Red Velvet Cupcakes


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. The final cupcake looks wholesome and healthy and tastes purely delicious. I enjoyed them topped simply with a spoonful of thick coconut yoghurt or whipped cream cheese frosting.  If you’re entertaining, then adding a few fresh or freeze dried 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. Beetroot is also one of the richest dietary sources of antioxidants and naturally occurring nitrates. Nitrates are compounds which improve blood flow throughout the body – including the brain, heart, and muscles. These natural nitrates increase a molecule in the blood vessels called nitric oxide, which helps open up the vessels and allows more oxygen flow as well as lower blood pressure. Cocoa is associated with a reduced risk for heart disease, stroke, and diabetes according to studies from the British Medical Journal. Cocoa 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. 

260 g ( about 2 large/ 9 oz) ) beetroot, grated raw with skin
2 organic eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract or paste
1/2  teaspoon ground cinnamon
Pinch of sea salt
150 g (1  ½ cups/ 5  1/4 oz) ground almonds
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 (75 g / 2.5 oz)  frozen raspberries
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, Naked Chocolat, honey,oil and baking powder into a large bowl.
Mix well with your hands until combined then add the raspberries if using.
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)
Makes 12.


  • I love to serve simply with thick Greek Style yoghurt or coconut yoghurt.
  • Serve topped with raspberries which add that extra layer of deliciousness to the eating experience.
  • 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.

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  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.

5  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.

6 A simple dollop of marscarpone or whipped ricotta.




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81 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?

  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.


          • 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?

  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!


  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,


  49. Bella says:

    Could you use oat flour instead of almond meal? xx

  50. El says:

    Hi Teresa, my search for a red velvet recipe with actual beetroots led me to this recipe and your website for the first time a year or so ago. I’ve since made loads of your recipes and I love them all, thank you so much. I’ve got some red velvet cupcakes in the oven now, made with beetroot juice pulp from my juicer!

  51. Sally says:

    Hi Teresa!

    Thankyou so unbelievably much for all your healthy, easy, tasty meal ideas. I have been making so many of your recipes for the past 2 years :)
    Tonight i tried the red velvet cupcakes again, and again, i couldnt get them to rise :(
    Thoughts are:
    - am i not filling the cupcake tins enough? should they be filled to the top?
    - i use a food processor to grate my beetroot, comes out in looooong thin shred (too long maybe?)
    - the oven is fan forced at 160c – so i dont think there are any probs there!
    - i add the gluten free baking powder at the end and mix in well.. maybe add more?

    Any thoughts would be great! (if you get a chance :)

    Keep on making so many people happy and healthy as you are doing!

    Thanks again,

  52. Denise says:

    I know many people have asked this, but can chia eggs or egg replacer be used instead of fresh eggs?
    Thank you Denise

  53. Clemmie says:

    They look delicious. I’m looking forward to baking them tomorrow.

  54. Kata says:

    Dear Teresa!
    I really love your recipes, so thank you for sharing them! My whole family adores your breads, scones, cakes, patties! I started to live a paleo-way almost 3 years before, and actually I started with your tips and recipes, which for I’m absolutely thankful. I never fail with yours. My birthday is coming, and just thought I’d make a red velvet cake with 3(or at least 2) “sponge” layer, between them I’d put some avocado-chocolate-cream then coconut-whipped-cream on it finishing with the other beetcake-layer and coconut with some strawberry on top. Maybe I put on some sliced almond just to have some more deliciousness on it (I’m obsessed with them on a cake…). Do you think if I use this recipe in a 20cm round cake tin, I should double the recipe ingredients to get a fluffy and high cake finished? I mean something like that:
    And one more question: is it too moist to slice the finished cake into layers (so I have to bake them separate)? I don’t like cakes too dry, prefer them a little crumble and soft.
    Please give me some advices about this cake! I’d really appreciate them. And sorry for my english :) Hope it’s not that bad…
    Have a wonderful day! Cheers from Hungary!

  55. Kaja says:

    These are my favorite!!!thanks for the recipe Teresa.

  56. Janet says:

    I was dying to try this recipe, as the cupcakes just looked so wonderful. Well, it certainly did not disappoint! Amazing flavour. I used half prunes and half raisins and did as Teresa does, dolloped some Greek yoghurt on the top – divine. Had to stop when I got to three – but could have kept going. I wasn’t sure if I could use almond pulp in the recipe – would it have made any difference to the final result?

  57. Tiffani Clingin says:

    Thank you for this fabulous recipe. I made them for visitors and they were a big hit. My eleven year old son, Mo loved them too. I served them with avocado icing. I’m very grateful for your website and recipes. Your site is my go-to place when I’m wondering what to bake. x

  58. Sureena says:

    Hi…these look amazing. Love ur website…v inspiring. Could you replace the almonds with coconut flour? I’m guessing you would need more eggs?

  59. Yum, these turned out great. And so easy too, just throw everything in a bowl then the oven. I left out the raspberries, and sprinkled cacao nibs on the top which added a nice crunch. Can’t wait to try some more of your recipes :)

  60. isabella says:

    These look absolutely delicious but I was wondering if ide be able to use just plain raw cacao powder in place of the naked chocolate?

    Thanks xx

  61. Anna Koutsokera says:

    Hi, I really like this recipe but unfortunately I have an allergy to beetroot. I would like to ask you if I could still make the red velvet cupcakes by using sweet potatoes and food colouring instead. Do you think it will work or will they be too dense and dark coloured? I look forward to your reply.
    Thank you

    • Hi Anna, I have not tried it with sweet potato, but it would be delicious with carrots as they are similar in texture to beetroot. No need to use food colouring, you can try some hibiscus flowers steeped in a bit of hot water until cooled or pomegranate juice. Stay healthy! Tx

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