Looking for a healthier option for this holiday? Want to give the family less white sugar and more organic choices? Having a struggle with the colored food dye and worried about the effects it has on your loved ones? These Beet Lemon Cupcakes could just be the answer you are looking for! With nature’s answer to sweet and color the manmade processed choices are replaced with the healthier equivalent. And they taste so good no one will be able to tell the difference!
- For the cupcakes:
- 12.5 oz. all-purpose flour
- 2¼ tsp. baking powder
- 1¼ tsp. cinnamon
- ½ tsp. ground black pepper
- 1 tbl. ground cardamom
- ½ tsp. ground allspice
- ¼ tsp. ground cloves
- ½ tsp. table salt
- 1 pound (3-4) beets, greens trimmed
- 1½ c. granulated sugar
- ½ c. packed light brown sugar
- 4 large eggs
- 1½ c. vegetable oil
- zest and juice of 1 lemon
- For the frosting:
- 8 oz. cream cheese (soft but still cool)
- 2 oz. butter (soft but still cool)
- 1 tbl. lemon juice
- 1 tsp. finely grated lemon zest
- 4 oz. confectioners sugar
- To make the cupcakes:
- Preheat oven to 350°F with a rack in the middle position. Line muffin/cupcake pan with paper liners (recipe makes 2 dozen).
- Cook the beets in simmering water until a knife inserted comes out cleanly and the skins rub off easily. Remove the skins, and grate the beets on a box grater (I covered my work surface with plastic wrap; this is messy and beets stain). Add the lemon juice and zest to the beets and set aside.
- Combine flour, baking powder, salt, and spices in a bowl and whisk together.
- In another bowl (or the workbowl of a food processor) whisk the eggs and sugars together until the oil is frothy and the sugars are well-combined. Continue whisking quickly while slowly pouring in the vegetable oil (you’re making an emulsion, and the result should be thick and creamy looking; this is easier in the food processor although it is quite doable by hand.) Fold in the beets and dry ingredients until completely combined (no streaks of flour should remain).
- Portion equally in your 24 cupcake liners (about ¾ full), then bake for 20-25 minutes, rotating the pan(s) halfway through, until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Allow to cook before frosting.
- To make the frosting:
- Beat the butter and cream cheese together. Add the lemon juice, zest, and the confectioners sugar and beat until combined. Spread or pipe onto the cooled cupcakes and serve.
Cream Cheese Frosing directions given for simplification. You may choose any topping you wish, or no icing at all! I sugfest fresh fruit.
Recipe Photo Credit: Flickr