I’ve never been a fan of beets, but when these Chocolate-Beet Cupcakes came up as one of the cake choices for The Cake Slice Bakers this month, I thought – why not? They’ll be sweetened, cooked, processed and blended with chocolate. How bad could that be?
Plus, I can eat cupcakes and tell myself they’re healthy.
Beets are a very good source of manganese, potassium and copper. They’re are also a good source of dietary fiber, magnesium, phosphorus, vitamin C, iron and vitamin B6. Wow, what a miracle vegetable! Doesn’t change the fact that I always thought they taste like dirt and, when cooked, have a strange texture.
These Chocolate-Beet Cupcakes may have changed my mind. The beets blend in nicely with the chocolate and other cupcake ingredients (including whole wheat flour) without losing the essence of the beet flavor. What a good way to get your vegetables in!
The cupcakes are soft, but have a little texture from the beets and whole wheat flour and although the ATK cream cheese frosting recipe goes well with it, I think I’d prefer a thicker, sweeter vanilla buttercream frosting on top.
Don’t get me wrong – their cream cheese frosting is delectable and I’d slather it on a carrot cake all day long. Bret grabbed a spoon so he could clean out the frosting bowl for me. He’s such a big help.
America’s Test Kitchen’s (#atkcake) take on the Chocolate-Beet Cupcakes in their introduction to the recipe was that they are “something similar to a red velvet cupcake minus the dye and plus intense chocolate flavor and a delicate earthiness.”
Be sure and wear your latex gloves when cutting and processing the beets. That juice gets everywhere. And it’s very, very red!
Oh, and if you don’t want to mess with trimming, peeling, quartering, processing, and microwaving fresh beets, just used canned. I, unfortunately, thought of that too late. Duh!
- 12 oz beets, trimmed, peeled, and quartered ** (see notes)
- 2 oz 70 percent dark chocolate
- 1/2 C (1 1/2 oz) Dutch-processed cocoa powder
- 1/3 C vegetable oil
- 3/4 C (5 1/4 oz) sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 3 tbsp milk
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 3/4 C (4 1/8 oz) whole-wheat flour
- Cream Cheese Frosting:
- 1 1/4 lb cream cheese, softened
- 12 tbsp butter, cut into 12 pieces and softened
- 2 tbsp sour cream
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 2 1/2 C (10 oz) powdered sugar
- Preheat the oven to 350°. Line a 12-cup cupcake tin with liners.
- Use a food processor fitted with a shredding disk to process beets until all are shredded. Transfer the beets to a bowl and microwave, covered, until beets are tender and have released their juices, about 4 minutes. Stir halfway through microwaving.
- Fit the food processor with a chopping blade and pour the beets back into the processor bowl.
- In a medium, microwave-safe bowl, microwave the dark chocolate at about 50 percent power, stirring until melted (in 30 second bursts, stirring between times). Whisk the cocoa and oil into the melted chocolate until smooth, then pour the chocolate mixture into the food processor with the beats. Let cool slightly. (Or just used canned beets)
- Process the beets and chocolate mixture until smooth, about 45 seconds, scraping down the bowl if needed. Add the sugar, eggs, milk, vanilla, baking soda, and salt and process until the sugar is mostly dissolved and the mixture is completely well-blended, 15 to 30 seconds. Add the flour and pulse until just incorporated (don't over mix), about 5 pulses.
- Divide the batter evenly among the liners in the muffin pan. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with just a few crumbs, 20 to 22 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through baking.
- Let the cupcakes cool in the muffin tin for about 15 minutes, then remove them to a wire rack and let them cool completely. Spread with frosting when cool.
- To make the frosting: Using a stand mixer, beat the cream cheese, butter, sour cream, vanilla, and salt on medium-high speed until smooth, about 2 minutes. Reduce speed to medium-slow and slowly add the sugar. Beat until completely incorporated and smooth, about 3 minutes.
- Increase speed to medium-high and beat until frosting is light and fluffy, 3-4 minutes. Spread generously onto cooled cupcakes.
Tips and Stuff:
**Duh...I figured out using canned beets would be tons easier and you could skip the chopping and microwaving part (thus, eliminating red fingers, red cabinets, red ceiling, red dog).