Chocolate Beet Mini Cupcakes with buttercream frosting

Nicoletta June 5, 2017

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Chocolate Beet Mini Cupcakes, a delicious one bite of chocolate delight, with a healthy root vegetable hidden inside, giving the cupcakes an incredible moisture, lovely flavour and reddish hue. Two kinds of frosting adorn the mini cupcakes: a luscious buttercream, and a vibrant raspberry buttercream.

Song of the day: Everything Now, by Arcade Fire.

Chocolate Beet Mini Cupcakes

Loreto’s birthday arrived and we were on Salt Spring Island, on a little retreat. It was Sunday, April 30th, a gorgeous sunny day that I tried to fill, to celebrate him, with love, laughter and relaxation, some fun things to do and good eats. It was actually the only sunny day of the three we were there, so we spent most of the day outside. In the morning we went for a nice breakfast on a bench overlooking the ocean, I bought him flowers at a cute flower stand on the side of the road, and then we walked to a bakery to see what we could find for a small birthday cake.



Not very many cakes on display and the few that they had were huge, not good for the two of us, considering also that we had to leave the next day. But smiling at us, from the lower shelf, there were two lines of cupcakes, a chocolate one, and one with cheerful sprinkles on top. There you go, Loreto, for your birthday, this year, we’re going to have birthday cupcakes! We bought the two flavours because you know, birthday boy’s wife, she is a chocolate addict, lol.

Chocolate Beet Mini CupcakesChocolate Beet Mini Cupcakes

Anyway, the whole day was lovely, but you’re going to read more of it in the post that Loreto’s writing dedicated to our trip to Salt Spring Island, soon to come.

When back home, in Edmonton, I really wanted to bake a cake for him to celebrate his birthday properly, but many things got in the way, read life of a blogger, and many posts got on the front line before this very post. Because at some point, I did bake for him these Chocolate Beet Mini Cupcakes, with buttercream frosting and raspberry frosting. 

I guess it was a cupcake kind of birthday because when I asked him what dessert he would like for his birthday, he told me to use up the beets we had in the fridge and bake some delectable chocolate beet cupcakes. I was surprised, but pleased, it is a great recipe and makes for a delicious, healthier dessert. My only change was to bake them in mini cupcakes form.

Chocolate Beet Mini Cupcakes, here we go.

Beets are a root vegetable that accompanied us from winter to spring and they were the ingredient of many of our recipes. Whenever we can find them, we like to buy Chioggia beets, with their peculiar marbleization and mild flavour. They gave the cupcakes a less pronounced red hue but are nonetheless amazing. We peeled, boiled and pureed them, before starting the preparation, since they also need to cool off. When all the ingredients were ready to be assembled, the rest is a “piece of cake”.

Chocolate Beet Mini Cupcakes

I’m always enthralled at the look of these beets, the beautiful marbleization of red to white and the intricate pattern almost labyrinth-like fascinates me.

The batter comes together quickly and easily. There is sunflower oil, vanilla, cocoa, eggs, sugar (I used granulated suagr and maple sugar), flour, baking powder, a pinch of salt and, of course, the beet purée.

Chocolate Beet Mini Cupcakes

I don’t know what it is with miniature things, but it always makes you smile and brings you back to childhood. The Chocolate Beet Mini Cupcakes look adorable out of the oven, and onto a cooling rack, waiting to be iced.

Chocolate Beet Mini Cupcakes

Loreto and I were excited to get that piping bag full and start icing these little gems. We both came up with two strategies. One would be a plain buttercream in a soft ice cream pattern and the other, a more detailed and colourful raspberry buttercream in a star pattern. They were both equally delicious as we did not wait to pop one of each in our mouths. After all, we had to make sure that the flavours melded together well, lol.

Chocolate Beet Mini Cupcakes

The icing was way more work than baking these Chocolate Beet Mini Cupcakes. One might think that since they are miniature there is less work involved, but in reality, detail and quantity equal WORK!

Truth be told, really a labour of love. After all, it’s Loreto’s birthday! In the picture below, in a small dish behind the mini cupcakes, you will see what looks like raspberries, and you’re right, only one detail, they are dehydrated. We found these at our local Farmers Market and they starred in many of our desserts.

Chocolate Beet Mini Cupcakes

The texture of these cupcakes come in first with their moisture and decadence, followed by the incredible richness of the beet/chocolate combination. The darkness of the cocoa tinted slightly with a reddish hue of the beets, and that buttercream icing just awakening us to a delightful contrast of colour. The buttercream offers a nice slightly sweet flavour subduing the earthiness of the beets and enhancing the flavour of the chocolate. As for the raspberry buttercream, those little specks of dehydrated raspberry and raspberry syrup just explode in your mouth awakening both your sense of smell and taste. Miniature in size, but huge in flavour they are.

These wonderful, joyful, Chocolate Beet Mini Cupcakes were shared at Loreto’s parents after a nice dinner and also gifted to friends and neighbours, always appreciative.

Hope you enjoy them as much as we did.

Song of the day: Everything Now, by Arcade Fire.

Chocolate Beet Mini Cupcakes

Chocolate Beet Mini Cupcakes with buttercream frosting

  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 13 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour


  • 2 cups (250 g) cake flour (00)
  • ½ cup (45 g) unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1½ teaspoons baking powder
  • pinch salt
  • 3 large, organic free range eggs
  • ¾ cup (132 ml) sunflower oil
  • 1 cup (150 g) maple sugar (or natural cane sugar)
  • 1/4 cup (50 g) granulated sugar
  • 1½ cups fresh beets (about 3 small/medium), cooked and pureed
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Buttercream Frosting:

  • 4 Tbsp salted butter, softened
  • 1 cup icing sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp half & half cream

Raspberry Buttercream:

  • add 1 tsp crushed dehydrated raspberry
  • 1/2 tsp raspberry syrup


  1. Preheat oven to 375º F. Line muffin pan with cupcake liners.
  2. In a large bowl sift flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt. Add cane sugar.
  3. In another bowl, or in a stand mixer beat the oil, eggs, granulated sugar and vanilla. Mix well.
  4. Add beet mixture and mix well.
  5. Add dry ingredients to wet mixture and mix just to combine.
  6. Fill cupcake liners until almost full.
  7. Bake in the pre heated oven for approximately 13 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  8. Cool for 5 minutes, then remove from pan to wire rack to cool.
  9. Frosting:
  10. In a stand mixer beat the butter with the icing sugar, vanilla, until smooth.
  11. Add the half & half and beat at high speed just until smooth; do not over beat.
  12. Fill a piping bag with the round tip with the buttercream and pipe the cupcakes starting from the outer edge.
  13. For the raspberry buttercream add the dehydrated raspberry and raspberry syrup to the regular buttercream and use the star tip to decorate.


The cooking time does not include the cooking of the beets.


  • Serving Size: 48 mini cupcakes
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Chocolate Beet Mini Cupcakes

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  • Avatar
    Reply Dawn - Girl Heart Food June 5, 2017 at 9:43 am

    Happy birthday to Loreto!!! Sounds like you guys had a lovely day together 🙂 I know what you mean – you totally don’t want to buy a huge cake for two people. Firstly, no one needs that much cake and, secondly, by the time you go through it, it probably won’t be as fresh. Homemade is always better anyway and I love little individual sized desserts like these adorable mini cupcakes. Plus, there’s beet in there so they have to be healthy 😉 I would totally eat more than one though 🙂 Pinned! Happy Monday, you guys!

    • Nicoletta
      Reply Nicoletta June 5, 2017 at 10:02 am

      Thank you Dawn!! We had a lovely time, as usual 😉 . And we loved these mini cupcakes, a little on the healthier side, but still so delicious! And yes, we did have more than one each 😉 .

  • Avatar
    Reply Stephanie June 5, 2017 at 3:19 pm

    It sounds like Loreto had a lovely birthday. And cupcakes are such a grand idea especially for sharing. Never thought of adding beets to cupcakes but I bet they’re delicious. Bonus way to get in extra veggies!

    • Nicoletta
      Reply Nicoletta June 5, 2017 at 5:32 pm

      Thank you! We had a lovely birthday on Salt Spring and he really liked these mini cupcakes. Yes! Extra veggies hidden in cocoa deliciousness 🙂

  • Avatar
    Reply Milena | Craft Beering June 5, 2017 at 3:27 pm

    I am very impressed by these! I adore beets but must admit that I’ve never had them in combination with chocolate, not to mention transformed into a mini cupcake. Great idea (an execution) for a B-day cake! Pinning to try!

    • Nicoletta
      Reply Nicoletta June 5, 2017 at 5:35 pm

      Thank you Milena! I’ve made also regular chocolate beet cupcakes with a mascarpone frosting. Everybody loves them and they do not taste the beets at all 🙂 .

  • Avatar
    Reply Kathy @ Beyond the Chicken Coop June 6, 2017 at 6:27 am

    Happy Birthday to Loreto! Cupcakes are always a good thing! I love that you’ve used beets!!! I’ll bet they help keep the cakes super moist.

    • Nicoletta
      Reply Nicoletta June 6, 2017 at 8:17 am

      Indeed, Kathy! They keep the cupcakes so moist and pair so well with the cocoa and the buttercream.

  • Avatar
    Reply Ann Sageer June 8, 2017 at 9:54 am

    Happy Birthday to Loreto! Sounds like your trip was beautiful! Speaking of beautiful…these cupcakes made with beet for an extra tender crumb sound amazing! And I love that raspberry buttercream!

    • Nicoletta
      Reply Nicoletta June 9, 2017 at 8:27 am

      Thank you Annie! We had a great trip and brought back lots of goodies 🙂 . The raspberry buttercream was unbelievable!

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