Baking Cake Recipes Vegetarian Winter

Beetroot Cupcakes

Towards the end of my last post I moaned a little about how badly my red velvet cupcakes had turned out. However, due to a smattering of public demand I have decided to post the recipe for all of you beetroot lovers out there. Please, be assured that if you like beetroot then this recipe is for you; the flavour is subtle, yet delicious and the texture is surprisingly light. Of course, as I am never one to give in, the red velvet cupcakes will eventually see the light of day.

This morning when attempting to ice these little beetroot wonders, I discovered that using a piping bag is harder than it looks. To be honest, a delicate touch has never been particularly evident in the frugal family, but it didn’t seem as though such an attribute was necessarily a requirement. even so, they were an absolute mess and ended up being iced in the most primitive fashion possible; though they are still pretty, in my eyes. Nothing seemed to be going quite to plan during the icing process; my intention had been to give it a little red tinge with a drop or two of food colouring. Indeed, our cupboards were entirely devoid of the necessary goods.

This recipe reminds me of a quote I once heard on some forgotten cookery programme. The presenter argued that one can make a delicious cake using almost any ingredient one wants, as long as one prepares it in the correct way. This appears to be a most agreeable statement, for despite the fact the beetroot did not succeed in turning my batter red, it did give it an extremely rich and dark hue. Indeed, though the cupcakes themselves are not quite to my liking, they are very pretty and jolly good to look at. If anyone has any tips for me, with regards to using a piping bag, they shall be gladly accepted. If truth be told, and I think it must, I need all the help I can get.

Beetroot cupcakes

Makes 18-20


For the Cake:

• 2 small beetroots

• 120ml sunflower oil

• 60ml milk

• ½ tsp balsamic vinegar

• 2 eggs

• 150g plain flour

• 150g caster sugar

• 2 tbsp cocoa powder

• ½ tsp baking powder

• ½ tsp bi-carbonate of soda

• A generous pinch of salt

For the Icing:

• 200g full-fat soft cheese

• 50g butter

• 1 tsp vanilla essence

• 70g icing sugar


1. Preheat the oven to 200C, place the beets in an oven dish with a little water and bake for 20-30 minutes. Remove the skins, chop and place in a food processor, blend until the chunks are tiny.

2. Whilst the beets are roasting mix together all the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl and all the wet ingredients in a measuring jug. Slowly and thoroughly fold the wet ingredients into the dry; ensure that there are no lumps. Once the beets are prepared fold them into the mixture. Turn the oven down to 180C, spoon the mixture equally into cupcake cases and bake for 15-20 minutes. You can test whether they are cooked by plunging a knife into them. If it comes out clean, they are ready.

3. To make the icing simply mix all of the ingredients together. Make sure there are no lumps and return to the fridge for 5-10 minutes before icing.

Cost: Beetroot is incredibly cheap, particularly at this time of year; two of them set me back a mere 50p. As such, these cupcakes are extremely cheap, especially when one considers how many are made with this recipe. Indeed, the entire batch, including icing, should set one back around £2.10. Not bad at all, though only if you like beetroot.

71 replies on “Beetroot Cupcakes”

I’ve only tried baking with beetroot once, and while it lent a lovely velvet texture to my brownies, I couldn’t quite escape the fact that there was an ever-so-slight underlying taste of beetroot. Your cupcakes do look very good though.

I’m surprised it didn’t tint them red at all…when making mine practically everything in the kitchen turned a lurid shade of pink!

It does give a great texture, but I had the same taste problem – though my dad, who adores beetroot, loves them. I think the colour is down to the pH of the batter, so I’ll try and make it more acidic next time.

I make a beet-based cocoa cake and the batter is a rather alarming shade of orchid — fortunately, it browns in the oven and no one can tell what is in it: my brother who doesn’t eat vegetables voluntarily loved it. Can’t help you with piping or icing — that’s the sort of thing I never do.

Haha! My problem is, I don;t think red velvet cupcakes should actually be that colour – they look a little fake. I also don’t it’s good to ingest quite so much food colouring. I could make red velvet cupcakes easily with red dye, but where’s the fun in that? My tip with the frosting would be to use real butter and put it back in the fridge after mixing it to give it a bit of time to set.

Well, a cupcake is about the only way that I could stomach a beet. Whenever they appear in my farm share, I pickle them for my mother. But, try as I might, I just don’t like the taste of “iron filings” as my husband describes them!

I’m gong to have to find a way to get my husband out of the house so that I can make these. He refuses to eat beetroot but loves cake so I’d love to see if he even notices! Always love your recipes because they really are unique!

Piping is all about maintaining even pressure with your right hand on top and using your left as a guide, or reserve depending on the whole right/left hand dominance. Also be sure to remove any air bubbles in the bag before you start. You can do that with a bench scraper or flat end of a knife, scraping until the icing is tight and flush in the bag. Most red velvet cake is made here in the states with food coloring, however some of the fancier shops do go the beetroot route. As usual, nice work Frugal!

They look yummy, I’d definitely stuff my face with several of them!

I could not use a piping bag to save my life until a few months ago, with the help of one of my lovely friends and a joy of baking video. Youtube is full of advice and tutorials, definitely worth checking out. Two things I discovered I was doing wrong were:
1. not pushing the icing all the way to the bottom of the bag to get rid of airholes. This video has about a million minutes of cupcake making and 3 seconds of icing (might be an exaggeration) but from around 14 minutes it is quite useful
2. get the bag set up properly in your hand. Look at how the lady is holding the bag in the video; if she took that free end of the bag that’s just sticking in the air and hooked it over her forefinger and under her middle finger, that increases the pressure and makes it easier to pipe in a continuous motion.
I’m sure that’s terribly explained, hope it makes some sort of sense. One last thing; disposable icing bags are much easier than the material ones for applying the correct amount of pressure without getting handcramp!

These look excellent!! Have to try em’. And don’t worry about the icing — I made blueberry-oat muffins last week with a cream cheese icing and they aren’t going to win any beauty contests. Still amaaazing though 🙂

They look great to me. Love beetroot, love cupcakes – never had the two together. Can’t really imagine what they taste like but would love to try them. I’m growing beetroot so I must give these a go, thanks!

Today is the day! I am just popping up to the Veggie Barn to buy a couple of beetroots and then I’m back home, oven on and all set to get red fingers.

Hubby is crazy about beetroot, he just loves it, so this should be interesting.

Hopefully all will go well and I can pop a picture of my efforts on my blog with a link to your recipe.

Wish me luck!

The “primitive icing fashion” you so belittle caught my eye and I have only one thing to say: These look absolutely irresistible! A confession: My muffins never quite turn out the way I envision. A thought: Preparing in the correct way, I have found out, means including two very important ingredients… playfulness and passion. Clearly, you already knew this. Slainte Mhath! (Hope you don’t mind a wee Gaelic greeting).

[…] Beetroot is one of the more aesthetically pleasing root vegetables to look upon. So rich and vibrant is the colour of beets that only fresh turmeric can hold a candle to its ability to stain almost irrevocably the digits of the gastronomic masses. Though the flavour of this most vivid of root vegetables and my taste buds have never quite seen eye to eye, when prepared correctly they can have the same effect on the mouth as they have on the eyes. Of course, the differences between red and golden beetroot extend further than colour alone; the flavour of the latter is rather more subdued, which is perhaps why I looked upon this risotto more favourably that I did my beetroot cupcakes. […]

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