ArrowDownFill 1arrow-small-lineFill 1Cooking Light - EasyCooking Light - FastCooking Light - So GoodCooking Light - How-ToCooking Light - Staff FaveCooking Light Badge - Wow!GroupClose IconEmailEmpty Star IconLike Cooking Light on FacebookFull Star IconShapePage 1 Copy 3Page 1 Copy 2Grid IconHalf Star IconFollow Cooking Light on InstagramList IconMenu IconPrintSearch IconSpeech BubbleFollow Cooking Light on SnapchatFollow Cooking Light on TwitterWatch Cooking Light on YouTubeplay-iconWatch Cooking Light on Youtube

Red Velvet Beet Cupcakes

Photo: Jennifer Causey
Active time 25 mins
Total time 1 hr, 45 mins
Yield

Serves 18 (serving size: 1 cupcake)

Elegant and rich, this supermoist pillow of chocolate cake gets its color and texture from the vibrant-red, naturally sweet beet. There’s nothing artificial about this dramatically hued holiday treat coated in a dense cloud of creamy white frosting. We puree the tender beet root with buttermilk and vanilla to create a luscious cream that not only adds a light, velvety texture to the cupcake but also allows us to use less sugar, oil, and butter in the batter, saving fat and hundreds of calories. You simply can’t “beet” it.

Ingredients

Cupcakes:

  • Baking spray with flour
  • 1 (10-oz.) beet, peeled and cut into 8 wedges
  • 2/3 cup nonfat buttermilk
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 8 ounces white whole-wheat flour (about 2 cups)
  • 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 large egg white

Frosting:

  • 1/3 cup plain 2% reduced-fat Greek yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons butter, softened
  • Dash of kosher salt
  • 8 ounces 1/3-less-fat cream cheese, softened
  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar

Nutrition Information

  • calories 223
  • fat 10.8 g
  • satfat 4.6 g
  • monofat 3.9 g
  • polyfat 1.3 g
  • protein 5 g
  • carbohydrate 27 g
  • fiber 2 g
  • cholesterol 41 mg
  • iron 1 mg
  • sodium 181 mg
  • calcium 72 mg
  • sugars 18 g
  • Est. Added Sugars 16 g

How to Make It

  1. To prepare cupcakes, preheat oven to 350°F. Line 18 muffin cups with liners; coat with baking spray. Place beet in a saucepan; cover with water. Bring to a boil over medium-high; boil until beet is tender when pierced, about 15 minutes. Drain; cool 10 minutes.

  2. Process beet in a food processor until very finely chopped. Remove 1 cup beet from processor; reserve remaining beet for another use. Return 1 cup reserved beet to food processor; add buttermilk and vanilla. Process until very smooth.

  3. Weigh or lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Whisk together flour, cocoa, baking powder, and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a bowl.

  4. Beat granulated sugar, oil, and 1/4 cup butter in a large bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed until fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add eggs and egg white, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Add flour mixture and beet mixture alternately to butter mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Divide batter among prepared muffin cups. Bake 18 to 20 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove cupcakes from pan; cool completely on wire rack, about 30 minutes.

  5. To prepare frosting, beat yogurt, 2 tablespoons butter, dash of salt, and cream cheese in a medium bowl with a mixer on high speed until smooth. Add powdered sugar; beat on low speed 1 minute or just until combined. (Do not overbeat.) Spread frosting evenly onto cupcakes.