Inside: Get a recipe for Chocolate Beet Cupcakes, kid-friendly and packed with a super-nutritious veggie (and no food dye). Great for Valentine’s Day!
My boys are not on board with straight-up beets. Yet.
But they’ll drink them whirled into smoothies and juices. And thanks to this recipe, now they like them in cupcakes.
I call that progress.
Because part of helping your child explore (and even like!) new foods is familiarizing them with that food–in lots of different forms. Now that my kids know beets are yummy baked into cupcakes or juiced with other fruits, they may be more likely to try a roasted beet on a salad or baked into a veggie burger.
This recipe comes from a book called Adventures in Veggieland: Help Your Kids Learn to Love Vegetables with 100 Easy Activities and Recipes written by feeding therapist Melanie Potock. Her book features 20 different vegetables, with kid-tested activities and recipes that will help you introduce each veggie to your kids.
Why you’ll love this cupcake recipe
- These beet cupcakes look like red velvet cupcakes but don’t contain any red food coloring, thanks to naturally-bright-red beets.
- Your kids will get to see a veggie (maybe an unfamiliar one at that) transform into something else completely.
- If you make them together, your kids will gain experience cooking with beets, which may help them try beets in other ways.
Ingredients you need for Chocolate Beet Cupcakes
- Beets: Either packaged, cooked beets or a large roasted beet
- Milk: Use 2 percent dairy milk or unsweetened vanilla almond milk
- Apple cider vinegar
- All-purpose flour: Use gluten-free if needed
- Unsweetened cocoa powder
- Baking soda
- Baking powder: Use gluten-free if needed
- Coconut oil: melted, but not hot
- Vanilla extract
- Chocolate chips
- Whipped cream (for the final touch), from a can or homemade (or other frosting)
How to make Chocolate Beet Cupcakes
- Pulverize the beets: You can use a blender or food processor.
- Curdle the milk: Pour the milk (or almond milk) into a small bowl and whisk in the vinegar. Let it curdle slightly for 5-10 minutes.
- Mix the dry ingredients: Sift the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt together in another bowl.
- Blend the wet ingredients: Add the sugar, oil, vanilla, and beet purée to the milk and beat with an electric mixer.
- Combine the ingredients: Add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients and beat until smooth. Stir in chips.
- Bake: Line a cupcake pan with cupcake liners. Fill the muffin cups halfway and bake for 18-25 minutes at 375 degrees F. Cool on a wire rack.
- Frost: When they’ve cooled to room temperature, top the cupcakes with a dollop of whipped cream or spread with cream cheese icing or other frosting. (Here’s my recipe for Chocolate Buttercream Frosting).
How do these beet cupcakes taste?
Both of my boys loved these beet cupcakes–and yes, they knew there were beets in them. I iced mine with cream cheese frosting because I had the ingredients on hand, but you can also top them with homemade whipped cream (just omit the raspberries from that recipe to make plain whipped cream)
Should you tell your kids these cupcakes have beets in them?
Yes! Ever better: Make them together.
What if your kids don’t like beets?
Melanie says kids can learn to love any kind of food–especially vegetables–using her “Three E’s” formula:
- EXPOSE your child to new vegetables with sensory, hands–on, educational activities.
- EXPLORE the characteristics of each veggie (texture, taste, temperature, and more) with yummy and easy recipes.
- EXPAND your child’s palate and your family’s repertoire with inventive vegetable dishes.
Help! My blender won’t pulverize the beets completely!
Try adding the milk to the blender along with the beet. That may help your blender fully puree it.
What if you don’t have coconut oil?
I swapped in canola oil (I have a bad digestive reaction to coconut oil) and they turned out well.
More Dessert Recipes
- 8-9 ounces packaged cooked beets, (or 1 large roasted beet)*
- 1 cup 2 percent milk or unsweetened vanilla almond milk
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 cup plus 1 heaping tablespoon all-purpose flour (gluten-free if needed)
- 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder (gluten-free if needed)
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup melted (not hot) coconut oil
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup dark chocolate chips
- Whipped cream (for the final touch), from a can or homemade
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
- Place the beets in a blender and pulverize to your heart's content. Measure out 1/2 cup of the resulting beet puree and set it aside to use in the cupcakes.
- Pour the milk or almond milk into a small bowl and whisk in the vinegar. While giving the milk 5 to 10 minutes to curdle slightly, line two muffin pans with paper liners and sift the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt together in a separate bowl.
- Add the sugar, oil, vanilla, and pureed beets to the curdled milk and beat with an electric beater until it's foamy.
- Gently and slowly add the sifted dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and continue to beat the cupcake mix until it is smooth. Stir in the chocolate chips, except for two--eat those.
- Pour the cupcake batter into the muffin liners, filling each halfway. Bake for 18 to 25 minutes on the center rack of the oven, until a toothpick inserted into two spots in a cupcake comes out clean, ensuring that any wetness isn't just melted chocolate chips.
- Remove the cupcakes from the pan and cool on a cooling rack.
- Top each cupcake with a swirl (or dollop) of whipped cream, or add a dollop of cream cheese frosting.
*To roast beets: Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Before washing, slice off the greens and place them in a plastic bag. The greens will keep in the refrigerator for up to three days if you wait to wash them. Wash the beets, dry with a paper towel, and coat lightly with oil before wrapping them individually in aluminum foil. Place them in a small metal pan to prevent them from rolling. Roast for 45 minutes, or until cooked through. Let cool for 15 minutes before removing the foil and peeling.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 16 Serving Size: 1 cupcake
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 130Saturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 2mgSodium: 123mgCarbohydrates: 21gFiber: 2gSugar: 12gProtein: 2g
Photos by Eric Harvey Brown except cupcake photo by Sarah Smith.
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