I have been surprised by the ingredients that have made our family favorite baking recipes successful..and strangely enough they are all healthy and ingredients you assume moms add to recipes to boost health, not taste. I love sharing recipes that kids actually like, plus are healthy with only clean ingredients. With our homemade granola bar recipe the secret is apple sauce. With chocolate muffins it’s zucchini and with the cupcakes I’ve prepared for my twins birthday celebration the secret ingredient is beets. Nothing surprises me anymore. =) And I’d like to point out nobody in my family knows there are beets inside the cupcakes – when they saw the beets roasting I told them they were only for the icing colour. Even my husband wasn’t told the truth with this recipe because he is worse than the kids with trying new things. They got the thumbs up from everyone and it’s going to be our little secret until, like all the recipes I’ve listed, they no longer care what is hidden inside because they love eating it so much!
The recipe is modified from Joy The Baker with my little changes.
2 medium beets
1 teaspoon olive oil
3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup whole brown sugar
3/4 cup golden cane sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup dark cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups milk
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Wash clean beets in a piece of foil. Drizzle with just a bit of olive oil. Seal up foil. Place on a baking sheet in the oven. Roast until beets are tender when pierced with a knife, about 1 hour. ** Save the beet juice at the bottom of the foil to use for icing dye ** Remove the beets from the oven. Open the foil and allow beets to cool completely. Beets will be easy to peel (just using a paring knife) once completely cooled. Grate the peeled beets using the finest side of a box grater. Measure 3/4 cup of grated beets for the cake. Set aside.
In the bowl of an electric stand mixer or hand mixer, cream together butter and sugars. Beat on medium speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 to 5 minutes. Beat in eggs, one at a time, for one minute after each addition. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Once eggs are incorporated, beat in beets and vanilla extract until thoroughly combined.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
Add half of the dry ingredients to the butter and egg mixture. Beating on low speed , slowly add the milk. Once just incorporated, add the other half of the dry ingredients. Beat on medium speed until milk and dry ingredients are just incorporated. Try not to overmix the batter. Bowl can be removed from the mixer and mixture folded with a spatula to finish incorporating ingredients.
Spoon the batter into the cups, filling each 3/4 full. Bake for 20-22 minutes (for mini-cupcakes) or 22-24 minutes (for regular-sized cupcakes). Test when a skewer is inserted in the center and comes out clean. Remove cupcakes from the oven and allow to rest for 10 minutes. Place on a cooling rack and allow to cool completely before frosting the cupcakes.
450 grams of cream cheese
1/2 cup butter
3 cups confectioners sugar
In the bowl of an electric stand mixer or handheld, beat cream cheese for 30 seconds and butter until well combined. Stop the mixer and scrape down the bowl as necessary. Add the powdered sugar about 1 cup at a time and mix on low until completely combined. Add your beet juice for coloring. Refrigerate the frosting for 30 minutes before frosting the cooled cupcakes.
I lost the beet juice when I unwrapped the foil so save that juice – it’s precious, organic dye for your icing! I tried the method of add larger chunks of cooked beet to the icing but the color is light using this method.