Fudgy Vegan Beet Cupcakes

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Tall stack of our delicious Fudgy Beet Cupcakes recipe

Before you say anything bad about these cupcakes, have you tried my chocolate covered sweet potato chips yet? Because if you have then you know I know a thing or two about desserts – just sayin’.

Showing the beautiful stems of beets and a batch of brownies made with them

Fresh beets and muffin tin filled with Vegan Beet Cupcake batter

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.

Fresh beet greens and a stack of dairy-free Fudgy Beet Cupcakes

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?

Batch of our homemade delicious Fudgy Beet Cupcakes recipe
Close up shot of a Vegan Chocolate Beet Cupcake sprinkled with cocoa powder

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.

Batch of Fudgy Vegan Beet Cupcakes sprinkled with cocoa powder

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.

Stack of Beet Fudgy Cupcakes for a healthy vegan dessert

Vegan Beet Cupcakes

Fudgy vegan cupcakes with pureed roasted beets and a dusting of cocoa powder.
Author Minimalist Baker
Print
Stacks of Fudgy Vegan Beet Cupcakes topped with cocoa powder
4.72 from 123 votes
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 25 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 45 minutes
Servings 10 (cupcakes)
Course Dessert
Cuisine Vegan
Freezer Friendly 1 month
Does it keep? 3-4 Days

Ingredients

  • 1 medium beet (you’ll need 1/2 cup puréed as original recipe is written)
  • 1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk (at room temperature if using coconut oil)
  • 1 tsp white or apple cider vinegar
  • 3/4 cup raw turbinado OR granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup avocado or melted coconut oil
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 heaping cup whole-wheat pastry flour or unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 scant cup unsweetened cocoa powder (plus more for topping)
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 pinch salt

Instructions

  • 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 beet(s) in foil, drizzle on a bit of olive or avocado 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 small blender (adding orange juice or water to encourage mixing). Measure out 1/2 cup and set aside (amount as original recipe is written // adjust if altering batch size). Reserve the rest for things like beet hummus!
  • 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 (amount as original recipe is written // adjust if altering batch size) 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 (at 375 degrees F or 190 C), 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.

Notes

*Nutrition information is a rough estimate.

Nutrition (1 of 10 servings)

Serving: 1 cupcakes Calories: 169 Carbohydrates: 28 g Protein: 2.3 g Fat: 6.5 g Saturated Fat: 0.8 g Trans Fat: 0 g Cholesterol: 0 mg Sodium: 41 mg Fiber: 2 g Sugar: 16 g

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  1. Aronda Kirby says

    The absolute best chocolate cupcake I’ve ever had. Every time I make them I get so many compliments and mostly I don’t even tell people that they are vegan!!

  2. Andrea says

    I was just wondering what would be the best frosting to use on these? I’m going to attempt to give it to the guys in the family with no frosting but sometimes they insist. So what would you recommend? The more healthy the better.

  3. Chris says

    Hi, I remember an old beet cupcake recipe for 2 on your blog but can’t find it any more! Is it this one and it’s been tweaked or could you possibly point me to the one I’m looking for? Thanks!

  4. Mary says

    I know someone who can’t eat chocolate or dairy. I’m always wracking my brain, for ways to bake something. I got vegan butter just for baked gifts for her… and beets in the fridge. I’d substitute carob powder for cocoa, have used it since I was a hippie… It doesn’t have theanine, magnesium or caffeine like cocoa, but the flavor can be boosted with a touch of freeze dried espresso, just as I do with real cocoa. This sounds really good, actually, and you’ve done all the testing for us. And because cupcakes are individual, I can eat one to see if it’s good to gift. Can you imagine what these would be like, if I imitated the famous cupcakes with the cream “pbffft” in the center? I’ve even got a bag of carob chips I could melt like ganache on top! Thanks!

  5. Lexi says

    These are DELICIOUS! Moist, fudge-y & easy to make. I substituted oat milk for the almond milk because that was all I had but they still turned out great. Will definitely be making again.

  6. Lika says

    such an amazing recipe! absolutely loved it, perhaps my fav cupcakes of all times:)
    I used pre-boiled beets and followed the rest of the recipe 100%. they turned out to be not too sweet, fluffy and very moist!
    I had to travel with them so they got very squeezed in my carry-on, so they changed texture and go fudgier (which was actually quite great) – and they still tasted fantastic!!!

  7. Robin Wilson says

    Hey, we still have about a bushel of beets in the garden. I have probably pickled or canned about 60 jars so far. Do you think you could make a ton of these cupcakes and freeze them? Any suggestions would be appreciated!

    Robin Wilson

  8. shailini sisodia says

    oh no! Don’t take the skin of the beets off, please!! The skins have many nutrients ( same for potatoes, sweet potatoes, etc etc) Sorry you would recommend that, minimalist baker – you said this was a healthy beet hummus – yes, it is, but you are throwing away many nutrients! I know whereof I speak, ha ha – cooking teacher in the boston area, and have taught at many places, including famous ones. Best, shailini sisodia. I do hope to see a response to this message – and, where can I see it? On this site? via e-mail?

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Shailini, we prefer to peel them if the beets are especially dirty and difficult to clean. But feel free to leave it on, if preferred!

    • Mary says

      You’re right, but firstly, it’s just a treat, all her ingredients contribute nutrition… and also we now know more than decades ago about our nutrition. Our bodies are smarter and more complex than doctors or we used to assume, and we can handle a few cupcakes or peeled veggies without malnutrition. We recycle proteins and manufacture vitamins, they don’t just leave our bodies quickly. Just getting people to eat more produce at all, is still an uphill climb. I’ve been vegetarian since 1972, am pretty well informed, was a licensed and certified Natural Therapeutics Specialist and LMT for decades. The beets will still contain lots of nutrition, very little lost. We can’t always cram in every bit of food value produce offers, and this is just a cupcake. Especially if the beets aren’t organic, skinning is okay. Most of the pesticide contamination is in the skins. And even if they say organic, we both know produce still might not be, or can be cross contaminated, a politicized issue. Some farmers market sellers even admit that when they sell out, they buy conventional produce from a grocery and sell that. There are no consistent standards yet. Beet skins are usually scarred, more fibrous, dried out, impossible to clean, and might change the texture. My big problem will be not eating all the beets myself before I can sneak them into cupcakes! I’m in the “I love beets” camp, had them on-hand before I found this recipe, planning to make pressure cooker borscht again (recipe from “Vegetarian Cooking Under Pressure” by Lorna Sass) this week. Just getting Americans, especially kids, to eat any veggies at all, is a worthy challenge. ;)

  9. Hayley says

    Greetings!

    What would you recommend for a cook time/temp if making this as a cake instead of cupcakes?

    Thank you!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Hayley, we haven’t tested it as a cake, but the batter is pretty versatile and would likely work well. We’d suggest the same temperature and checking around the 25-30 minute mark, being careful not to overbake. Let us know how it goes!

  10. Andi says

    Do you peel the beets at all? The instructions indicate they need to be baked, then cooled in a bowl, then grated or pureed. Should the skin come off at any point here? I never work with beets so I apologize if this is common sense!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Andi, after roasting the beet, the peel should slide off easily under running cool water. Hope that helps!

  11. Carissa says

    This recipe looks awesome and like a good way to use up some of the beets I’ve been getting from my CSA (as well as your beet chip recipe!). Do you think this would work with GF flours? And do you think Bob’s Red Mill 1 to 1 GF flour would work? Or would a combo be better?

    • Mary says

      King Arthur Flour also has a lot of good substitutes that are GF, and a 1:1 sugar substitute, and even readymade GF mixes, as well as a really good baker’s hotline! I’m not GF, but I’ve sure got sympathy for those who are.

  12. Simone says

    These were moist and delicious! I followed the recipe exact as it is as I never succeed baking anything. But these came out perfect! Thank you!

  13. Camila says

    Woooonderful recipe !

    I made this gf by replacing the All-purpose flour with a mix of : 1/4 almond flour, 1/4 rice flour and 2/4 buckwheat flour plus 1 tsp psyllium husk powder. I also replaced the milk by oat cream and added some flaxseeds. I had to bake it for an extra 10 minutes but it turned out sooooo good!!

    Ahh I just love all of your recipes <3

  14. Louise says

    Made these this morning. It’s a great recipe. I used juice pulp I had which was from carrots, apples, and a bit of greens. I use my juice pulp in muffin recipes a lot in place of applesauce and other fruit or veggie ingredients. Pulp is drier than the pureed beets would have been so I added just enough extra liquid (apple cider in this case) until the batter seemed right. Dipped cooled cupcakes in cacao powder for the extra nutritional value. They are moist, just sweet enough for a treat and wonderfully moist and cake like. I also used light Spelt flour which I get from a local miller. Thank you!

  15. Katie says

    These cupcakes are delicious. We received lots of beets in our veggie box and this was a great way to use them. We used oat milk instead of almond because that’s what we had. They turned out really well. I will make this recipe again!

  16. Sonia says

    Loved it ! Turned out perfect. I added some extra sugar and beets because I like my canes sweet and moist.
    Wonderful recipe 🥰🥰

  17. Kelly says

    These were so delicious! I made two substitutions: canned beets, and 1/2 cup maple syrup + 2T sugar. I also had some frosting in the fridge that I mixed a little beet puree with to make it pink for Valentine’s Day. My toddler loved it too. Also, I got 12 cupcakes and not 10! :)

  18. Kira says

    Hi, I don’t have a cupcake form, do you think I can bake it in square pyrex dish like a cake. Do I need to adjust something like the baking time maybe to get it baked properly? Thank you.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Kira, The batter is pretty versatile and would likely work well in a larger pan. We’d suggest baking a little longer and keeping a close eye to prevent it from over-baking. Hope that helps!

  19. Rosita says

    Absolutely delicious and sooo soft :) more over so easy to make. Will do them again for sure 👍🏻.

    Next time might try to chop some walnuts or organic chocolate nibs and mix it to the batter.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thanks so much for the lovely review, Rosita. We are so glad you enjoyed them! Next time, would you mind leaving a rating with your review? It’s super helpful for us and other readers. Thanks so much! Xo

  20. Thelma says

    These turned out so so good. I added a few PB chips to a few of them because I love a chocolate-PB combo anything! Might use any other oil instead next time as the hardening coconut oil was a slight bummer and I spent more time than I would have liked dealing with that. But once they came out of the oven, I forgot all about that. So good.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Yum! Love that addition, Thelma. Thanks so much for sharing! We updated the almond milk to indicate room temperature if using coconut oil- sorry for any hassle there.

  21. Thelma says

    So these have just come out of the oven and they look and smell amazing! Wondering how long they take to cool before I can dust them with cocoa powder or inhale one? 😁
    Hopefully, you can amend the recipe to remind people to use room temp milk…even though I read comments about the coconut oil hardening back up, I still didn’t have the milk room temp! Oops.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thanks for sharing, Thelma! 30 minutes should be enough time cooling =) We’ll take another look at the almond milk.

      • Nicole Heskey says

        I made these last year for my daughters 1st birthday and now again for her 2nd. I used regular milk and they are amazing. Going to top it with the date chocolate frosting. They are so rich and moist.

        • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

          Amazing! Thanks so much for the lovely review and for sharing your modifications, Nicole! xo

      • Leah says

        Hey there! These sound amazing and I’d like to make them this evening. I’m trying to limit trips to the shop so I was wondering if you think butternut squash purée could be subbed for beet purée? Thank you, Leah

        • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

          Hi Leah, we think that should work, but haven’t tried it so we can’t guarantee results. Let us know if you give it a try!

  22. Nat says

    This is such an excellent recipe. The flavor and texture are fantastic, and it’s not too sweet. It’s a great way to use up our CSA beets.

    It’s become our go-to recipe even though we aren’t vegan. My husband could detect the beet taste but no one else seemed to notice. Our kids (who normally just eat the frosting on cupcakes) ate these happily.

    Paired with a non-vegan swiss meringue buttercream, this was easily one of my favorite cupcakes I’ve ever had. I plan to experiment with vegan swiss buttercream and with making this into a layer cake.

    Recipe notes:
    – If you have extra beet puree, I’d recommend freezing it in ~100-120g (1/2 cup) amounts. That makes it really easy to make this recipe again.
    – We have an electric pressure cooker and used that for cooking the beets. Was easier than roasting.
    – If you find that the coconut oil starts to re-solidify in the wet ingredients, you can heat a cup or so of the wet ingredient mixture until it’s very hot and then mix it back in. This brings the temperature up until the coconut oil stays liquid. I use this trick for buttercream and it worked perfectly here. (Neutral veg oil also worked great for us and I’m curious to try with olive oil.)
    – The second time I made it, I forgot about the “metric” option and used the King Arthur Flour weight conversions. The KAF conversions and the weights listed in the “metric” option here are quite different, but the cupcake still turned out well both times. So it’s a fairly forgiving recipe.
    – At 22 mins, our cupcakes were slightly more cakey and less fudgy. I baked for 21 mins the second time and they were more fudgy.
    – As a mostly non-vegan baker, I was a bit puzzled by the “beat until foamy” cue. I did beat until I saw small frothy bubbles, but it never got as foamy as I expected. It turned out fine!

  23. Diana says

    SO delicious! My kids and husband all gave a very enthusiastic thumbs up.

    Made a couple modifications to make nut- and refined sugar-free.

    Used Bonsoy (sweetened soy milk) instead of almond milk and used rapadura sugar for granulated. The less-sweet rapadura balanced out the sweetened soy milk well.

    Was very impressed with the light, fluffy texture and caramelized top. SO GOOD, this is going into my usual muffin rotation!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Yay! We’re so glad you and your family enjoyed them, Diana! Thanks so much for the lovely review!

  24. Jude_X says

    Thanks for this lovely recipe, I made it with what I had in the house so I subbed some ingredients – oat milk, wholewheat bread flour, coconut sugar (only used ⅔ of the amount). Still ended up with moist moreish delicious cakes! A winner :-)

    • Elle says

      Was sceptical about the beets tasting very “earthy” and taking over the flavour. These are absolutely delicious, the beet flavour is Very mild and it was an excellent way to sneak in some veggies. I slightly melted my coconut oil as recommended in the comments to avoid it clumping. They turned out so moist and fudgy. We added some chocolate chips for a bit of texture and a touch more sweetness
      Thanks so much, will be making them again for sure

  25. Denise De Luise says

    Do you know how I can substiture beet powder for a fresh beet? These sound delicious!!! Thanks, Denise

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hm, we’re not sure whether that would work because the beet also adds texture and moisture. But maybe stirring beet powder into another veggie or fruit purée? Let us know if you do some experimenting!

  26. Esmy C. says

    This is my third time making these cupcakes and they are delicious and moist. I followed the recipe as is and they were a huge hit at my house. Thank you so much for this recipe!

  27. Eva says

    These are absolutely spot on, no earthy beetroot taste, just delicious. I wasn’t sure about the ‘no icing’ idea but now that eaten three I’ve concluded that it’s true – no icing necessary.

  28. Margot says

    I just made these and ran into a tiny problem. I used unrefined coconut oil. When I took it out of the cupboard it was oily (because it’s summer!) but when I stirred it into the buttermilk it soildified and there were tiny chunks of coconut in the batter.

    After they were baked, the coconut oil kind of melted and they were very oily at the bottom. I’m guessing because it hadn’t been properly incorporated into the batter.

    I let them sit on a paper towel for about an hour and they were OK to serve. They tasted great, but I would have just used canola had I know.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Margot, another idea would be to leave the milk at room temp for a bit before adding the coconut oil. If it’s straight from the fridge, we see how it might cause that!

  29. Tony P says

    Question- Should beet be peeled before putting in the oven, after it’s cooked, or can the cooked peel be left on when pureeing?

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Tony, any of those options should work, assuming the peel is cleaned well first. Once it is roasted, the peel should slide off easily under running cool water. Hope that helps!

  30. Deepika Vadlamani says

    Those cupcakes look so good! Can I sub almond milk with cow milk? Or should I go for buttermilk? Also, can I use whole wheat flour?

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Deepika, we think cow’s milk would work, but we haven’t tried it. We haven’t tried whole wheat, but we fear it would be too dry and they wouldn’t rise.

    • Danielle says

      I used half whole wheat and half white, I had my coconut oil solidify when I added the cooked beets which were precooked and in the fridge. I just scooped out the chunks melted it in the microwave and slightly warmed mixture. It worked perfectly. These were delicious. I did add a light cream cheese icing for my non vegan guests and grated dark chocolate on top. Had to share the recipe. Thanks. Always looking for recipes for my vegan best friend.

      • Mary says

        You can also use King Arthur Flour white whole wheat: exact same nutrition, but milder taste… in case you’ve got kids who don’t like the color or flavor of WW.

  31. Missy says

    Delicious! I was worried that I hadn’t puréed the beets enough (I did it in my food processor) and the cupcakes would be gummy, but whew! They were perfect. Like another commenter, I reduced the sugar a bit and added vegan semi-sweet chocolate chips, which added a great texture. They were perfect.

  32. Rachel Crist-Harif says

    I made these yesterday with the following changes:
    1- I am not vegan, I used buttermilk instead of vegan milk + vinegar
    2- instead of cooking and pureeing the beets, I shredded them raw in the food processor. I used a little bit more than 1/2 cup, probably more like 3/4 cup.

    I was so worried about how this would turn out with no eggs, but these cupcakes were amazing. The beet flavor really came through, which is exactly what I wanted! I may consider actually putting less cocoa in my next iteration so we can taste the beets even MORE. They are so tasty and I didn’t even need to frost them or anything. Thank you, Dana!

  33. Anna says

    These sound lovely and heard of various people how amazing beet chocolate cake is! I was wondering though why the beet needs to be roasted? Is it to develop a sweeter flavour?
    As I’m considering boiling it as it’s quicker and don’t really want to leave the oven on for so long

  34. Nadia says

    I loved this recipe, however, it didn’t pass the test with my kids, they’ve somehow detected the veggie-hidden-in-their-cupcake. Next time, I’ll try to add a bit more sugar to see if they eat it!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Allana, We think that might work! The batter is pretty versatile and would likely work well in cake pans. Just keep an eye on it around the 25-30 minute mark and be careful not to overbake. Hope that helps!

  35. Jennifer R says

    This recipe is amazing! I did make several changes/additions and I will definitely be making this again! It seemed like alot of work to wrap the beets & bake them. So, I just threw a large beet in the juicer and used the juice, next time I will try to incorporate the pulp and maybe some nuts. I also used coconut flour with a small amount of oat flour. I used 1/2 cup of sugar instead of 3/4 cup because I added semi-sweet chocolate chips. This turned out so gooey and chocolatey. Definitely does not need any dusting or icing with the added chocolate chips. I am convincing myself since they are made out of mostly coconut flour I can have seconds!

        • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

          Hi Smiti, We think they would be too dry and wouldn’t rise. But if you give it a try let us know how it goes!

  36. Rebecca says

    This recipe is fantastic. I made it twice. 1x with almond milk and 1x with coconut milk instead. Both times turned out perfect. I love vegan baked goods and this one is to die for. They don’t taste vegan. They don’t taste like beets. They just taste delicious.

  37. Shoa says

    I’ve made this twice without cooking the beets, I throw them through my juicer and use the purée instead. That way I get the juice and the purée for the cupcakes! It’s worked great both times, I probably use about 2beets or 3/4 cup beet puree

  38. Cher says

    I love this recipe and use a beet butter cream frosting on top.
    One question though:
    I want to use this recipe to make a double stacked cake. I’m guessing that one batch won’t give me enough. Any suggestions?

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Cher, we think you would need to at least double, maybe even triple the recipe for a double stacked cake. Hope that helps!

  39. Diana Nicholette Jeon says

    I made this, tho varied it slightly. I used Love Beets precooked organic beets from the cold case at Costco then used my mini chopper to make 1/2 C of puree. Much easier and I have them readily available without the extra steps of roasting and peeling…I used Navitas cacao instead of cocoa then I upped the milk a scant tad to make up for cacao being a bit drier than cocoa. I used a half half mixture of cocnut milk and almond milk. I thought they NEEDED frosting rather than a dusting of sugar or cocoa, so used a not very sweet whipped creamcheese frosting recipe. Otherwise it seemed more like an unexciting muffin. Next time I think I will add a pinch of cinnamon and cayenne pepper to try a “Mexican chocolate” version.