Breads and Muffins / Dessert

In time for Valentine’s Day: Chocolate Beet Cupcakes with Pink Beet-Dyed Coconut Icing

Tonight was a really fun night – time to catch up with a friend, enjoy a delicious meal, and watch the latest drama on The Bachelor – a fitting show to watch around Valentine’s Day!  Also a fitting time to make chocolatey, moist, delicious, HEALTHY oh-so-in-love-with-these-cupcakes 🙂  These cupcakes are seriously addicting, but the good news is they are guilt-free!  You can (and we do) eat these for breakfast (obviously alongside a glass of fresh juice)!  That’s right – chocolate breakfast cupcakes!  If you’ve never tried pureed beets in baked goods PLEASE give this a shot – you will be amazed!  You cannot taste the beets and here you are getting a serving of veggies in your dessert… who woulda thought?!  Plus, using the reserved water from cooking the beets to dye the icing pink makes this the perfect all-natural valentine’s day treat.   Added bonus: these cupcakes are gluten-free.  They can also be made without the icing and stored for days in an airtight container.  If using the icing, either prepare and coat the cupcakes with the icing right before serving, or once coated, refrigerate them for under an hour, as the icing will harden in the frig.  Also, the icing will melt if left out too long, so they should be consumed within an hour of coating (although I doubt you’ll need to worry too much about these going uneaten). This recipe was lightly adapted from

Chocolate Beet Cupcakes with Pink Beet-Dyed Coconut Icing

Chocolate Beet Cupcakes with Pink Beet-Dyed Coconut Icing

Chocolate Beet Cupcakes with Pink Beet-Dyed Coconut Icing


  • 4 medium beets (about 2 cups pureed)
  • 2 cups brown rice flour
  • 1 cup agave
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1.5 t baking soda
  • 1/4 t salt
  • 2 T flax seed mixed with 1/4 cup + 2 T water
  • 1/3 cup warm water
  • 2 T melted coconut oil
  • 2 T unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 t vanilla
  • 1/2 cup vegan dark chocolate chips
  • cupcake liners

For the icing:

  • 1 can coconut milk, refrigerated for several hours

    Cupcake Batter.

    Cupcake Batter.

  • agave to taste
  • reserved beet water from boiling beets (for coloring)


1. Place beets in saucepan and cover with water. Bring water to a boil then reduce to low and let sit covered for about 30 minutes, until beets are tender and completely cooked.

2. Preheat oven to 350 and line a cupcake tin with liners or spray the tin if you’re not using liners.

3. Mix together the flax seed and the 1/4 cup + 2 T water to make 2 flax eggs and let sit.

4. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, baking soda, and cocoa powder.

5. In a medium sized bowl, stir together oil, applesauce, agave, vanilla, and warm water.

6. Once beets are cooked, scoop them out with a slotted spoon and place them in a blender or food processor to puree (I used the processing function on my juicer because the juicer is always out on my counter anyways). Reserve the water from the saucepan – it will be dark pink.

7. Add pureed beets to the wet ingredients.

8. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and combine, careful not to over-stir.

Un-iced cupcake. Still yum :)

Un-iced cupcake. Still yum 🙂

9. Fold in chocolate chips.

10. Spoon batter into the muffin tin, filling each cup up so they are full or overflowing a bit.  This makes 12 large cupcakes.

11. Bake cupcakes for 30 minutes so that a knife inserted inside comes out clean or close to it.

12. While the cupcakes bake, prepare the icing.

13. Remove the coconut milk from the refrigerator and let it sit for about 5 minutes, which will result in a lighter, fluffier icing.

14. Remove just the solid cream from the can, leaving the liquid.

15. In a large bowl, use a hand mixer to whip the coconut cream until it has the consistency of whipped cream.  Add 1-2 T of agave, depending on your taste and whip again.

16. One to two teaspoons at a time, add the beet water to the icing to dye it pink.  Note the more you add, the pinker and also the more runny the icing will get.  I coated cupcakes as I went along, so that my cupcakes had a range of pink-colored icing.

***Important note*** You MUST wait until the cupcakes are completely cooled before icing them, or the icing will melt.  I plopped icing on two of them before they were completely cooled and the icing melted – so the cupcakes had to be thrown away – into my mouth 🙂  Also, see more notes on icing in opening paragraph above.

Happy early Valentine’s Day everybody!


4 thoughts on “In time for Valentine’s Day: Chocolate Beet Cupcakes with Pink Beet-Dyed Coconut Icing

  1. I am a first hand taster of these cupcakes (and also a chocolate addict!). They are absolutely delicious and you cannot taste the beets at all. I would prefer these over a traditional chocolate cupcake! Well done!

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