Did you know that some red food dye is made from cochineal or carmine insects? After learning about this, I was eager to create an alternative recipe using "real” ingredients. Red velvet cake has always been a favorite of mine, so why not use beets for the rich red color?
There was no artificial coloring used in this recipe and it came out to be a beautiful and bright red color. The beets also worked as the perfect emulsifier, so there was no need for eggs, butter or milk. Therefore, this recipe is gluten-free, dairy-free and vegan!
Beet Red Velvet Cupcakes
- ½ cup coconut sugar
- ½ cup tapioca flour
- 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutch processed)
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- ⅔ cup coconut oil
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 small beets, boiled, peeled and pureed (approximately 1 cup beet puree)
- ⅓ cup agave nectar
- 3 flaxseed eggs (made by mixing 3 tablespoons flaxseed in 6 tablespoons water)
- Sliced fresh strawberries, for garnish
- ½ cup vegan cream cheese, softened
- ⅓ cup vegan butter, softened
- 2½ cups coconut sugar
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- In one bowl, combine coconut sugar, tapioca flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt. In a second bowl, combine lemon juice, coconut oil, vanilla extract, beet puree, agave nectar and flaxseed eggs.
- In batches, slowly whisk dry ingredients into the liquid ingredients.
- Pour batter into a cupcake pan filled with liners.
- Bake for about 25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Remove and cool.
- While cupcakes bake, prepare vegan cream cheese frosting. Using a hand mixer, combine vegan cream cheese and vegan butter. In small increments, mix in coconut sugar.
- Spread frosting onto cooled cupcakes. Garnish with fresh sliced strawberries.