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Red Velvet Cupcakes

Red Velvet Cupcake Graded-2650

This is my healthy take on the traditional red velvet chocolate cake.  It’s lovely and moist from the fresh grated beetroot that i’ve added into my cupcake batter and it replaces the traditional red food colouring found in traditional recipes. I’ve thrown in a handful of raisins to add a touch more sweetness and it marries well with the cocoa and cinnamon. You can also add prunes in place of the raisins that provide a lower glycemic response and suited for more mature palettes. The final cupcake looks wholesome and healthy, quite rustic actually which I really love. I enjoyed them topped simply with a spoonful of thick Greek style yoghurt, but check out my frosting recipes below to choose the one that suits you !  If you’re entertaining, then adding a few raspberries over the top will add another amazing flavour sensation.

What’s good about it:
Beetroots are packed with phytonutrients called betalains that provide antioxidant and anti-inflammatory support to the body. Dark chocolate is associated with a reduced risk for heart disease, stroke, and diabetes according to studies from the British Medical Journal. Chocolate contains compounds that act as stimulants believed to boost serotonin and endorphin levels in the brain.  It contains the stimulants theobromine and caffeine that can increase alertness and give you a pleasurable sensation similar to the high people get after exercise. Egg and almonds are packed with protein your body needs to help it repair as well as support a healthy immune system.

260 g ( about 2 large/ 9 oz) ) beetroot, grated raw with skin
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract or paste
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Pinch of sea salt
150 g (1  ½ cups/ 5  1/4 oz) ground almonds or almond meal
¼ cup  or 3 tablespoons cocoa powder or Healthy Chef Naked Chocolat 
3 tablespoons your choice (macadamia oil, olive oil, coconut oil, avocado oil) or melted butter
¼ cup (60 ml)  honey or pure maple syrup
½ cup raisins or prunes chopped (optional but lovely)
1 teaspoon gluten free baking powder or 1/4 teaspoon bicarb soda or baking soda

Preheat your oven to 160 C. (320 F) fan forced or 180 C (356 F) no fan.
Combine raw beetroot, eggs, vanilla, cinnamon, ground almonds, cocoa, honey,oil, raisins or prunes if using and baking powder into a large bowl.
Mix well with your hands until combined.
Spoon into paper lined cupcake or small muffin tins.
Bake for 45 minutes or until cooked through.
Remove from the oven and cool completely in the tin.
Serve alone or topped with your desired flavoured frosting (see below for frosting recipes)

Notes:

  • I love to serve mine simply with thick vanilla, Greek Style yoghurt.
  • Serve topped with raspberries which add that extra layer of deliciousness to the eating experience.
  • You can buy almond meal or almond flour from most health food stores.  You can also make your own almond meal by blending in a Vitamix dry jug.
  • For a smoother cake batter or the time poor folk, combine almonds (meal, whole or flaked) into your high speed blender and combine with eggs, oil + honey or maple syrup.  This will automatically blend your batter into a smooth velvety consistency.
  • Add beetroot and the rest of the ingredients and blend again  -  bake as required.
  • For those who want to use a wholemeal spelt flour 1 cup should replace the almond meal.  You will need to add another 1/4 your choice of oil or butter to the recipe.

Sydney siders can pick up lovely almond meal direct at THE NATURAL GROCER Alexandria.  Anywhere from 1 kg – 10 kg boxes.

Makes 12 cupcakes

Protein: 4.7 g
Total fat: 11.8 g
Saturated: 1.4 g
Carbs: 12 g
Sodium: 31.4 mg
Calories: 171
kilojoules: 714
Fiber: 2.4 g

Yummy Simple Frosting ideas:

1  Thick Greek Style yoghurt or coconut yoghurt.

2 For a delicious almond or rice milk cream combine 1 1/2 cups  milk, 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste, 1 tablespoon honey or pure maple syrup and 2 heaped tablespoons arrowroot or corn flour then heave over a low heat until thick like a custard. Remove from the heat and cool in the fridge.  Once cold place into a blender and blend until smooth and creamy…add a little splash of milk or even coconut milk if you want a creamy consistency. This is based on a blancmange style custard cream recipe.

3 For yummy cashew nut cream combine 1 cup of raw cashew nuts or macadamia nuts with 1/2 cup of water or orange juice and a little vanilla. Blend in a good high speed blender until smooth and creamy.

4 To make the vanilla soy cream, combine in a high speed blender like a Vitamix 300 g silken tofu with 2 teaspoons honey and 2 teaspoons natural vanilla extract.  Process until smooth and creamy.  For a thicker cream, add 50 g cashew nuts and process until creamy.

5  For a chocolate cream frosting combine 2 ripe avocados, 1/4 cup cocoa or cacao powder, 1/4 cup honey, a pinch of sea salt and 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste.  Blend in a Vitamix until smooth and creamy.  Add a little splash of water for a smoother and fluffier consistency.

6  for a creamy cheesecake style frosting, combine 250 g (9oz) soft cream cheese such as quark with a little lemon zest, juice, vanilla  and a little maple syrup or honey to taste. Beat well until combined and creamy.

7 A simple dollop of marscarpone or whipped ricotta.

MORE CHOCOLATE RECIPES:
Chocolate Cake
Chocolate Cup Cakes
Naked Chocolate Cake
Chocolate Chip Cookies
Red Velvet Cupcakes
Really Good Chocolate Cake
Chocolate Truffles
Chocolate Brownies
Raw Chocolate Cupcakes
Chocolate Mousse

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67 Responses to “Red Velvet Cupcakes”
  1. Sara says:

    Hi Teresa,

    Is it possible to use organic wholemeal flour in place of the almond meal?
    I find that I simply can’t buy it in packets any bigger than 250gm and it is quite expensive.
    Thank you!

    • Amy says:

      You can make your own almond meal- just weigh and then grind up almonds in your food processor or spice grinder. It’s super easy and much cheaper than buying almond meal!

  2. Jan Mulquiney says:

    Thankyou for yet another amazing recipe, my sweet tooth loves you!!!!

  3. Lorraine Calabria says:

    They look so good. Can’t wait to try them. Absolutely love beetroot. Thanks Teresa

  4. Jasmin says:

    Could you make this as a cake rather than cupcakes?
    Would you make any recipe changes?

  5. Lyfina says:

    Oh yum! How long should we bake it for as a cake?

  6. Stacie says:

    Thankyou thankyou thankyou!! Ive been in search of a healthy low carb red velvet cake recipe. I was wondering if its possible to and if u have any suggestions on replacing the oil and maple syrup? i figured i could possible replace the maple syrup with natvia/stevia?

  7. ecobabe says:

    I’ve discovered reasonably priced 1kg packs of almond meal at About Life in Bondi Junction, which they would also have at Rozelle. It’s stored in the fridge section. Far cheaper than buying multiple small packs, but still pricey for young families on a budget :)

  8. Michelle says:

    I love this recipe. I might make this on the weekend for my husband for Fathers Day :) these look delish!!!

  9. Lyfina says:

    If you are around the area, I buy 1kg good quality Almond meal from Arncliffe fruit shop 41-47 Forest Road. They also have cheap nuts and seeds.

  10. Laura says:

    You can buy 1 kg bags of almond meal from Flemington markets for $10 kg. all the nut roasters sell it for about $12 kg too. Much cheaper than the supermarket.

  11. Ali V says:

    WOW, that looks absolutely unreal! I can’t wait to try and share the result with all my Ali V – It’s all about Gluten Free Facebook Followers!
    Thanks for writing recipes for all of us with food allergies and intolerance’s :)

  12. Lisa Archer says:

    These look delicious, going to make a batch for Dad for Fathers Day.

  13. Ai Mie says:

    Wow Teresa these look absolutely amazing I just love beetroot and can’t wait to try them this weekend to make for my Dad and family for father’s day! I really look forward to your emails every week and would really like to thank you for all of the wonderful recipes and advice you give. I’ve always eaten healthily but in the last few years was diagnosed with an auto-immune kidney disease which meant that I had to follow a low sodium, low sugar and low processed eating plan. Its definitely not always the easiest to stick to however your inspiring emails and recipes really motivate me and have allowed me to keep on enjoying amazing food without all of the bad stuff! You are really an inspiration and the next time in sydney my husband and I will definitely have to make a trip to your cafe! Keep up the great work T :)

  14. VC says:

    YUM YUM YUM!!!

    Making them tonight.
    Any suggestions regarding the adding of honey? Can you make them without the honey?

  15. Shannon says:

    These are delicious – just ate four in a row! Thank you again for such wonderful recipes. :)

  16. O.U.R K.I.D.S A.R.E G.O.I.N.G T.O L.O.V.E Y.O.U even more than they already do Teresa. We have heaps of bday parties coming up and I cannot wait to make these little red beauties!!! Thanks again!!!

    Another good topping would be the egg whites all fluffy with a drizzle of honey to add more of the drama to something that already looks simply divine.

    I L.O.V.E I.T !!!! XX Dani

  17. Amy says:

    Do you have to soak the almonds overnight before cooking?

  18. Kim says:

    Wow!…..HI Teresa, just want to ask does it matter how finely you grate the beetroot?
    tks Kim

  19. Caitlin says:

    Hi Teresa,
    these look amazing! just checking- with the oil is 15ml one tablespoon or is 20ml?
    hope its not a silly question! :)

  20. Ness says:

    Hi Teresa

    I just made a batch of these and they are fantastic. Will be cooking them again definitely, in double quantity next time. Thanks for the recipe!

  21. Alison says:

    I know the recipe says it makes 12, but by the time I had finished ‘tasting’ the mix I only had enough for 10! So yummy!!! The colour is just amazing – I will be taking these to a dinner party on Saturday :) Thanks Teresa!

  22. Lyfina says:

    Just wondering how sweet these are? I’ve tried Teresa’s chocolate cupcakes and found their low level sweetness a little disappointing.

  23. Sarah says:

    What topping did u use in the picture! Looks awesome. X

  24. nalissa says:

    Can you freeze them? or how long will they keep?
    Thanks

  25. Evangeline says:

    Hi everyone, this cake is even better the next day. When freshly made, I found that the beetroot taste was too raw, but develops beautifully into a milder taste the following day. Delicious cake.

  26. Sam says:

    This may be a really dumb questions, but the nutritional info at the bottom, is that per serve?
    Im addicted to these have made them a few times over the last couple of weeks but if they have 171 Calories per serve I should probably limit the amount of times i make them as I have a tendency to eat most of them..
    I seem to be addicted to most of your recipes!

    Thanks in advance.

    • Hey Sam – It’s per serve….so glad you love them….they are my fave too ! :)

      • Sam says:

        Thank you !! Am I right in saying, that even though they are 171 cal per cup cake, its more a good fat and stop freaking out and just enjoy them?
        I tend to get caught up in numbers more than the nutritional values which I’m trying to change. I also use the avo icing which is delicious.

        Thanks again. :)

  27. Roslyn says:

    made this recipe in a slice tin and were fantastic. Loved by toddler who hasnt been bought up on sugar but even the 9 & 12 year old boys liked it too! so family hit!

  28. Shannon says:

    Just finished baking these and the whole house smells divine!
    Thank you so much for posting little indulgences that we do not need to feel guilty about!
    Looking forward to one of these tomorrow with a cup of tea…

  29. Rebecca says:

    Yum just made these and they were delicious! Kids loved them too and we didn’t even need anything on top :)

  30. Jodie, JD, Jaxson & Amelie says:

    Is there a flour substitute for those who are allergic to nuts at all Teresa?
    Love your work, thanks!

  31. Maria says:

    Hi Teresa

    Can you substitute coconut sugar for honey, does it alter the mixture of cakes?

  32. Susana says:

    Just made these for Valentines Day in heart shaped muffins tins for my girls afternoon tea. Love them xx

  33. Sandra says:

    this is a really good recipe, they work really well in cupcake papers and taste great, thanks again.

  34. Georgie says:

    These are amazing, thank you so much! You make me look like a good cook :)
    I forgot the coconut oil in the 1st batch because it wasn’t mentioned in the steps. So I used it as an excuse to make another batch.
    Loving all your recipes, thank you Teresa!

  35. Miriam says:

    Oh so delicious…… I made them with the cashew topping, and may have eaten about four for dessert in one go…. Yummo.

  36. Wendy says:

    Can you freeze these without icing? I am looking for healthy treats once the baby arrives and these tasted amazing. Thanks x

  37. Helen says:

    Could Teresa or anyone else out there let me know if I could substitute the almond meal with anything?
    Thanks so much.

    • Hi Helen – the recipe says in the notes you can use a wholemeal spelt flour. 1 cup should replace the almond meal. You will need to add another 1/4 your choice of oil or butter to the recipe. T:)

      • Helen says:

        Thanks so much, Teresa but I can’t have any flours except rice, buckwheat and coconut. Just thought maybe I could make it with one or more of these flours but didn’t know the ratios or if it could be done at all. Sorry, but I guess I should have mentioned this in my previous comment. :)

        • Hi Helen….use coconut flour….1/2 cup this should work nicely. Add extra egg. Have a look at the final batter before baking. This ratio should be lovely….but I have not tested it yet. Let me know how you go.:)

          • Helen says:

            Thanks Teresa, you’re a star!!! :)

          • Jo says:

            Hi Teresa,

            I have tried using 1/2cup coconut flour with one extra egg. But it turns out too dry. Do you reckon I should add an extra egg or decrease the amount of coconut flour?
            Thanks heaps for your recipes. I have fallen in love with so many cake recipes of yours.

            x
            Jo

          • Jo Use an extra egg and if necessary reduce coconut flour slightly. :)

  38. SA_80 says:

    OMG Teresa.. There are just NO words. I am in love…

    I was recently introduced to red velvet cake -the unhealthy and processed variety- and loved it. So, imagine my surprise when i came across your recipe!

    Since finding your website, i’ve been baking more, as it’s something i love to do but have avoided since i’ve been working on transforming my body.

    I baked your red velvet cupcakes (which i made into mini muffins), on the wkend. I LOVE the recipe, because it’s so easy to follow, make and modify (not that it needs it, but i did leave out the raisins and i didn’t bother with the frosting). The outcome was delicious, satisfying and above all, healthy!

    I’ve tried really hard not to eat the whole batch but it’s been a real struggle.

    Thank you, thank you, thank Teresa, for sharing such amazing creations, and for giving me something healthy i can pass on to my future generations. :-)

  39. Laura says:

    These were actually really delicious! I was a bit sceptical because often ‘healthy’ recipes don’t actually taste great, but they were beautifully moist and received a lot of praise at my work morning tea – people actually liked the fact that they weren’t too sweet. A really sophisticated taste. Thanks Teresa!

  40. Marcia says:

    Hi Teresa
    Can I replace the eggs with soaked chia seeds as my daughter has an egg allergy? Also ground hazelnuts instead of almonds?
    Thanks

  41. sian says:

    Hi Teresa, I made this as a cake last week (I find it easier than doing individual cakes!) however just wondering how long you think it would last for, in the fridge? It still looks and smells alright!

  42. Chris says:

    Hi everyone,
    Well, I think I hold the record for making these delicious cup cakes. I make them every Monday for the week for my husband’s lunch box, friends over for coffee and have passed on the recipe to dozens of people. Occasionally, I have changed the recipe slightly for variety and thought you might like to know that: I substitute carrots for beetroot, I add one tablespoon of cinnamon (instead of the cocoa powder) and use raisins and dates and walnuts. All the rest of the recipe is the same. These carrot cup cakes are also delicious and moist. Thank you so much Teresa. I now cook so many of your recipes and have lost 3.6kg and am feeling a looking so much better. Cheers. Chris

  43. Sach Trikha says:

    Hi Teresa,

    Do the beetroots have to be raw or can they be pre-cooked? I have some steamed par-cooked beetroots in my fridge which would be perfect!

    Thanks

  44. Amanda says:

    Just made this fantastic recipe in cake form, topped with an avo-cocoa frosting, sliced bananas, pepitos, chia seeds and some slivered almonds for crunch. Absolutely delicious, thanks for sharing Teresa!

  45. Helen says:

    Hi Teresa,

    Can I use Orgran Gluten Free No Egg natural egg replacer instead of normal eggs as my daughter is Vegan.

  46. Anne says:

    Tried this as a whole cake it tastes so great! Plan to make the cup cakes next week. Yum!

  47. Courtney says:

    Hi Teresa, my understanding was that the red colouring in red velvet in traditional recipes actually comes from the chemical reaction of mixing cider vinegar with bicarbonate soda…therefore no need to add crazy food colourants. Thoughts?

    • no that’s incorrect Courtney. T:) it may be good to do an experiment yourself and check it out.
      My great Polish Aunt used to make a cake just like this using whole beetroot…I would say this is more like the traditional natural way of making this cake. People use food colouring because it’s cheap !

  48. Sandra says:

    Hi Teresa,

    Boy these are popular! I had to scroll down heaps to be able to leave a comment :). I was wondering if we can make these with grated beetroot instead of the skin? I was more after an even texture.

    Thank you,

    Sandra

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