing as they pair so well with chocolate. But none of the recipes I’d seen before were vegan, so I knew experimenting was a must. If you haven’t been previously warned about beets, consider this your official warning. They, are, messy.
After a roast in the oven beets get all soft and juicy and perfect for adding to things like cupcakes because they don’t have a particularly offensive flavor and add a ton of nutrients and moisture to baked goods.
Beets may be unsightly – and stain your hands pink – but they’re extremely healthy for you. Loaded with vitamins A, B and C, they’re also high in fiber, manganese, folate and are a rare source of phytonutrients called betalains, which have been shown to have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and detoxification qualities (find out more here).
All of that goodness inside these cupcakes? Who would’ve thought?
Now of course, that doesn’t meant you should eat cupcakes instead of beets. That just means you should eat beets and have an occasional cupcake. Trust me, I tried to reverse this information but the health food gods didn’t seem to want to budge. I’ll keep trying on both of our behalf, though.
What you need to know about these cupcakes:
- They require one bowl
- They’re vegan
- They really don’t need frosting
- They’re rich, moist and cakey
- They are fudgy and addictive
- They don’t taste like beets
- Not one bit
Satisfied? I hope so. Now let’s get to baking.
- 2 medium beets
- 1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
- 1 tsp white or apple cider vinegar
- 3/4 cup raw turbinado OR granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup canola or melted coconut oil
- 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup + 1 heaping Tbsp whole-wheat pastry flour or unbleached all-purpose flour
- scant 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder + more for topping
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- pinch salt
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 C), remove the stem and most of the root from your beets, and scrub and wash them underwater until clean.
- Wrap beets in foil, drizzle on a bit of canola oil, wrap tightly, and roast for one hour or until a knife inserted falls out without resistance. They should be tender. Set in the fridge (in a bowl to catch juice) to cool to room temperature.
- Once cooled, either finely grate or puree beets in a blender (adding orange juice or water to encourage mixing). Measure out 1/2 cup and set aside.
- Line a muffin pan with paper liners.
- Whisk together the almond milk and vinegar in a large bowl, and set aside for a few minutes to curdle. Add the sugar, oil, vanilla extract, and 1/2 cup beets and beat until foamy.
- Add the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt to a sifter and slowly sift it into the wet ingredients while mixing with a hand-held or standing mixer. Beat until no large lumps remain.
- Pour batter into liners, filling 3/4 of the way full. Bake 22 to 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Transfer to a cooling rack and let cool completely. Do not try and unwrap them or they'll stick to the wrapper.
- Once cooled, dust with cocoa powder and store in an airtight container to keep fresh.