Recipe: Chocolate Beet Cupcakes
One of our favorite events every summer is The Sylvia Center’s Farm-to-Table dinner, hosted by Great Performances in the fields of Katchkie Farm in Kinderhook, N.Y. The mission of The Sylvia Center is to inspire young people and their families to eat well through hands-on learning experiences on the farm and in the kitchen. Jenn So, director of programs at The Sylvia Center, offers us recipes the teenagers are learning to make.
These Chocolate Beet Cupcakes are as stunning as they are healthy. The beets contribute a lush earthiness to the cake, keeping the crumb moist and flavorful. Kids get a kick out of the bright fuchsia frosting, which is naturally derived from the beet puree. We made these with our teen students for Valentine’s Day but, with the gorgeous color, this cupcake would be perfect for Easter as well!
Chocolate Beet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting
Makes 12 muffins
(Adapted from Eating Well)
2 cups diced, peeled beets (½-inch; about 2 medium)
⅔ cup plain yogurt
1½ cups whole-wheat flour
½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
1 large egg
¼ cup canola oil
1¾ cups packed confectioners’ sugar, divided
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
5 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 12 muffin cups with paper liners.
2. Bring about 1 inch of water to a boil in a large saucepan fitted with a steamer basket. Add beets, cover and steam until tender, 10 to 12 minutes. Transfer to a blender. Add yogurt and puree until smooth. Pour the beet mixture into a large bowl, reserving 2 tablespoons.
3. Whisk flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl and set aside.
4. Whisk the egg, oil, 1 cup confectioners’ sugar and vanilla into the beet mixture. Stir in the dry ingredients until just combined. Spoon the batter into muffin cups.
5. Bake cupcakes until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 18 to 20 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and cool completely.
6. To prepare frosting, combine the remaining ¾ cup confectioners’ sugar and cream cheese with the reserved beet puree in a medium bowl. Beat with an electric mixer until smooth. Top each cooled cupcake with a generous tablespoon of frosting.