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Chocolate and Beetroot Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting


The beetroot keeps these delicious cupcakes moist and gives them a lovely deep red colour. I made a batch of these and took then as a reward for my friends who were cold water swimming and managed to convert someone’s husband who apparently can’t even look at beetroot. Admittedly he had no idea what he was eating until it was too late – he looked absolutely horrified at the thought of having eaten beetroot but then decided that it wasn’t so bad after all. You really cannot taste the beetroot...The cream cheese frosting is one I have made up – it is not too sweet but nice and tangy which is as it should be.

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  • For the cupcakes:
  • 120g flour
  • 60g cacao powder sifted
  • 170g golden caster sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 170g cooked beetroot (not pickled!)
  • 2 large eggs at room temperature
  • 140ml vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste/extract
  • For the Cream Cheese Frosting:
  • 200g cold cream cheese
  • 100g soft butter
  • 1tsp vanilla extract
  • 100g caster sugar


servings 12
Level of difficulty Easy
Preparation time 15mins
Cooking time 20mins
Cost Budget Friendly


Step 1

Preheat the oven to 160C/325F and line 12 muffin tin with paper liners.

Step 2

Place a large mixing bowl directly on the scales and set the scales to zero. One spoonful at a time, measure out the cacao powder into a sieve and sift it straight into the mixing bowl. Keep an eye the weight – 60g is usually about 4 tablespoonfuls. Then re-set the scales to zero and add the flour and then do the same for the sugar. Measure in the baking powder and salt then give everything a really good whisk to mix it well and also aerate it.

Step 3

Place the beetroot in a food processor and blitz for 30 seconds or so. Scrape down the sides and add in the eggs and vanilla paste/extract and blitz again for 30 seconds. Scrape down the sides again and with the motor running, pour in the oil and process for about one minute.

Step 4

Scrape out the beet mix onto the top of the dry ingredients and stir with a spatula until it is just blended – do not overwork the batter.

Step 5

Evenly spoon the batter between the 12 paper cases.

Step 6

Chocolate and Beetroot Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting - Step 6

Bake for 20 minutes, turning the tray around half way through if you oven has hot spots like mine does. To check that it is done, poke a toothpick or wooden skewer into the centre of one of the middle cakes – it should not have any batter clinging to it. If it does, pop it back in for another 5 minutes and check again.

Step 7

FROSTING : Beat the butter and sugar together with an electric mixer until light and fluffy – probably 5 minutes or so. Add the vanilla and beat again. Finally add the cream cheese an beat until just combined. Do not over-beat the cream cheese as this will make the frosting runny.

Step 8

Chocolate and Beetroot Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting - Step 8

Spoon into a piping bag and frost the cakes or just smear it on with a spoon and knife.

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