I didn’t know if I could start making desserts with beets and chocolate again. The Engineer did ask me to lay off for a while, but that was what, at least three years ago? So I took a chance and made these chocolate beet cupcakes from Minimalist Baker. Not only were they delicious, but I will tell you straight up I couldn’t tell they contained beets, and neither could anyone else – I don’t think the Engineer even realized this had happened until he read this blog post. We give them 4 thumbs up!
I made the beet purée a day ahead; I did have more than needed for the recipe, so I froze the leftovers.
1 medium beet (you’ll need ½ cup puréed)
1 cup (120 g.) whole-wheat pastry flour or unbleached all-purpose flour
½ cup (50 g.) unsweetened cocoa powder (plus more for topping)
1 tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. baking powder
1 pinch salt
1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk (or other plant milk; at room temperature if using coconut oil)
1 tsp. white or apple cider vinegar
¾ cup raw turbinado OR granulated sugar (I used ½ cup turbinado + ¼ cup monkfruit sugar)
¼ cup avocado or melted coconut oil
2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 425 °F.
Remove the stem and most of the root from your beet(s), 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 they have cooled, purée the beets in a small blender or food processor (you can add a bit of water to encourage mixing). Measure out ½ cup and set aside; reserve the rest for another use.
Lower the oven temperature to 375 °F. Line a muffin pan with paper liners.
In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk together the almond milk and vinegar and set aside for a few minutes to curdle. Add the sugar, oil, vanilla extract, and ½ cup beet purée and beat until foamy.
Add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients while mixing with a hand-held mixer or a wooden spoon. Beat until no large lumps remain.
Pour batter into liners, filling ¾ 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 at this point or they'll stick to the wrapper.
Once cooled, dust with cocoa powder and/or icing sugar and store in an airtight container to keep fresh.