Red velvet cake with cream cheese frosting is my ultimate indulgence, it makes me go weak in the knees, act all gooey and ridiculous and basically eat more than I should stealing stealthy glances filled with guilt about whether someone is watching me or not..I mean come on the name itself oozes sex appeal how it rolls off your tongue, the blushing deep red colour of the cake, which you know is secretly chocolate, covered with cream cheese frosting, sprinkled with little red sprinkles.. It begs to be devoured like you were a model who tantalisingly eats a mouthful and then winks back at the camera suggestively, all the while staying ridiculously thin. Alas, if only real life was like this, and you didn’t look like one the bears from Goldilocks story after eating these delights.
But such is life, and hence my quest to find healthy red velvet cupcakes. I know it sounds ridiculous cupcakes and healthy together, I was a sceptic too until I found this recipe on one of my favourite blogs by Teresa Cutter http://www.thehealthychef.com/2012/08/red-velvet-cupcakes/. And now I am a believer that good things can happen. This recipe is gluten free, sugar free, and artificial food colouring free! Hows that for a start! Its got healthy beetroots which have their own sweet, earthy flavour which deepens upon roasting, organic cocao powder full of anti oxidants, and ground almonds. All of this makes these cupcakes packed with nutrients which means that you can have them for breakfast and tell people to not judge cause you are eating your vegetables!
I did make a few tweaks though to the original recipe and the result was a dense, rich and moist cupcake which didn’t make you miss the real thing. Well not that much really, but it does feel good to know that your sweet tooth craving can be fulfilled by something thats not sugar loaded.
I roasted my beetroots skin on in the oven at 180C for an hour until they were soft, and then grated them after they cooled off. I also increased the amount of maple syrup to half cup as I like mine sweeter. The resultant batter was a rich reddish pink colour that was sweet and earthy and looked like the picture below.
So heres my recipe for Healthy Red Velvet Cupcakes.
Ingredients (Yields 12 cupcakes)
- 2 large beetroot, roasted until soft and then grated or pulped
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract or paste
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Pinch of sea salt
- 150 g (1 ½ cups) ground almonds or almond meal (You can easily make your own almond meal, just measure the amount of almonds and ground them in a blender)
- 1/4cup or 3 tablespoons cocoa powder or raw cacao powder
- 1/4 cup your choice oil (macadamia oil, olive oil, coconut oil, avocado oil) or melted butter
- 1/2 cup honey or pure maple syrup ( alternately, you can also use 1/3 cup brown sugar if you prefer the taste of sugar)
- 1/2 cup raisins / dried cranberry or prunes chopped (optional but lovely)
1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon bicarb soda or baking soda
- Preheat your oven to 180 C or 160 C fan forced .
- Combine raw beetroot, eggs, vanilla, cinnamon, ground almonds, cocoa, honey, raisins or prunes if using and baking powder into a large bowl.
- Mix well using a rubber spatula until combined.
- Spoon into paper lined cupcake or small muffin tins.
- Bake for 60 minutes or until cooked through. Check at the 45min mark to measure doneness.
- Remove from the oven and cool completely in the tin, and then transfer them to wire rack for cooling.
- Serve alone or topped with thick flavoured greek yogurt with raspberries. You could also combine low fat cream cheese with lemon juice and honey and beat it together until light and fluffy.
- These go really well with afternoon tea or put them as healthy little treats in lunch boxes!