I met my husband, Etienne, at work. As we got to know each other, sometimes we would take a coffee break together at a nearby café called Bumpy’s. We quickly bonded over our shared love of their warm, giant, bakery style muffins. I often daydream about taking over the muffin lady’s job one day. Anyway, one day we broke tradition and ordered a piece of their chocolate beet cake to share. It was velvety smooth and incredibly moist, and tasted nothing like beet. Etienne never stopped talking about it!
SO – fast forward a few years and two kids later, I decided that it was my duty as a loving wife to recreate this recipe for him.
After a few trial runs and more than a few beety disasters, I created a winner. It’s so good, that Etienne has even declared it BETTER than that chocolate beet cake that has been on a pedestal all this time. Victory is mine!
I originally made this recipe as a 2 layer cake for Etienne’s birthday, but I think the cupcakes are a great option if you want to bring something different and unique to an event. Wait until the guests have eaten them and declared them to be the best cupcake they’ve ever had until you reveal the main star of the show, beets!
You begin by peeling and then baking the beets for about 30 minutes in the oven, with a small amount of liquid. Reserving some of the liquid to use as a natural coloring for your icing, the beets are then turned into a puree. I like to use my immersion blender for this. You need to make sure you’re wearing an apron or old clothes while handling the beets unless you want to look like a purple people eater before you’re done.
To help offset the beet flavor and really bring out the chocolate taste, I include cold coffee in the recipe along with the cocoa powder. I know, it seems wonky. Coffee and beet flavors in the same recipe? Just trust me. It tastes great!
After baking and while the cupcakes are cooling, you can prepare your icing. I think classic buttercream is the perfect finish to these cupcakes, and the leftover liquid from roasting the beets can be used to naturally color the icing. You can make it as pink as you want!
Ok, your turn. Serve up some of these chocolate beet cupcakes and then watch the disbelief when you reveal the secret ingredient!Tweet about the beets!Click To Tweet
Moist, fluffy double chocolate beet cupcakes with naturally colored buttercream icing.
- 2–3 medium beets, peeled and halved (3/4 cup puree)
- 3 tbsp water
- ½ cup butter, softened
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 egg room temperature
- 1 tsp vanilla
- ½ cup cold coffee
- 1 ½ cups all purpose flour
- ½ cup cocoa powder
- ½ tsp sea salt
- ¾ tsp baking soda
- ¼ tsp baking powder
- ¾ cup chocolate chips
- 1 cup of salted butter
- 3 tsp of vanilla
- 4 cups of powdered sugar
- 3 tbsp of coffee cream (18% and up)
- 1 tbsp reserved beet liquid
- Preheat the oven to 400 F.
- Place the peeled beets into a small casserole dish with the water and cover the dish. Bake for 30 minutes or until the beets are tender. Allow the beets to cool
- Reserving the remaining liquid, transfer the cooled beets into a blender or use an immersion blender to create a smooth puree.
- Reduce the oven temperature to 350 F and line a 12-cup muffin tin with cupcake liners.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer or in a bowl using an electric hand blender, beat together the butter with the granulated sugar.
- Beat in the egg and then the vanilla.
- Add ¾ cup of beet puree and beat until mixture is thoroughly combined.
- Slowly pour in the cold coffee and mix for about a minute.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, salt, baking soda and baking powder.
- Add half the dry mixture to the liquid, and beat well. Follow with the second half of the mixture, beating well again.
- Stir in the chocolate chips.
- Divide cupcake batter evenly among the muffin tin and bake in the oven for 22-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Cool the cupcakes for a few minutes in the pan, and then completely cool on a wire rack before icing.
- Whip the butter using a handheld electric mixer or a stand mixer. Add in the powdered sugar and 1 tbsp of the reserved beet liquid (more or less depending on how pink you want it).
- Add the vanilla extract, and 3 tbsp of cream, adding more or less depending on how stiff you’d like the icing to be.
- Ice the cupcakes using a piping bag or spatula.
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