Actually they don’t taste like beets at all, just chocolate. Hiding healthy foods in cupcakes is fairly common, and I’ve seen chocolate beet cake mentioned a few times in discussions on using up an excessive amount of beets – which was exactly my goal. I had roasted beets for Friday’s dinner but had misjudged overall cooking time so they were not done we when ate. I tossed them in the fridge and started digging around for a beet chocolate cake recipe. I had intended on making these last weekend, but when I pulled up my recipe I discovered I needed cooked beets, unlike what you need for carrot or zucchini enhanced baked goods. I had two recipes, one from Straight From the Farm and another a friend passed along to me from The Moosewood Dessert Cookbook. I ended up going with the latter because my butter was not soft enough when I was ready to start baking. Also, it had 1/2 cup less fat in the recipe; but really the recipes were pretty similar.
Chocolate Beet Cupcakes from The Moosewood Dessert Cookbook
- 1 lb. cooked sliced beets*
- 1/2 c water
- 3 eggs*
- 1 1/2 c sugar
- 1/2 c vegetable oil
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 1/2 c white flour
- 3/4 c unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
*I actually didn’t weigh my bunch, but it was 4 medium sized beets. I roasted my beets as I usually do (poked, wrapped in foil and tossed in a 350-400 F oven for 40-60 minutes) but steaming them is another option. The original recipe called for a 15 oz can of beets.
*On eggs. I’ve been trying to get my eggs from a local farm and the last dozen that I bought were all very small. Not an issue for breakfast eggs but a problem in baking since the assumption is that you will use a large egg. A large egg should have a volume of 1/4 cup so I broke my eggs into a measuring cup and found that 3 eggs gave 2/3 cup of liquid and adding a 4th gave me 3/4 cup of egg liquid.
Preheat the oven to 350 F. Prepare 2 12-cupcake pans by putting a cupcake liner in each one (I yielded 22 cupcakes but ymmv slightly).
Cut off the tap root and stem end and peel your beets. I cut them into quarters and then pureed them in my food processor with 1/2 cup water (you can also use a blender). This should make about 1 1/2 cups of puree. My 4 beets made a bit more so I just used the 1 1/2 cups and rinsed the rest down the drain.
In a big bowl beat 3 eggs and then whisk together the sugar, oil, vanilla, salt and beet puree until it is smooth. In another bowl sift the flour, cocoa powder and baking soda together (I needed to whisk them to thoroughly combine them). Add the flour mixture to the beet mixture and stir to combine until it all just moistened and smooth. Pour about 1/4 cup of a batter in each tin, I use an ice cream scoop/server for this so each tin is filled about 2/3’s full. Bake for 15-18 minutes, check for done-ness with a toothpick, when it comes out dry they are done. Remove from the pans to a cooling rack. Frost or dust with confectioners sugar. While the cupcakes cooled I made a cream cheese frosting.
Cream Cheese Frosting from Better Homes & Gardens New Cook Book
- 6 oz cream cheese, softened but cool
- 1 stick butter, softened but cool
- 2 t vanilla
- 4 1/2 – 4 3/4 c powdered sugar, divided
Beat the cream cheese, butter and vanilla together (with a hand mixer or stand mixer) until smooth and fluffy. I use a medium speed on my stand mixer. Add two cups of powdered sugar (sift if it is lumpy) and start the mixer slowly so it doesn’t poof up everywhere. Once that is combined and smooth add 2 1/2 to 2 3/4 cups more powdered sugar and beat until smooth, about 1 minute once the powdered sugar has been incorporated into the mixture. I found 4 1/2 cups of sugar made a nice consistency for piping. If it is too thick thin it with a spoonful of milk. If it is too thin add a rounded tablespoon of powdered sugar at a time.