Beet Red Velvet Cupcakes with Orange Buttercream
Beet Red Velvet Cupcakes with Orange Buttercream
The red velvet color of this cake comes from pureeing freshly roasted beets. Using canned beets produces a drab and faded color of red. Finely chop the roasted beets and then puree them in a food processor until the puree is completely smooth.
Servings: 12 cup cakes
  • 2 cups sifted cake flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp kosher or fine sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 ½ cups pureed roasted beets, 3 medium or 2 large beets
  • 1 cup plus 2 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs, beaten
  • 2/3 cup canola or other neutral oil
  • 3/4 tsp pure vanilla extract
Orange Buttercream
  • 1 ¼ cups unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1 tbsp heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 tsp pure orange oil (not pure orange extract)
  • 1/4 tsp pure vanilla extract or contents of one vanilla bean
  • 3 tbsp fresh squeezed juice of an orange
  1. Roast the washed beets with the skin on in a 350°F/180°C oven until beets are tender for about 1 hr. for medium beets. Add extra time for larger beets. Remove from over and gentle remove outter skin when cooled. Pureed roasted beets in a food processor or blender until completely smooth.

  2. Preheat oven to 350°F/180°C. Line muffin pan with paper liners.
  3. Sift together the flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. Set aside.

  4. In a large bowl, stir together the beet puree, granulated sugar, eggs, oil, and vanilla. Using a rubber spatula, stir in one-third of the flour mixture, continuing to stir just until the flour disappears. Do not beat or over mix. Repeat, adding the remaining flour mixture.

  5. Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin cups, filling each cup almost to the top of the liner. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes. Let the cupcakes cool in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Then carefully release the cupcakes from the pan and let cool completely on the rack, about 1 hour.
  1. Cream the butter with a hand mixer until creamy and smooth. Add the confectioners' sugar, cream, orange oil, and vanilla and beat on low speed until incorporated, about 2 minutes. Add the orange juice, a little at a time, until the buttercream is fluffy and smooth.

  2. Spread a thick layer of buttercream on the top of each cooled cupcake. The cupcakes can be store at room temperature for up to 2 days or freeze for up to 1 month.

  3. NOTE

    Pure orange oil is an essential oil that is cold pressed from the rind of oranges. Do not confuse it with pure orange extract, which is alcohol flavored with orange oil. Look for pure orange oil in the baking section of natural foods stores.  Two brands available are Boyajian and Frontier.

  4. Recipe adopted via 'Roots' by Diane Morgan