Natural Red Velvet Cupcakes made with Beets

Natural Red Velvet Cupcakes | - Naturally made, vegan with no artificial food colouring!  #cupcakes #vegan #beets

It’s been about a year and a half since I posted my favourite red velvet cake recipe on Je suis alimentageuse. Since I’ve found that recipe, I use it for my cake pops and truffles not only in red, but also in purple. It is the most well received cake recipe that I have, being both subtle in flavour, as well as a light, fluffy cake that works amazingly with the cream cheese icing. But ever since I discovered the “evils” of food colouring, I have been hesitant to use food colouring ever since. Of course, every now and then, I succumb to the needs of having brightly coloured food, but I wanted to find a recipe for natural red velvet cupcakes made with beets, which surprisingly, was really hard for me to do.

I have odd standards for the recipes on my blog. I don’t want to have to buy extra ingredients at the grocery store that are specifically for one type of cake. Since I had some leftover beets from a recent batch of summer borscht, I wanted to use the boiled and grated beets that I had on hand. Most recipes I found said to either used canned beets, although cooked, the recipes I found wanted to use not only the beets, but also the canned liquid from the beetroots. Another recipe I found wanted me to use RAW beets for the best results. I thought, bah humbug, I’m not going to buy MORE beets. Who do you think I am? Dwight Shrute’s most loyal customer? I mean I love beets, but not that much. Once I finally located a recipe that called for cooked beets (they were roasted, but boiled did the trick for these), I shouted EUREKA! and went on my merry way to the kitchen. Natural red velvet cupcakes with beet goodness, here I come.

On another topic, the history of red velvet cake was slightly interesting to me. Some people told me that beets were traditionally used to colour the batter, while almost all of the recipes by famous chefs in the culinary/internet world used food colouring. If I knew of the proper resources for the history of red velvet cupcakes, I would state with certainty the facts I have discovered about red velvet cupcakes. However, since the only source I had was Wikipedia, the graduate student in me wants you to be wary of these facts and to do your own research.

According to Wikipedia and Leelabean from Leelabean Bakes, the red velvet cupcakes we know today are not the traditional red velvet cupcake. Back then, they were in fact made with food colouring, although similar to today, the distinctive texture of the cake was made with baking soda, vinegar/lemon juice, buttermilk, and cocoa powder. However, when finances were limited back in the day, some bakeries had to resort to using cheaper methods of dying the batter red—beetroot juice for example.

The main difference was in fact, the choice of icing.

Natural Red Velvet Cupcakes | - Naturally made, vegan with no artificial food colouring!  #cupcakes #vegan #beets

What we see nowadays is often cream cheese icing. Usually only with 3-4 ingredients, and is simple. Just whip up the ingredients, and you get a luscious, creamy, frosting that isn’t too rich or buttery. However, according to Leelabean, traditional red velvet frosting is a roux-based frosting, also called ermine frosting. I didn’t make it to ice these cupcakes, but sounds like a dreamy frosting and I most definitely will be trying it out in the future.

In the meantime, these cupcakes are similar to the other vegan cupcakes that I’ve made, like my green tea cupcakes and my coconut brûlée cupcakes. Although I did not use my typical flax seed meal mixture to replace eggs, these cupcakes use the beets as an egg replacer, not only dying the batter with a bright red, but also making the cupcakes a little healthier by adding some beet fibre, iron, and nutrients.

However, these cupcakes do not use the traditional mixture of buttermilk, vinegar, and baking soda to give the batter volume. Using baking soda would dull the red colour in the batter, as well as the basic pH level of Dutch processed cocoa powder. To keep the colour vibrant and red, make sure you use baking POWDER and not baking soda, as well as natural cocoa powder, which is slightly more acidic than its Dutch-cousin. Go, go, science!

Natural Red Velvet Cupcakes | - Naturally made, vegan with no artificial food colouring!  #cupcakes #vegan #beets


These cupcakes received rave reviews, both for taste as well as healthiness (aside from the cream cheese icing). The cupcakes themselves are vegan, but the original icing I made was not, since I didn’t have any vegan cream cheese on hand. I used Earth Balance anyway (butter is so expensive, and a massive tub of Earth Balance is normally only $10, plus, I got that bucket for free!).

I think the next time I attempt red velvet, I want to try the roux based icing because it sounds very intriguing. I think it would be interesting to see how it works using milk alternatives too, since milk and my digestive system are not the greatest of friends.

Anyway, I hope you enjoy this almost chemically culinary post, and I hope you enjoy!

Natural Red Velvet Cupcakes
Serves: 24 mini cupcakes + 3 regular sized cupcakes, or 12-14 regular sized cupcakes.
Recipe adapted from My Diverse Kitchen with cream cheese icing recipe from Je suis alimentageuse's Red Velvet Cake
For the cupcakes
  • - ¾ cup freshly puréed beets (boiled until tender, then puréed)
  • - ⅓ cup oil (I used coconut)
  • - 1¼ cup sugar
  • - 1½ tsp vanilla extract
  • - 1¼ cup flour
  • - ¼ tsp salt
  • - 1½ tbsp natural cocoa powder (NOT dutch processed)
  • - 1½ tsp baking powder
  • - 1 cup almond milk (or other milk alternative)
For the icing
  • - ¼ cup Earth Balance
  • - 1 block cream cheese (250g) - use vegan cream cheese to keep vegan
  • - 1 to 1½ cups icing sugar
  • - a splash of vanilla extract
  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Mix the beet purée and oil until incorporated.
  3. Add sugar, vanilla extract.
  4. In a bowl, sift together flour, cocoa powder, salt, and baking powder.
  5. Alternate adding the flour mixture and milk until incorporated into the batter.
  6. Divide among cupcake liners, filling them ¾ full, and bake for 15-20 minutes (for mini cupcakes) and 20-25 minutes (for regular sized cupcakes) until a cake tester or toothpick comes out clean when poked in the middle.
  7. To make the cream cheese icing, whip together all ingredients (add the icing sugar ½ cup at a time until it reaches your desired consistency)
  8. Pipe onto cupcakes as desired. The beetroot may discolour the frosting if left for too long, so if you are piping this ahead of time, do not do so more than 24 hours ahead of time.
  9. Keep the cupcakes in the fridge and let sit at room temp at least 30 minutes before serving.


  1. says

    I can’t wait to try your recipe! I’ve always wanted to make red velvet with beets and now I have a yummy recipe to start with.
    I’ve made the roux based frosting, and it is AMAZING! So smooth and buttery! Here is the recipe I used, from Nicole at Gluten-Free on a Shoestring.
    I think you could totally make it dairy free! Use coconut or almond milk in the roux and beat in earth balance? It would be a frosting that everyone could eat!
    Brianna @Flippin’ Delicious recently posted…Gluten-Free Baked Banana Cinnamon Sugar Doughnuts (A Guest Post from Sweet Twist of Blogging)My Profile

    • says

      Nothing like a little high school chemistry to help my food blog =P There are so many different things you can do with beets! In May I published a summer borscht recipe that uses grated beets!

      • michelle says

        hi, Lisa! its me again, so glad that you respond to me. i had tried your recipe but my cake did not rise much and they were rather gooey and sticking to the liner, not fluffyat all. did colour were nice and taste good. do you whisk with electric mixer? or just mix by hand? how i wish i can bake like you. thanks

        • says

          My cupcakes stuck a little to the liner too, but I think it’s because of the low oil content. I mixed everything by hand, but I used a food processor to purée the beetroot. Did you make a cake or cupcakes? Because I’ve never made these as a cake before and I’m not sure how they’d turn out. If your was gooey, it means you didn’t bake it long enough. Make sure that before you pull cakes out of the oven (cupcakes or cakes), you use a cake tester to check if the middle is done. A cake tester is kind of a long, skinny stick, but you can use a toothpick as well. When you poke it into the middle, it should come out either clean or with moist crumbs stuck to it. If there’s still batter on it, it means you need to bake it longer.

          • michelle says

            thanks Lisa, i shall try my second attemp later, my mom said eventhough it was gooey but taste really good. she love it.

  2. Chelsey says

    I just made these this past weekend. I found that the cupcake was really dense and moist (not really fluffy) and the color was more of a faint pinkish when cooked (the batter was bright red though). Tasted delish tho! I was surprised how everyone loved them!

    I used canned beets and drained the juice in the can. Do you think that might explain the color?

    • says

      I haven’t tried baking with canned beets, so maybe that would explain the colour change. I used boiled beets then grated them (for my summer borscht, and then I used the leftover grated beets and puréed them for this recipe), so maybe the canning process changed the chemical structure of the beetroot keratin? Thanks for your feedback though! Sorry to hear they didn’t turn out as red but I’m glad everyone liked them =)

  3. Sara Marie says

    I tried this recipe last night and was super excited to make it! I’m not a vegan, but I’m an experienced baker who likes to experiment with vegan recipes. what came out was more like a brown chocolate pudding than a red-velvety cake… not quite sure where I went wrong. any suggestions? your cupcakes look lovely!

    • says

      Yikes! Nobody seems to be having the same success that I did with my cupcakes! Did you bake them long enough? And did you make sure to use baking powder and not baking soda? The more acidic the batter, the better the red colour from the beet purée.

  4. anita says

    Hi your recipe sounds delicious and images look fab.
    any chance you could send me the measurements in grams – in the UK we work in grams not cups.


    • says

      Hi Anita! Thank you so much for commenting =) Unfortunately, I only created my recipe using volume and not weight (I know, I know, weight is just so much more accurate). The best thing you could do is use an online converter to change from cups to mL, and it might be better to work that way. I think there are converters that go from volume to weight, but you’d have to go through each ingredient individually and find out the density of the ingredient to accurately get their weight. E.g. 1 cup of icing sugar is obviously going to be less dense and therefore lighter than 1 cup of cream.

      Sorry I can’t be of more help! Let me know how it works for you.

  5. D.N. says

    Hello- I have a quick question, when using Earth Balance for the frosting, am I correct to assume you are using the original buttery spread? thanks!

  6. Meagan says

    So very lovely!! Any Chance you have recommendations for making this grain free (via almond and coconut flour).

    • says

      Hi Meagan! I haven’t really given it a try yet, but I’ve had successes with other recipes with my GF flour blend (see the Substitutions page linked between the post and the comments, or under Tips & Tricks)

      I have a feeling that using almond flour may make these cupcakes a little too dense, but I think coconut flour in combination with a bit of xanthan gum would be good.

  7. Goozzee says

    Made these for a party! Love them! Substituted organic 2% milk for the almond milk (it’s what I had in the fridge), added a little bit more of the beet puree (around 1 cup), added some chocolate chips for extra chocolatey goodness, and ground almond powder (about 2 tablespoons – to account for the extra beets). Came out great! It yielded about 35 mini cupcakes. Thanks for your recipe!

  8. Natalie says

    I made these a few days ago. I was a hair model at a training session where they were trying out reds so I thought to match the colour theme I’d bring these along for everyone to eat while waiting for hair colour to process. Well, what can I say, I had people hovering around them all night, sheepishly asking if they can have another one. A smash hit! Great texture and taste, and fantastic contrast with the cream cheese icing. 5 stars (and I’m pretty fussy).

  9. says

    These look great, I’m on the lookout for a red velvet cake recipe that uses beetroot instead of food colouring. Just one question, what the heck is Earth Balance? (I’m English lol)

  10. Ting says

    Hello Lisa! I am so glad I found your website! Even Martha Steward’s recipe called for food colouring… phhhttthhht… NO NO in my household. :p

    I love your writing! Your cakes look so pretty and I bet they are super delicious too! After looking at your pictures, I have an impulse of running out to buy the cone-shaped decoration thingi for icing (sorry I don’t know what it;s called!)!! :p

    Anyway, what is the difference between natural cocoa powder and dutch processed?

    • says

      Hi Ting! Thanks for reading and commenting =) I agree, I’m trying to phase out food colouring in my kitchen, although pretty icing for special occasions is sometimes hard to resist! I’m not an expert on different types of cocoa powder, but from my research, Dutch-processed cocoa powder is made from cocoa beans that are washed in a way that neutralizes the acidity, then roasted and ground. Natural cocoa powder is simply roasted and ground. Dutch-processed produces a darker cocoa powder that’s also stronger in chocolate flavour (IMO), but good quality natural cocoa powder is great too.

      For the purposes of this post though, since Dutch-processed is less acidic (therefore more basic on the pH scale), it reacts with the natural pigments in the beets to turn it into an orangy brown. Natural cocoa powder’s acidity means that it helps retain the natural beet pigmentation.

      As for the cone-shaped decorational thingie, I typically call it a piping bag, haha. There are different sizes, I own both a 14inch and a 16inch one, mostly so that there’s less waste, but you can buy disposable 12 inch bags that are great for quick piping jobs. I also use various couplers and piping tips, hm. I should really write a post about that haha. Anyway, thanks for reading! Sorry for this novel of a response, and I hope to see you around my blog in the future! <3

      • Ting says

        Hello Lisa! Ok Piping bag!! Got it! Words escape me today… haha

        Thanks for the explanation about dutch and natural cocoa. I am pretty sure the one I have is called dutch cocoa… and I thought I cannot use it in your recipe… For acidity, can we put some lime or lemon juice to prevent changing colour?

        • says

          Hm, that’s an interesting solution, it might work =) If you want something that’s neutral in flavour, using a little vinegar would work too. Red wine vinegar would be good for colour too I think.

  11. Elizabeth says

    Hello- I’d like to make these for my sister’s birthday party on sunday but i just want to make sure- these dont taste like beets, right?

    • says

      Hi Elizabeth! To answer your question: yes and no. If you’ve ever replaced the eggs or butter in a recipe with applesauce, you’ll notice that whatever you made will have kind of an apple-y sweetness to it. These cupcakes are still red velvet cupcakes, with a hint of beety sweetness, since beets are naturally quite sweet. It’s not overwhelming, but yes, it’s there.

  12. says

    Hi Lisa,

    I tried to bake these today but they didn’t turn out as red as yours did, and they came out of the oven quite flat… :-( I think I’ll add some apple vinegar next time, might help with both problems…. I topped them with soy whipped cream by the way, to keep them vegan :-)

    The taste was great though :-) and yours look so perfect and elegant! Can’t wait ’til my next try…

    • says

      Hi Silke! Thanks for sharing, I’m glad they tasted good, and soy whipped cream sounds wonderful =) I’m not quite sure why they turned out flat. How old is your baking soda? Sometimes if it’s older than a year or so, it’s not quite as active and doesn’t allow for your cupcakes to rise as much. Let me know how the apple cider vinegar affects your cupcakes.

  13. Isabelle says

    Wonderful recipe. Followed everything to a T and came out perfect. I used regular vegetable oil and not coconut. I really like the look of them and they are really moist. Topped these with a whipped cream frosting.

  14. Frances says

    Great recipe I made a cake let it cook 45mins it was soooo moist and full of flavour, my grandson has energies to egg n nuts, so this was perfect thankyou

    • says

      As I’ve mentioned in other comments, there is an underlying beet flavour but it’s not overpowering at all. It’s just like if you added applesauce to a cake batter. Beets aren’t really bitter at all, they’re actually sweet.

  15. Sincerefit says

    I definitely needed these to be red for pushpops but though the batter is red, the end product was not & I tried 2 different times to make the batter. :(

  16. Rizal says

    Hi Lisa, I am searching for the all-natural ingredients for RVC recipe and just found yours. Thank goodness! If beetroot is hardly to be found, is there any recommendation for its substitutes? Since beetroot is quite rare is my country. Perhaps other red pigmented fruits/veggies can be used for? How about red dragonfruit puree or pomegranate juice instead?

    • says

      Hi Rizal, unfortunately if you want the red pigment from the beets, pomegranate juice or red dragonfruit purée will probably not have the same colour. Pomegranate juice is like a blue-purple when cooked, and I’ve never used red dragonfruit purée. You could try it, and I’m sure it would taste delicious, but I think you’d have to resort to food dye to get it that red.

  17. marita nizam says

    My daughter turned vegan about a week before her birthday. So I surprised her with these cupcakes. They were absolutely delicious! I used organic beets and the colour came out perfect. I did use a little less milk than the recipe called for. I will definetely make these cupcakes again and again!

  18. says

    Roux based icing is so unique. I grew up south of New Orleans and our neighbor made and sold red velvet cakes with a roux based icing. The only place I’ve had anything like it has been at Ingrid’s, a German deli and bakery in Oklahoma City. It’s not a sweet dessert, but it’s GOOD.

  19. Diane says

    Thanks for the recipe! These came out very pretty colored — more like raspberry than red velvet, but lovely to look at. They tasted moist and fluffy, but two small children I know who love “traditional” red velvet cupcakes and other “traditional” chocolate cupcakes were not in love with these. There was a beet-ish (or other unfamiliar) taste to them, but everyone else enjoyed.

      • Diane says

        Of course! They were also good after a chill in the fridge for breakfast on the go — and surprisingly very filling (kept me till lunch!).

  20. Talli says

    Hi, I was so excited about this recipe but the cupcakes came out really gross – sickly sweet, dense and not fluffy.

    I figured it was since I used (slightly old) baked beets, rice milk (which was a bit sweet already) and maybe my measurements were different (I use metric standards)

    I will try it again and try follow the recipe properly!!

    • says

      That’s really odd because I actually found the cupcakes at a perfect amount of sweet when I made them, and I don’t like cupcakes to be very sweet in the first place. They should be fluffy—I’m not quite sure why they were dense. Did you use fresh baking powder? I find that older baking powder that’s been sitting in the pantry for at least 6 months isn’t as effective.

      The fresher the beets, the brighter the colour should be, but I don’t see why it would make it any sweeter or more dense. Just make sure you purée it very finely. If there are chunks, it will definitely make for a heavier batter (resulting in dense cupcakes).

  21. lori bell says

    does beets change flavor never had a beet. and i never ate red velvet cupcake because of the food coloring
    thank you

    • says

      Hi Lori,

      Maybe I’m biased because I like beets, but there’s an earthy sweetness that beets have in the cupcakes. Red velvet to me is a combination of softness, sweetness, and a hint of chocolate and these cupcakes fit that description for me. I’ve been told you can taste the beets, but it’s not overwhelming.

  22. Alex Noonan says

    Hi Lisa, just want to say i loved your recipe, it was really hard to find a “traditional” red velvet cake/cupcake recipe online, all i could find were the food colouring chocolate recipes so just wanted to say thank you very much for this great recipe, the cupcakes were greatly enjoyed by my classmates and myself.

    • says

      I’m so glad you liked it! Yes I think at the time the reason I was so excited about this recipe was because I had such a hard time finding a natural red velvet cupcake recipe =) thank you for taking the time to leave this comment, Alex!

  23. Rose says

    Hi Lisa

    I made your velvet beetroot cupcakes last night and my two year old loved them and I thought they were not too bad. The beetroot seemed to take forever to boil and go tender. At first I found the mixture to be a little runny so I felt I had to add more flour to the mixture. Mine turned out more of a browney red colour. I used organic beetroot. I put olive oil in the mixture. They took longer than 25 minutes to cook so that the toothpick came out clean. I cooked them at 180 degrees Celsius. They tasted a bit like a chocolate pudding to me. The next day after being in the fridge over night they did not stick to the paper anymore. They were not as goey. I did not get a chance to ice them as my toddler wanted to eat them straight away. I need to find an alternative icing as she has dairy allergy.

    • says

      Hi Nicole,

      Thank you so much for your feedback! I’m sure lots of others will benefit from reading about your experience =)

      Beetroot: You can cut the beetroot into smaller pieces to boil if you want, but their beety goodness might leech into the water. Alternatively you can roast the beetroot (wrap in tinfoil and roast at 375 for about an hour, depending on how big they are).

      Runny texture: My cupcakes weren’t very thick in consistency, it’s kind of a thinner cupcake batter but it’s definitely thicker than pancake mix if that gives you a better idea.

      Flavour: Red velvet is traditionally just a moist, softly sweet cupcake with a light chocolate flavour. I’ve baked these a few times and I’ve never had them be gooey.

      Icing: If you use a vegan cream cheese like Daiya, you can definitely use cream cheese icing. I also have a vegan ermine frosting, which is the traditional icing for red velvet.

    • says

      Hi Emily, I’m not sure. I purposely used almond milk to make the cupcake vegan, and the pH level is vital to keep the beets red when you bake them. If you try it I’m sure other readers would like to hear your experience with it.

  24. Amy says

    I just made these today with my 3 year old. We both loved them. I used whole (organic, grass-fed) milk and raw turbinado sugar — I think because of the color of the sugar, they were darker than yours. Still, a beautiful, deep color and very tasty. I do think that an egg would fluff them up for people who are not vegan (they didn’t rise as much as I would’ve like and they are a bit dense, but still very moist), so I may experiment with that next time. I even used some of the beet juice from boiling them and colored the frosting. It turned out a bright, outrageously pretty fuchsia color. Anyway, thanks for the recipe and I will be following you!

    • says

      Glad you liked them and I’m sure others would benefit from your suggestions and experience =) I love beet-coloured frosting, it’s so gorgeous. Thank you so much for the feedback!

  25. Carol says

    Hi… I’m just wondering if I want to add eggs to this recipe, would it be ok? It has lovely colour and smell (from coconut oil as well) but doesnt have texture like a cake. Thanks.

  26. Savannah says

    Thanks so much for this recipe! Just wanted to let you know they turned out great, and my two year old son absolutely loved them (as well as everyone else who tried them). I followed the recipe pretty much exactly, except I used vegan cream cheese. My friends are already asking when I’ll be making them again. Haha

  27. says

    I have made the same recipe just like yours, but why my cake isn’t red like yours, i am using electric oven with only bottom heater, so that i have to bake it about 60 minutes, was that make my cake brown instead of maroon red?

    • says

      Hi Nisak, I’m not sure, but that’s probably why. I also haven’t tried baking this as a full cake, only as cupcakes, so the longer baking time may turn the beets orangey brown.

  28. says

    These cupcakes are delicious! Definitely worried that the beets would overwhelm the flavor…wonderful surprise that they turned out so sweet! I’ve been searching high and low for a recipe this great; thank you! Thinkin of adding dark chocolate chips next time. And I use a very rich unsweetened cocoa, so thinking of adding only a full tablespoon of it on the next round, so they’re more red. We love these, though,and the recipe is definitely a keeper!

  29. Binteashraf says

    Hi, could please tell me how to make beet root puree’ and can i use this recipe to make a cake? for 9” or i have to double it :) please reply

    • says

      Hi Binteashraf, as indicated in the recipe, I make beet root purée by boiling the beets, peeling and then puréeing them. I’ve never made a full cake with it before, but if you look at the other comments, some other people have mentioned how they made it into a cake.

  30. sue says

    The first time I made them even though I used beets that were canned in water with no salt added I noticed that the batter was really bright red until I added my flax milk ( due to nut allergy) which dulled the color to a kind of dull purple red Also when I took them out of the oven they collapsed even though I had tested them for doneness with a skewer. The cupcakes came out a reddish brown not bright red like yours. My second attempt also with the canned beets. I decided to replace the milk with 1/2 cup red beet water and 1/2 cup water instead of the milk. The batter stayed red. These cupcakes did not collapse but the bottoms seemed to be oozing oil when I placed them on to a wax paper to cool and the cupcakes were very gooey even though I tested them for doneness with a skewer. The color still was not bright red like yours. I guess I should try to find some fresh beets to make this recipe. Didn’t your red batter change color when you added your milk?

    • says

      Nope, adding milk didn’t change the colour much, if anything it made the batter a little lighter and brighter because the white gave the red pigment a contrasting undertone. Honestly I’ve only ever used freshly boiled beets for this recipe, or leftover grated beets from my borscht recipe. I haven’t ever used canned beets so I have no idea how it would affect the colour. The more you cook beets (also the longer) the less vibrant the pigment becomes.

  31. Nina V says

    These are baking in the oven, as I type. I used beetroot, from our garden, and organic soy milk. I have high hopes for them, as the batter on my fingers tasted delicious. :)
    Thank you for sharing this recipe.

  32. Julia says

    Serves me right! I only read the recipe, so when I mixed my dry ingredients and accidentally added baking soda instead of baking powder, I decided to just go with the baking soda & vinegar leavening technique. Result? Brown “Red Velvet” cupcakes. It’s a bit of a letdown, but they still taste great…with a beety finish, no less!

  33. Vikki says

    This is the second recipe I have made of yours and I really want to compliment you on these! They are DELICIOUS! I have a 1 year old (today!) who has milk, egg, and peanut allergies so I am trying more vegan cooking and baking for he and I. We really enjoyed his birthday cupcakes this afternoon as did my very picky 3.5 year old. I was nervous because I’ve never boiled a beet or even eaten one in many years but they are so sweet it’s not noticeable. I did add a few tablespoons more of flour because my batter was so runny there was no way to safely get it in the muffin tin without making a giant mess, plus I worried about how they’d hold up. I also had to bake them for around 30 minutes but I did standard muffins not minis. I then sprinkled a little powdered sugar on them instead of icing!

    • says

      Thanks for taking the time to leave this comment Vikki! Glad to know that it turns out in standard muffin size too. Did they turn out with the right colouring too?

  34. says

    I believe in your recipie because I read the story about this before, then I tohought ¨she has passion for discovering and improving.. like me” then I made it and it is a great recipie. I only change a little bit adding white balsamic to the beets pure when you are processing it, I did thinking in keep it acidic as much as possible and thinking in balsamic put up any flavour (it works really good with sweet carrots sauce!).
    The only detail that I would love fix it is that at the bottom of the muffin was like a littlesmashed(like when you put too much liquid and it coulndt grow, some idea?
    Also I take out half size of cocoa. The colour was perfect red, the flavour really nice, with frosting is perfect but not vegan….
    May be I will experimetn with this:
    Use coconut milk or rice milk instead almonds (for people with nuts allergies)
    Use apple sauce instead oil?….
    Use gluten free flour instead wheat?….

    • says

      Hi Ivan! Those sound like great ideas. Yes, since I posted this recipe, I’ve transitioned to vegan. I recently posted a vegan cream cheese frosting recipe that’d be great for this. I wouldn’t recommend taking out the cocoa since red velvet cake is supposed to be a soft cake with a bit of chocolate flavour. I wouldn’t recommend taking out the fat content of the batter lest the baked cake be too dry, plus more fruit purée will weigh down the batter, making the cupcakes very dense.

  35. says

    Hi! I’m doing a class project on healthy foods and I’ve decided to do this recipe on velvet cupcakes with beet juice. Love the idea and the healthy style of it by the way! Anyways I have a few questions to ask, how many calories are in this recipe? Also I only have one time to make this before I bring it into my class, I want to make sure that it will come out to be delicious and well done. If anyone has chance to respomd to this comment and let me know how the recipe turned out that would be great!

    • says

      Hi Maggie,

      I don’t count calories, so I have no idea how many calories there are in the recipe. Several other people have made this recipe and it’s worked out if you follow the instructions I’ve given you. If you read the other comments, you can see what has and hasn’t worked for others.

  36. alexis says

    Hey Lisa! I realize that there isn’t any flour in this recipe….could that be what is making peoples cupcakes come out so gooey? is there supposed to be flour in it at all, if so whats the blend is it gluten free and can it be if it isn’t already. thanks!!

  37. Paw says

    Hello Lisa!
    I’m going to make these for a birthday party friday night :)
    I was just wondering if I could make them the day before? And would they keep in the fridge if I ever decide to make a batch for myself to eat over a few days (ahem. Well, that’s the plan).
    Thank you for sharing!

    • says

      Yes you can, but wait to frost them because the beet colouring can bleed into the icing a bit. I put them in the fridge in an airtight container. The tops will get a little tacky but if you frost it before eating, nobody will know ;)

  38. renee says

    Hallo lisa
    Your cupcakes look wonderful. The reciepe from my diversekitchen,you mentioned uses lemonjuice but yours not . I’m not sure which one to follow

    • says

      Hi Renee,

      I adapted the recipe to the one in my post based on the one from MDK. I like to source because I’m not trying to pass this off like I invented the idea =P. You could use that one, or you could use mine. I know mine works, but I’m not sure about the one from MDK. It’s up to you =P

  39. Don says

    Tried these and they came out like glue balls. Stuck to the wrapper instead of itself. Something is really wrong with this recipe – sorry.

    • says

      Sorry to hear it worked out that way! I and others have made these without that issue, but I do agree that they tend to stick a bit to the wrapper. In my experience with baking, adding a bit more oil helps them from sticking to the wrapper.

  40. Melissa says

    I was so excited to find a recipe that used beets! The color was great, but the taste was very bland. I couldn’t really taste the beets which was good, but just no flavor at all.

    • says

      It’s to emulate the flavour of red velvet actually, which is basically just a moist cupcake with a hint of chocolate. If you feel like you needed to amp up the flavour, maybe add more vanilla, sugar, or chocolate?

  41. Bonnita says

    I was glad to stumble across your recipe as like you I was finding it very hard to find a vegan red velvet recipe that used natural colouring. I tried your recipe first using cooked vacuum packed shop bought beets but the cakes came out brown, sticky and a bit dense with a chocolatey taste of beets which my husband didn’t care for. Not wanting to waste any more cakes or time boiling beets I gave it a second round using raw beets, peeled and chopped in the food processor before pureeing them in the blender with about 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice as liquid to help them puree and keep the acidity up plus a touch more water as I didn’t want the lemon flavour to come through. I then cut down on some of the vanilla and added a little chocolate extract and almond extract in it’s place. The result was a beautifully red, well risen, light, fluffy and moist cupcake with a sweet light chocolatey taste and complimentary almond undertones which didn’t taste of beets at all (or lemon). I’m so grateful for your base recipe to experiment with.

  42. Bonnita says

    Just to add that 2 days later and my vegan cream cheese icing that I piped on the top has not been discoloured in any way by the beetroot. Yay!

    • says

      I haven’t tried it myself, but I would bake it at 350ºF in a 9 inch pan for at least 25 minutes, until a cake tester came out of the middle clean. It might take 30 minutes.

  43. says

    This recipe is yumm. I try this weekend and got around 13 cup cakes . Thanks a lot. This is my first red velvet cupcake attempt and you made it so easy and sweet. I always wanted to avoid the red food colour

  44. en says

    hey, great recipe. I made mini cup cakes, turned out lovely. Everyone loved it at my work place. I didn’t have cream cheese in my refrigerator at 11 in the night when i was making them, so just dusted them with some powdered sugar in the end.
    Reading through the comments, I had also added some crushed almonds and choco chips for the flavour.. great idea i must say! Didn’t boil the beetroots, roasted them wrapped in a foil on a pan.
    Received rave reviews. No one could guess that the cakes had beetroots and were eggless. I personally loved them because i am allergic to eggs!

    The only downside, while the outer crust was pretty red, inside it had become brown. Any idea why that happened? Did that happen to your cakes as well. Will definitely make these again. Thanks a ton! :)


  1. […] Beets and cupcakes are two things that normally do not go together. However, this red velvet cupcake recipe uses them instead of red food coloring in order to produce a brightly colored treat. The batter is also vegan, made of beets, coconut oil, flour, sugar, vanilla extract, salt, baking powder, natural cocoa powder and almond milk. The frosting contains cream cheese, but is otherwise healthy, although you can always substitute in vegan cream cheese if you prefer. Source Je Suis Alimentaguese […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Rate this recipe:  

CommentLuv badge