With nature's answer to sweet and color the manmade processed choices are replaced with the healthier equivalent.
Keyword: beets, lemon
Skill Level: Basic
For the cupcakes:
2 1/4tsp.baking powder
1/2tsp.ground black pepper
1tbl. ground cardamom
1pound3-4 beets, greens trimmed
1 1/2c.granulated sugar
1/2c.packed light brown sugar
1 1/2c.vegetable oil
zest and juice of 1 lemon
For the frosting:
8oz.cream cheesesoft but still cool
2oz.buttersoft but still cool
1tbl. lemon juice
1tsp.finely grated lemon zest
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 3/4 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.