Sunday, February 10, 2013

Red Velvet (from beet juice) Cupcakes

It is the week of L-O-V-E!  And you know what?  I couldn't care less about Valentine's Day, honestly.

I know, I am such a February Grinch.

But you know all those years that you didn't have somebody to celebrate with except your girlfriends, going out together pretending that you would rather be with them than with some hot dude, all knowing you were lying to each other, but for the sake of the holiday, that lie must go on?  Yeah, that was me.  Forever.  And so at some point between passing out little grocery-store cards in elementary school and getting dressed up to pretend celebrate in college, I just gave up.

Of course, now I have my Valentine, and a forever one at that.  It does make the day seem a little more appealing... except all those people all trying to make dinner reservations for the same night, and all those expectations of roses and candy and cards and... AH!  It makes my head hurt.  Besides, Valentine's Day is celebrated on a completely different day in Brazil, so my husband would never even remember anyway.

But you know what we do remember, every single year?  President's Day.

Think about it: no crowds and you (or at least WE) get the whole day off, and it is close enough to V-day that you don't feel totally like a love-grinch.  And so, we celebrate President's Day.  I know, how romantic. ;)

In the spirit of President's Day - slash - Valentine's Day (for the rest of you), I give you kinda-red velvet cupcakes with no artificial coloring.  Ta-da!

For Sundays with Joy this week we were supposed to make her red velvet marble cake.  That sounded good and all, but I really wanted cupcakes, and not marbly ones.  And all that food coloring really just turned me off.  So I set out to see what I could do instead.  Google kindly informed me that beets were my go-to pigment changer and I just so happened to have some in the fridge, straight from the farmer's market.  Even though I didn't follow Joy's recipe, she did inspire me to create one that is amazing.  Very little sugar, no added colors, and a most-excellent taste.  PERFECT.  And just in time to celebrate President's Day... or Valentine's Day, if you are into that sort of thing.  :)

My Valentine.  (Ok, I guess I am not a total grinch!)

Red Velvet (from beet juice) Cupcakes
adapted from the Bake Cakery Blog

  • 2 large beets
  • 3 tablespoons cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/2 tablespoon white vinegar
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 heaping teaspoon plain greek yogurt
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Wrap beets individually in tinfoil, unpeeled.  Bake on baking sheet for one hour or until you can pierce with a fork.  When finished, peel beets and cut into large chunks.  Reduce oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Put beets, lemon juice, and vinegar in blender and blend until a puree.  Add other wet ingredients and blend again.
  3. Mix dry ingredients in large mixing bowl.  Add beet mixture to dry ingredients and beat with cake beater until well mixed.  
  4. Pour into cupcake liners (2/3 full) and bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until fork inserted in the middle comes out clean.

**For the frosting, I used this buttercream recipe and added the beet juice that pooled inside the tin foil to make it pink. 

**My cupcakes came out dark, but adding more lemon juice is supposed to make it brighter.  You can play around with that.  The color was bright pink batter, but dark pink/brown when baked with my amount of lemon juice. The taste was fabulous, though.

COST: $2.52   COST PER CUPCAKE (12): $0.21


  1. Awesome!!! I made your mashed sweet potatoes. They were awesome. Will def make again!!

    1. Excellent! I love them. Thinking I will make some tonight :)

  2. Is it weird that I think Vday is cute even when I don`t have a Valentine? I just I`m too obsessed with hearts that I love seeing them around. Haha.

    These cupcakes look adorableee!

    1. No, not weird. It is a cute holiday. And I am finding myself liking it more this year than any year in the past, so maybe (MAYBE) I won't be a love-grinch forever ;)

  3. Love the idea of using beet juice! The cupcakes look beautiful!


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