Natural red velvet cake without any food dyes and grain-free? Game on!
With Valentine’s Day coming up, I wanted to give you a healthier option to a holiday favorite.
This grain-free, dye-free red velvet cupcake recipe gets its red color from roasted beets, and you can’t actually taste the beets at all!
I played around with different sugars, and this recipe really does taste best with maple sugar, or organic cane sugar. I tried it with coconut sugar, and while the cake tasted nice, it did have a slight off-flavor that I wasn’t a huge fan of. I rarely use an organic cane sugar, but for a recipe like this that I only make once a year, I’m OK with making an exception.
Also, keeping the sugar as low as possible in desserts is an important factor to me. I found that keeping the sweetener at 3/4 cup was best so that the beet flavor didn’t shine through and instead you get that lovely traditional red velvet flavor.
Red velvet cake is served with cream cheese frosting, but if you need to avoid cream cheese, here and here are some great options for a dairy-free “cream cheese” frosting. And, to make the cupcakes a bit more festive, I sprinkled them with freeze-dried raspberries and inserted a beet chip in them.
Here are some more Valentine’s favorites you might enjoy:
Natural Red Velvet Cupcakes (Dye-Free, Grain-Free)
20 minPrep Time
20 minCook Time
40 minTotal Time
For the cupcakes:
1 cup roasted beets, chopped
2 tablespoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup buttermilk
2 cups finely-ground almond flour
1/4 cup coconut flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder (non-alkalized)
3/4 cup maple sugar or organic cane sugar (see note above in post)
2 teaspoons baking powder (make sure it’s gf!)
3 large eggs, room temperature
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
For the frosting:
3/4 pound mascarpone or cream cheese
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 cup raw honey
1 cup heavy cream, whipped until soft peaks form
Dried raspberries, crushed (optional)
Preheat the oven to 350ºF and adjust the rack to the middle position. Place the roasted beets, vanilla and buttermilk in a food processor or blender and blend until smooth. Pour the beet mixture into a large mixing bowl. Add the almond flour, coconut flour, cocoa powder, maple sugar or cane sugar, baking powder, eggs and butter. Whisk until smooth, about 30 seconds. Divide evenly into a lined muffin tin. Bake for 20 minutes or until baked through. Cool completely.
Whisk mascarpone or cream cheese, vanilla and honey in the bowl of a standing mixer until smooth. Using a spatula, fold in whipped cream. Frost cooled cupcakes with frosting and sprinkle with dried raspberries, if using. These are best served the day they are made.