Red Velvet Beet Cupcakes

Before the advent of food coloring, the well-known “superfood” beets were added to provide the distinctive vibrant color to red velvet cupcakes.  This lighter version is as equally as moist and delicious.

Baking spray with flour
1 (10-oz.) beet, peeled and cut into 8 wedges
2/3 cup nonfat buttermilk
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
8 ounces white whole-wheat flour (about 2 cups)
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup canola oil
1/4 cup butter, softened
2 large eggs
1 large egg white

1/3 cup plain 2% reduced-fat Greek yogurt
2 tablespoons butter, softened
Dash of kosher salt
8 ounces 1/3-less-fat cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup powdered sugar

To prepare cupcakes, preheat oven to 350°F. Line 18 muffin cups with liners; coat with baking spray. Place beet in a saucepan; cover with water. Bring to a boil over medium-high; boil until beet is tender when pierced, about 15 minutes. Drain; cool 10 minutes. Process beet in a food processor until very finely chopped. Remove 1 cup beet from processor; reserve remaining beet for another use. Return 1 cup reserved beet to food processor; add buttermilk and vanilla. Process until very smooth.

Weigh or lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Whisk together flour, cocoa, baking powder, and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a bowl.

Beat granulated sugar, oil, and 1/4 cup butter in a large bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed until fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add eggs and egg white, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Add flour mixture and beet mixture alternately to butter mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Divide batter among prepared muffin cups. Bake 18 to 20 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove cupcakes from pan; cool completely on wire rack, about 30 minutes.

To prepare frosting, beat yogurt, 2 tablespoons butter, dash of salt, and cream cheese in a medium bowl with a mixer on high speed until smooth. Add powdered sugar; beat on low speed 1 minute or just until combined. (Do not overbeat.) Spread frosting evenly onto cupcakes.

Nutrition Information per cupcake

Calories 223 ● Fat 10.8g ● Satfat 4.6g ● Monofat 3.9g ● Polyfat 1.3g ● Protein 5g ● Carbohydrate 27g ● Fiber 2g ● Cholesterol 41mg ● Iron 1mg ● Sodium 181mg ● Calcium 72mg ● Sugars 18g ● Est. added sugars 16g

Printable recipe available at:

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