Recipe: Beet Cupcakes with Orange Cream Cheese Frosting

Grated beets for cupcakesOk, you’re probably thinking she’s gone mad. Beet cupcakes? Yes, I know it sounds very off-kilter but they are really tasty!

As you know, Brett and I joined a CSA (community-supported agriculture) for 30 weeks. A few weeks ago, we received tons of beets in our weekly crops. Both of us had never had a beet before (besides the occasional one that was slipped into a salad) so we didn’t even know where to begin when cooking these devilishly red veggies at home.

I was chatting with a co-worker one day when she mentioned her mom made a cocoa beet cake that was amazing. I typed away at Google and found this “Chocolate Beet Cupcakes with Orange Cream Cheese Frosting” recipe on Food.com, that was adapted from a recipe in “Cooking Light” magazine.

While I initially liked the recipe because it said “chocolate” in the title, the end result tasted more like gingerbread to me and all of my test guinea pigs (Note: No real guinea pigs were harmed in the making of these cuppies.) I suppose you could just add more cocoa powder in to get more of a rich taste, but I actually really liked how they turned out. I think the best part is the cream cheese frosting. There’s nothing like homemade cream cheese frosting but poke-me-with-a-fork-I’m-done when you add in orange rind to anything. It just gives it that added oomph of flavor! Mmm!

Ingredients (for cupcakes)

  • 1-pound beets (about 2 medium) – Note: get a pair of disposable rubber gloves, too. You’ll need them when you’re grating these bad boys. Unless you really want to look like a sickened Smurf.
  • Cooking spray
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup 1% low-fat milk

Ingredients (for frosting)

  • 2 teaspoons grated orange rind
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 (8-ounce) package reduced-fat cream cheese, chilled
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
Instructions
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Peel the beets with a vegetable peeler. Grate the beets using the large holes on a box grater. (This is the part where you’ll need the aforementioned disposable gloves. You also might want to wear clothes you’re not to attached to.)
  • Line the two 12-serving muffin tins with cupcake liners and spray with cooking spray.
  • Beet cupcake batterCombine the sugars, oil and eggs in a large bowl. Beat at medium speed until everything is well blended. Add the beets and beat until everything is combined. In a separate bowl, add the flour and other dry ingredients, whisk until well blended.
  • Next, add the flour mixture to the sugar mixture. You will want to alternate with milk, and begin and end with the flour mixture.
  • Beet cupcakes ready to bakePour batter in the cupcake tins. Tap on the counter to remove any air bubbles.
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool the pans for 10 minutes on a wire rack. Then, remove from the pans to cool completely.
  • Orange cream cheese frostingAs the cuppies are cooling, you can make the frosting. In a bowl, beat the orange rind, vanilla and cream cheese with a mixer at high speed until light and fluffy. Add the powdered sugar and beat until blended.
  • Frost the cupcakes and enjoy! (Store these little guys in the fridge if you won’t be eating right away.)
Beet cupcakes with Orange Cream Cheese Frosting
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