It’s not often that I say to myself ”Sister, you are a freakin genius!”. But I said that one day (out loud actually) after I came up with these most excellent chocolate beet-root cupcakes. Needing my chocolate fix without the guilt, I decided to include beautiful, anti-oxidant-rich beets in the recipe. Beets are loaded with fiber, vitamin C, and folate and their natural deep red color gives these rich chocolatey treats a gorgeous midnight-pink hue. I knew when I licked the batter bowl clean that this recipe was going to be a winner.
Chocolate Frosted Cupcakes [Vegan]
- 1 1/2 cups cooked beets (about 1 1/2 tennis-ball sized beets)
- 1/2 cup pure maple syrup (not Aunt Jemima’s)
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract (avoid artificial flavorings)
- 1 1/2 cup unbleached all purpose flour
- 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 3 tsp aluminum free baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp finely ground sea salt
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 cup melted vegan butter
- 1/3 cup low fat coconut milk (or almond or rice milk)
- 11 Medjool dates
- 1 Avocado
- 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1/3 cup + 1-2 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/2 tablespoon of coconut milk
- 1/8 tsp sea salt
- Cook beets by scrubbing to wash. Lightly peel any rough skin. Cut off top and bottom. Cut into 1 inch cubes and set in a steamer or if you don't have a steamer, place in a metal colander that fits the top of sauce pot filled with about 4-5 inches of water on med high heat. Place a lid that fits the colander. Beets should not touch the water. Steam for about 30-45 minutes. (be careful that you don’t steam all your water away) Pieces should be soft when pierced with a fork. Set aside to cool completely. This step can be done the day before with cooked beets stored in the refrigerator.
- Place cooked beets, syrup and vanilla in food processor and pulse to mix. Then process on high for 3-5 minutes until very smooth. (so pretty…)
- Combine flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon in a bowl. Add beet mixture and coconut milk to dry ingredients and stir to combine.
- Add in melted coconut oil and stir well with a spoon.
- Line cupcake tin with paper cups or grease with oil spray and fill 3/4 of the way full with batter. (It’s OK to lick the bowl…no one is watching)
- Bake at 350 F for 16-18 minutes. (11 minutes for mini cupcakes) Tops should be firm to light touch. Don't over-bake. Let cool for 15 minutes while you make the frosting.
- Remove pits and skin from dates. This is a pain in the rump, but it affects the creamy-ness of the frosting. No matter how much you process it, you can’t get the skin smooth and it messes with the texture. Dates are very sticky, so the easiest way I found to remove the skins, is to have a bowl of water next to you and dip your fingers in the water as you peel the skin off. Try to find the dates whose skin is already loose to make it easy.
- Wash and cut the avocado. Always wash fruits and veggies even if you don’t eat the skin. When you drag your knife through to cut, you’re dragging everything on the surface through the food. The perfect avocado is dark greenish black (not all black)on the outside and gives to pressure when squeezed. Cut in half all around, and twist to open. Scoop out with spoon and discard pit.
- Place all ingredients in the food processor, hit hi and process the bejeziz out of it until it’s creamy smooth. Then process it a minute more.
- Frost cupcakes when cooled. Store cupcakes in the refrigerator and consume within 4 days (not hard to do...) for best taste.