Beets. Those little red devils that taste of earth and stain your hands. Everyone says you either love them or hate them. But, everyone is wrong. I’m decidedly somewhere in between. Let’s say that I may be learning to like them. I certainly can’t say I hate them anymore. But, I’m not yet in the love camp, either. So, when my gardening neighbor arrived at my door with a whole basket of freshly dug beets I knew I had to get creative. Happily, I had a party to bake for this weekend, and cupcakes are always a hit at a party.
I knew I’d heard of chocolate beet cake before, but I’d definitely never made it. I needed a little help. Google to the rescue! Some interesting options:
- The Whole Life Nutrition Kitchen’s Low Sugar Chocolate Cake
- Delectably Free’s Gluten Free Chocolate Beet Cake
- Elena’s Pantry’s Purple Velvet Torte
But, my favorite option was the “Can’t Be Beet Cake” at Fat Free Vegan. Maybe it was the silly name. Maybe it was the fact that it looked relatively simple to convert to gluten-free. Or maybe it was that I knew I’d modify it enough to consider it kind of “my” recipe. But, this is the one I choose as a starting point. And, I think it worked fairly well as inspiration. I made it gluten-free, added back in some fat, and got rid of the white sugar. The party goer’s chowed and no one could believe there were beets in there. Oh and no gluten. And no dairy. And no eggs….
Vegan Chocolate Beet Cupcakes
1 1/4 cups sorghum flour
1/4 cup + 1 T. arrow root starch
1 1/4 t. xanthan gum
2 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt
1/4 t. cinnamon
1/2 cup cocoa
3 small, 2 medium, or 1 large beet, boiled until soft and pureed in a food processor
Unsweetened apple sauce
1 t. vanilla
1/2 cup oil
1 t. apple cider vinegar
1 cup palm sugar
1/4 cup agave
- Preheat the oven to 325°.
- In a small bowl, whisk together all the dry ingredients.
- Place pureed beets in a 2 cup measure. Add enough applesauce to fill the measuring cup to 1 1/2 cups. Pour into a large bowl.
- Add the rest of the wet ingredients to the large bowl. Whisk well.
- Stir the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until mixture is smooth. It will be thick.
- Spoon into 12-14 muffin cups and smooth tops.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes until knife inserted in center comes out clean.
- Cool completely and frost with Chocolate Coconut Ganache
Chocolate Coconut Ganache
1 cup full fat coconut milk or coconut cream (not the sweetened variety – just the higher fat percentage variety)
8 ounces finely chopped dark chocolate (check label for dairy)
- Place the finely chopped chocolate in a heat-proof bowl.
- In a saucepan, heat the coconut milk until simmering.
- Pour hot coconut milk over chopped chocolate. Allow to stand, undisturbed for 10 minutes.
- Stir until completely smooth. At this point you will have a shiny pourable ganache. You can use as is or…
- Whip with electric beaters until thick and spreadable.
Can I get away with calling these Slightly Indulgent? I mean they do have beets, right? That’s healthy. And, they’re vegan. That’s healthy. Right?
You can check out a whole bunch of other from-scratch recipes over at the Hearth and Soul blog hop, too.