Yesterday, I turned 30. So I decided to hunt down a recipe for red velvet cupcakes that uses beets. Here is the one that I found by Je suis alimentageuse. Tried, tested (by 3 guests including my man-friend), and loved. And I will happily let you in on a secret… I SUCK (all-caps) at baking anything that doesn’t have dairy and that is completely vegan. I just don’t have the knack for it. But this recipe is pretty unbeetable.
As always, I try to use as many local and/or organic ingredients as possible.
Steamed the beets instead of boiling. I’m always a fan of steaming vs boiling to preserve as many of the nutrients as possible. Nutrients in cupcakes? Wait, there’s more.
Used organic coconut sugar instead of regular cane sugar for the cupcake batter. Coconut sugar has a lower glycemic index and can be substituted cup-for-cup.
In both the batter and icing, I used (madagascar bourbon) vanilla bean paste. Fancy, I know. I had it on-hand from a Christmas recipe from last year. It’s incredibly decadent and I’ve been using it a lot instead of plain vanilla extract. Not really used to add any nutritional value but to enhance the sensory experience.
Sprouted spelt flour was used in the batter as the recipe doesn’t specify either way. I like to experiment with alternative grain flours and spelt is the closest workable substitute to regular wheat flour that I’ve found so far. I always add an extra pinch of baking soda to add fluff when baking with spelt.
Get ready for this one… Flax milk was used instead of almond milk. Flax is one of my personal power foods and I thought it could be worth a try! I typically don’t like to heat flax because of the delicate oils but the fat content from flax in this particular seed milk was fairly negligible.
In the icing, I used coconut oil instead of Earth Balance. My original thought was to use something more natural before trying the processed dairy-free butter substitute but I learned (as you can see by the photos) that the consistency achieved by using coconut oil was much more runny than if I had used Earth Balance. The photos on the original recipe look way more amaze. This was also my first attempt at piping icing with an improvised piping bag. The taste definitely made up for the goopy amateur presentation. 🙂
Here are the cucpakes in the oven. Nice and red!
I would love to hear your thoughts and experiences in the comments below if you decide to try this out! Could be a super fun recipe to bring out for the holidays, or if it gets too busy, Valentine’s Day. Wink, wink.