Beets are the perfect source of earthy sweetness without using any refined sugars. The natural color from red beets eliminates the need to use any food coloring to achieve a red color. If you use a plant-based milk instead of water in the recipe, your cupcakes will turn out more pink than red. With the rich flavor of chocolate, even beet-skeptics will find something to love in these beet velvet cupcakes. If you choose to share, no one will know the secret ingredient unless you tell them.

Makes 18 cupcakes
Total time: 1 hour


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 1/3 cups water or plant-based milk
  • 2/3 cup cane sugar
  • ½ cup beet puree
  • ½ cup sunflower oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 ½ cups vanilla frosting
  • 2 tablespoons sprinkles


  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt in a mixing bowl.
  2. In another mixing bowl, whisk together water or plant-based milk, sugar, beet puree, oil, eggs, and vanilla extract.
  3. Pour wet ingredients into the dry mixture and whisk until batter forms with no lumps.
  4. Fill lined cupcake cups 2/3 full and bake for 18 minutes.
  5. Allow cupcakes to cool before frosting.
  6. Spread frosting on cooled cupcakes and decorate with sprinkles.

Substitute water for your favorite plant-based milk. The result will produce a pinker cupcake.
Beet puree: purchase ready-cooked beets and puree in a blender. From fresh beets, submerge whole, unpeeled beets in water and simmer covered until very tender. Peel and puree in a blender until smooth.