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Decadent Beetroot Red Velvet Cupcakes with Ginger & Vanilla

devon 1 Comment

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Decadent Beetroot Red Velvet Cupcakes with Ginger & Vanilla

Devon 1 Comment

These decadent beetroot red velvet cupcakes have it all — a rich, complex flavor and a moist, velvety red crumb.  Topped with a vanilla bean cream cheese frosting and candied ginger, these cupcakes are so delicious you will forget they are colored with beets! 

No matter how hard I try to fight the hands of time, milestone birthdays come and go with regularity when you have a house as full as ours.  One of my daughters just turned 16.  That cursed aged of independence.  Sure, you can send the kid down the road for emergency toilet paper, but she won’t be needing me to pick her up from track meets and football games late at night.  We won’t be sharing gossip about classmates or contemplating the discomfort of sports bras on the long car ride home.  She won’t need me to pick her up from her friends after sleepovers.  And I will become a little less useful to my child.

beetroot red velvet cupcakes batter

We have been down this road before.  With two older siblings having reached technical adulthood, my husband and I feel our roles as in our children’s lives slowly receding as their independence grows.  It is a hard thing — this watching your kids grow up.  Our children span a 13 year spread, so I will feel this familiar pang of uselessness many more times to come.  But there is still one thing that the kids need me for.

unfrosted beetroot red velvet cupcakes

And that is baking.

beetroot red velvet cupcakes square

My daughter requested red velvet cake this year.  Truth be told, I am not a huge fan of cake and my attempts at the perfect moist, open cake crumb have been hit and miss over the years.  I am much more inclined to pies, crumbles, and custards myself.  But the birthday girl gets her request.  Red velvet cupcakes it is.  But the thing is — I don’t “do” food coloring.  But I do “do” beets, and more specifically, I do beetroot powder (like in this yummy beetroot shake).  Beetroot gives these red velvet cupcakes a lovely muted, earthy red hue — unlike the stoplight red of the artificial food coloring.  Think theater curtains over fire engines.  And for all those cringing at the thought of a much maligned beet being the star ingredient in your dessert, these beetroot red velvet cupcakes taste nothing like the root vegetable. Roasted cacao, ginger and vanilla bean powder contribute deep complex flavor to the beetroot red velvet cupcakes, while the butter, coconut oil and farm fresh eggs keep the crumb moist and rich.  I topped these cupcakes with a opulent amount of cream cheese frosting studded with a liberal amount of vanilla bean powder, but you could choose to add orange or lemon zest powder for a brighter citrus flavor.  Garnished with bits of candied ginger root, these cupcakes are a celebratory dessert.  Even if your inner mama is fighting back tears at the passage of time.

Hold fast to your little ones.

Beetroot Red Velvet Cupcake Recipe

Beetroot Red Velvet Cupcakes

These decadent beetroot red velvet cupcakes have it all -- a rich, complex flavor and a moist, velvet red crumb.  Topped with a vanilla bean cream cheese frosting and candied ginger, these cupcakes are so delicious you will forget they are colored with beets!
Servings: 16 cupcakes
Author: Devon


  • 2 3/4 cups all purpose flour 9you can sub cake flour if you are a hardcore baker)
  • 1/4 cup beetroot powder
  • 1/4 cup roasted cacao powder
  • 1 tablespoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoom salt
  • 1 cup raw, organic sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter melted
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil melted
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  • 3 large eggs

Cream Cheese Frosted with Vanilla Bean

  • 8 oz cream cheese softened
  • 1/4 cup butter softened
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean powder
  • candied ginger for garnish if desired


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees (F).  Line muffin tray with paper liners (16).  Lightly grease the top of the tray to prevent sticking.
  • Sift together flour, beetroot powder, cacao, ginger, vanilla bean powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  Set aside.
  • In a separate bowl, cream together sugar and melted butter and coconut oil.  Add buttermilk, vinegar and eggs; whisking well to combine.
  • In two additions, fold the wet ingredients into the dry, mixing thoroughly, but taking care to not over work the batter.
  • Spoon into lined muffin tin, filling about 2/3 of the way up the tin.  Bake for approximately 18 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the mid of a cupcake reveals a moist crumb. This beetroot red velvet cupcake recipe can be easily adapted to a layer cake by using two 9" cake pans.  Although I have not experimented with the change myself, I would just bake until a skewer inserted in the middle of the cake reveals a moist crumb.
  • Remove from oven and cool completely before frosting.


  • Using a stand mixer or an electric beater, beat softened cream cheese, butter and lemon juice until softened and well combined.
  • Add powdered sugar and vanilla bean powder and mix well to combine.
  • Using a butter knife or spatula, generously frost the top of each cooled cupcake.  Garnish with candied ginger if desired.

Red Velvet Cupcakes with Beet Root


Devon is a writer and author on subjects of holistic and sustainable living. She has a degree in Complementary and Alternative Medicine from the American College of Healthcare Sciences, and her first book, The Backyard Herbal Apothecary, was published by Page Street Publishing in Spring 2019. Devon's work outside of can be seen at,,, and in the magazine The Backwoods Home. Devon's second book, The Herbalist's Healing Kitchen, will be published Fall 2019.

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1 Comment

  • Angela May 5, 2021 at 1:16 pm

    I have made this before and yumm!! Not sure if I used cake flour last time, but this time I am looking to sub cake flour for the AP flour. Have you done this? I’ve noticed when subbing, sometimes the ratios are off. In this recipe, can I sub equal amounts?


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    Meet the Nitty Gritty Mama, Devon!

    I am an herbalist, farmer, cook, and forager. I get my hands dirty and am not afraid to do things the "hard way". Sharing my Nitty Gritty Life with you! Read More



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