Just in time for Valentine’s Day!
But these aren’t any normal red velvet cupcakes, loaded with an ounce plus of artificial food dye. Nope, the color of these cupcakes come from a natural whole food, which adds a few extra nutrients to the mix as well. Here’s the puree I used to gain the rich, chocolate-red color:
You heard me right! It is beet puree from freshly roasted beets. Since pink is my favorite color, I got a little obsessed. The color is pretty much dead on to the color of my walls in my room at home. Even my stand mixer matches!
While roasting the beets and making a puree does multiple extra steps to this cake, I think the time and effort is well worth it. Not only does the beet puree make the perfect color, it adds moistness that cannot be matched.
And as the batter comes together, the reaction of the beet puree + cocoa powder allows the color change to happen.
So Valentine’s appropriate
Enjoy in either full or mini size cupcakes. I vote for mini. The daintier the better.
Natural Red Velvet Cake
- 2.5 cups cake flour (300 g)
- 3 T cocoa powder (20 g)
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste (or extract)
- 2.5 cups sugar
- 4 eggs
- 1/2 cup buttermilk
- 1/2 cup plain greek yogurt
- 1 cup beet puree*
- 2 T white vinegar
- 1/2 cup raspberry puree**
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Sift all dry ingredients into medium size bowl. Whisk to combine together and set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the butter, vanilla, and sugar until light and fluffy. Then add in eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each egg addition.
In a small bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, greek yogurt, beet puree, vinegar, and raspberry puree.
In three different additions, add in 1/3 of the buttermilk mixture, followed by 1/3 of the flour mixture to the butter, mixing briefly after each addition. When the final additions have been added, mix everything just until all flour has been incorporated. Be certain to not over-mix.
Pour batter into buttered cupcakes pans. Bake for 20 minutes for standard size cupcakes, or 10 – 12 minutes for mini cupcakes.
Allow to cool and frost with cream cheese frosting.
*To make beet puree:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Remove green tops and stems from about 4 – 5 small beets, and wash to remove any excess dirt. Wrap washed beets in aluminum foil and place on a cookie sheet. Roast beets in oven for 50 – 60 minutes, or until a fork pierces flesh easily. Remove from oven, allow to cool. Using a paper towel, gently rub the outside of each beet to remove the skins. Place peeled beets in a high speed blender with about 1/4 cup water. Blend for a solid 4 – 5 minutes, or until extremely smooth, adding 1 – 2 tablespoons of extra water if necessary.
**To make raspberry puree:
Place 1/2 cup thawed raspberries and 1/3 cup freshly squeezed orange juice together in a high speed blender. Puree until smooth and strain to remove seeds.
Adapted from Little House Living