Everyone has a chocolate beet cupcake recipe, but not all of them are good, much less fantastic. I have made some horribly dry beet cupcakes! But this recipe is OVER THE TOP fantastic and perfect for the base cake or cupcakes to be decorated for a birthday party. The chocolate flavor is rich and you can get some of the goodness of beets into your kids at the same time! Shhhh….they will never know it is in there.
Chocolate Beet Cupcakes
(adapted from Straightfromthefarm.net)
makes 12 large/24 small cupcakes
1 cup butter, softened, divided into 3/4 cup and 1/4 cup
1 1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
3 oz. dark chocolate (I use Giardella Bittersweet 60% Cocoa Chips, found at D&W)
3 eggs at room temp
5 medium size beets (2 cups when pureed)
2 tsp vanilla
2 cups all purpose unbleached white flour
2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
To make beet puree, trim stems and roots off beets and place the beets on a large piece of tin foil. Pour a tablespoon of water on them and wrap them so they are enclosed in a foil pouch. Place on a cookie sheet and in your preheated oven, for at least an hour. Pull them out and open the pouch (careful, hot steam!), taking a knife insert it into the largest of your beets to test if it goes in easily. If so, they are done. If not, pop them back in for another 10 minutes and do the test again.
When the beets are tender, pull them out, set aside and allow to cool. When the beets are cool enough to handle, slip the skins off. This may sound impossible, but the skin will easily push right off, if the beets are done. Place the beets in your food processor and pulse until a smooth puree forms. Let the puree cool slightly before using in the cake. Puree can be made several days in advance. But don’t make the mistake of putting the roasted beets in the fridge thinking that you will peel and puree them later, as they peel and puree much better when still slightly warm!
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Melt the chocolate with the remaining 1/4 cup of butter; stir until smooth and set aside to cool. In a large mixing bowl, cream 3/4 cup butter and brown sugar. Add eggs; one at a time, mixing well. Blend chocolate mixture, beets and vanilla into the creamed mixture (mixture will appear separated, don’t panic, all is good). Combine flour, baking soda, spices and salt; add to the creamed mixture and mix well. It will be Pepto Bismol pink!
Line muffin tins with cupcake papers. I use both large and small tins so I have a variety of sizes. Fill the cups to 3/4 full. These don’t rise much so don’t worry about them spilling over the edge. Bake in your preheated oven at 375 degrees for 15 minutes and then test with a toothpick. If the toothpick doesn’t come out clean, put them back in and test at 5 minute intervals until done. You don’t want to overcook, as they will be tough and terribly dry! Allow to cool thoroughly before frosting.
I am including an equally delicious cream cheese frosting that everyone should have in their book of recipes. I could eat it slathered on anything! (I make my own cream cheese so I have myself convinced it is soooo healthy, never mind the sugar.)
Cream Cheese Frosting
(adapted from Ina Garten’s Barefoot Contessa Parties cookbook)
1 pound cream cheese, at room temperature
3/4 pound unsalted butter, also at room temperature
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 tsp pure almond extract
1 1/2 pounds confectioners’ sugar, sifted (removes the hard lumps so the frosting is bumpless)
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, blend together the cream cheese, butter, vanilla and almond extracts. Add the confectioners’ sugar and mix until smooth.
Hope you enjoy the cupcakes!
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