Bobby's Red Velvet Cupcakes

  • For the cupcakes
  • 6 small roasted beetroots
  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 3/4 cup low-fat buttermilk
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 cups raw granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutch processed)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • For the frosting
  • One 8-ounce package reduced-fat cream cheese
  • 1 1/4 cups icing sugar
  • 1/4 cup reduced-fat sour cream
  • Zest of 1 orange, reserve some for topping
  • 1/4 cup toasted chopped pecans
  • 1/4 cup toasted coconut

For the cupcakes: Preheat the oven to 170°C. Line a cupcake pan with liners, or spray with nonstick baking spray. Add the roasted beetroots and oil into a blender or food processor. Turn to the highest setting and puree until the mixture becomes a thick liquid. Add the buttermilk, butter, almond extract, vanilla extract and eggs and pulse to combine. In a separate bowl, whisk the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt together until well incorporated. Add the dry mixture to the wet mixture and pulse until there are no lumps and the two are combined. Spoon the batter into the prepared cupcake pan and place into the oven until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool completely in the pan on a rack.

For the frosting: With an electric mixer on high speed, beat the cream cheese in a medium bowl until very smooth, 2 to 3 minutes. On low speed, beat in the confectioners' sugar, sour cream, and some of the orange zest until blended, 1 to 2 minutes. Frost each cupcake with about 2 tablespoons of the frosting and garnish with pecans, coconut, and reserved orange zest.

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