Red Velvet Beet Cupcakes with Classic Vanilla Buttercream Frosting
Ah, the sweeter side of vegetables. From carrot cake to zucchini bread, fresh veggies definitely have a place on my dessert table. Carrots, beets, zucchini, corn. they all lend themselves to wonderful summer dessert recipes. I also LOVE chocolate, so I thought, “Why not combine vegetables with chocolate and make this whole ‘veggies for dessert’ idea a thing?”
But, veggies in cupcakes? Stay with me…
Lots of different vegetables can make good desserts. Zucchini are great because they add tons of moisture. Carrots make good desserts because they are naturally sweet—a healthier alternative to sugar-heavy treats.
When root veggies are roasted or baked, their natural sweetness is enhanced, creating a rich flavor profile—and that’s a great excuse to turn on the oven this summer! (Yep, I like to bake all year long.) Baking in summertime can actually be a lot of fun. You get to explore seasonal flavors unique to this time of year. Incorporating fresh berries, stone fruits, and more will yield a recipe box full of juicy and delicious treats.
So call your family and friends—my Red Velvet Beet Cupcake recipe topped with my Classic Vanilla Buttercream Frosting is shareable and perfect for picnics and get-togethers in the warm summer sunshine.
In case you need more convincing, beets and chocolate naturally go very well together!
Beets and chocolate make a perfect (albeit slightly unorthodox) pair. Beets have a delightful flavor that complements chocolate so well. The earthy undertones of the beet enhance the depth of the chocolate's flavor, creating a flavor balance that appeals to both sweet and savory preferences. When added to desserts like cakes, cupcakes, and brownies, beets add natural sweetness and moisture, which means we can use less refined sugar and fat. It really is a way to add veggies to a dessert without sacrificing any of the flavors!
Pro Tip: I use my large food processor to make the batter for this recipe.
By pulsing the beets with the liquid ingredients, I get a nice smooth batter. If you don’t have a large food processor, use the size you have, working in batches if necessary, then transfer the beet mixture to a mixing bowl and use a handheld mixer to incorporate the dry ingredients.
Decorating Your Cupcakes
Another benefit of using beets in this recipe is that you’ll get a gorgeous red velvet cake batter without using food dye. The beets’ bright red color gives the batter a natural and subtle red hue, making these cupcakes all the more enticing and memorable.
Once they’re baked and cooled, top your natural red velvet cupcakes with a generous swirl of homemade vanilla buttercream frosting and a sprinkle of white sparkling sugar for that something extra. Although these are individual servings, you’ll definitely find yourself reaching for more than one. But what the heck—they’re made with vegetables, right? They must be good for you on some level!