Valentine’s Day Beet Cupcakes (5 points)

Beet cupcakes These shockingly red and sumptuously rich cupcakes have an all-natural secret- pureed beets. Awesome, right?

As beets cook, their color intensifies into a bright garnet color and their sweetness comes through with a deep earthiness. They are such a perfect addition to Valentine’s Day cupcakes. beet cupcakes

It also doesn’t hurt that beets make these cupcakes a little healthier. By using beets, we can eliminate the oil altogether while getting a good dose of vitamins C, betaine and various antioxidants. But how do they taste? Rich, complex and wholesome. If you didn’t know that beets were in the recipe, you wouldn’t guess it. There’s just an extra note of earthiness, a delicate aroma and an incredible moistness.

Most importantly, these cupcakes are fun. Deep red with swirls of white chocolate to make the red pop even more, these cupcakes are so much fun to share. Mr. Hot and Spicy and I shared these while snuggling up to watch Flight. Later on, I’ll bring some in to work and shock my coworkers with the novelty of beets in cake. And if you’re sending in cupcakes to your child’s school for Valentine’s Day, I can tell you from my experience as an elementary teacher that these cupcakes would be preferable to the sugar bombs sold at the supermarket.

Unfortunately, as I’ve said before, I’m not much of a baker. I don’t have the patience for the details of baking or the preciseness for the chemistry of baking. So, although I’m usually against processed foods, I used a cake mix as the base for these cupcakes. Eventually I’d like to evolve this recipe to a from-scratch version (maybe next year?) but for now I enjoyed the shortcuts of cake mix.

Valentine’s Day Beet Cupcakes

Ingredients:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERACupcakes

  • 1 bunch beets, about 3 medium or 5 small
  • 1 cup water reserved from cooking the beets
  • 2 eggs
  • white cake mix (I used Duncan Hines Classic White Cake Mix)

White Chocolate Drizzle: (optional)

  • ½ cup white chocolate chips
  • ¼ teaspoon vegetable oil

Equipment:

  • Cupcake tin
  • Cooking spray or cupcake baking cups

Directions:

1.         Preheat the oven to 350˚.

2.         Wash the beets and trim them of any leaves or stalks. Don’t peel them. Did you know you can eat beet leaves? If your beets came with leaves, save them and use them in a salad.

Beets    3.         Place the beets in small pot and add enough water to cover. Boil the beets for 30 to 40 minutes or until the beets can easily be pierced by a fork. You want the beets to be super tender. Let the beets and the water cool. Reserve the water the beets cooked in.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA4.         Once the beets are cool enough to handle, you can slip off their skin. I say slip and not peel because the skin really does just “slip” right off if you use the paper towel method. Use a paper towel to tug the skin off.

5.         Roughly chop up the beets and add them to your blender. Remember the cooking liquid you reserved? See how it’s a deep, deep crimson? Add one cup of that to the blender. Puree until the mixture is smooth. The result will be soooo red!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA6.         In a bowl, mix together the cake mix, the eggs and the beet puree. Mix until smooth.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA7.         Spray your cupcake tin with cooking spray or line with baking cups. Fill each cup 2/3 of the way. I got about 15 cupcakes but your results may vary slightly. (Shh… I’m a batter eater.)

8.         Bake according to the directions on your cake mix box. 20 minutes at 350˚ was perfect for mine. Let the cupcakes cool before adding the white chocolate drizzle.

9.         To melt the chocolate chips, use a microwave-safe bowl and your microwave set on low (I use the defrost setting). Add the vegetable oil to the chocolate. I had to learn the hard way that chocolate won’t drizzle without it. Cook for 30 seconds at a time, stirring like mad in between. Eventually, the chocolate will melt enough to flow smoothly and you have a few minutes before it hardens again. Drizzle the top of each cupcake with whatever design you can create. Have fun!

Yields 15 cupcakes

Serving Size: 1 cupcake

With white chocolate drizzle:

Weight Watchers Points+: 5

Calories 168, Carbs 29, Fat 5g, Protein 2g

Without white chocolate drizzle

Weight Watchers Points+: 4

Calories 130, Carbs 24, Fat 3g, Protein 2g

Beet cupcakes

{ 2 comments… add one }

  • ohlidia February 12, 2013 at 9:03 am

    My girls and I love Red Velvet Cupcakes. I make them as well but not with beets, although I have always wanted to try. You really don’t taste them? I’ve got to try them, but not tell my girls the secret ingredient or they won’t eat them! I love that you give the WW points. Although I am no longer on the program, I really should be! :)

    Reply edit
    • hotspicyandskinny February 12, 2013 at 9:19 am

      I won’t say they don’t taste at all like beets. There’s something there, just a faint aroma, a delicate taste. But it doesn’t obviously taste like beets. When I’ve made people guess the secret ingredient, they usually can’t tell something is different.

      Reply edit

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