January 20, 2016

Hey Valentine! I love you more than beets. Sort of.

This Valentine’s day, I’m going to make something sweet for my sweetie. In this case, my sweetie is my daughter, who has recently learned to write “I LOVE YOU” and spends her days making me I love you cards using any kind of writable material she can find. Four year olds are awesome! (and so good for the self-esteem!)  She’s also recently sort-of mastered drawing the heart. Sure, sometimes it’s a little more on the abstract side, but it’s there. And it’s totally adorable. She’s got the whole Valentine’s Day is Everyday attitude going on right now, and it melts my heart in ways that I didn’t think was possible. It’s so honest and innocent, and so unbearably sweet.

How about some beet cupcakes this Valentine's Day? Check out the recipe here: www.mudonherboots.com

So this Valentine’s Day, I thought I’d make it all about her. I knew I wanted to make her some cupcakes. I knew they had to be chocolatey and rich. And I knew, without a doubt, that they needed to have beets. Whoa, what? Beets?? Yup, beets.

Let me start off by saying I adore beets. I love them in almost every iteration. Borsht? Yes, please. Pickled beets? Of course. Roasted beets on a salad, with some awesome stinky cheese? Mais Oui! In a moist and delicious cupcake that suspiciously does NOT taste like beets at all???? Most definitely!

Beets are one of those things: you either love them or you hate them. Most people have strong childhood memories of pickled beets and stained fingers. But beets are so much more versatile than just as part of a pickle tray! If the thought of boiled beets, doesn’t thrill you, consider other ways to enjoy the sweet earthiness of beets. Try a simple roasted beet with some olive oil, salt and pepper. Just a little salt really changes everything. Google beet recipes and you’ll find a ton. And most of them will be delicious.

I like having options with my produce. I get a food share box every week, and it’s fun to play around with vegetables and fruits and turn them into something a little unexpected. Otherwise, I think things would get a little boring. So, when we got beets in our food share box, my first thought was, my poor cutting board…and my second thought was, cupcakes! Who knows how my mind works, sometimes.

Beets are Delicious. And nutritious!

How about some beet cupcakes this Valentine's Day? Check out the recipe here: www.mudonherboots.com

Before we get into the recipe, which I’ve made about a million times and ultimately end up eating most of (I may or may not hide them in the back of the cupboard!), let’s have a little talk about beets. Not only are beets pretty tasty, but they also share a family with some heavy hitters. They belong to the Chenopodiaceae family, which includes spinach, chard and quinoa. The beetroot is a good source of folate (which is great for healthy blood, which really means it’s good for, you know, living and stuff), vitamins C and B (mood boosters), and a good source of fibre (great for digestion).

Beets are really an all-in-one-stop-shop. The entire plant is edible from root to leaf tips. If you’re growing them in your own garden, you can easily pluck a few young leaves here and there to add to your salad. Or if you pick up a bunch at the farmers’ market, save those beet tops! You can sauté them, add them to a soup, or even eat them on their own with a little vinaigrette!

Beets are also great as a sneaky pureed additive. Roast them, peel them, give them a quick mash or puree and you’ve got a fantastic fuchsia tint for pink pancakes, salad dressings, and even some red-hued, delicious cupcakes.

Beet cupcakes???

Speaking of cupcakes…back to my recipe! Remember when it was all about the red velvet cake? It was everywhere. Every party I went to, every wedding, had this red velvet cake going on. And more often then not, they were dry, tasteless, and not so velvety. I was not a fan. (sorry). That is, until I had some good red velvet and loved that sort of je ne sais quoi quality where you weren’t sure if it was cocoa or something else but you had to keep taking bite after bite to figure it out.

This beet cupcake recipe is sort of a loose twist on that red velvet. The only colorants are the beets and cocoa, so the end result will not be RED red, which is typically achieved with copious amounts of red food colouring. Instead, the cupcake will have a reddish tint playing through the darkness of the cocoa. But the colour for me isn’t the point. It’s the taste. The hint of cinnamon, the earthiness of the beets, the sweetness of the chocolate chips, and the icing…the icing I could probably put on my toast.

How about some beet cupcakes this Valentine's Day? Check out the recipe here: www.mudonherboots.com

Beet Cupcakes

¾ cup organic sugar

¼ cup butter

2 eggs

½ cup greek yogurt

¼ cup milk

1 tsp vanilla

1 tsp white vinegar

3 beets, roasted and peeled

1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour

¼ cup dutch process cocoa powder, preferably fair trade

½ tsp baking soda

¼ tsp cinnamon

½ tsp salt

1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips, preferably fair trade

Cream Cheese Frosting

½ cup cream cheese

¼ cup butter

1 cup powdered sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

Trim beets and puree with an immersion blender until smooth.

How about some beet cupcakes this Valentine's Day? Check out the recipe here: www.mudonherboots.com

Cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add vanilla, milk and greek yogurt and mix. Add vinegar and beet puree and mix until well combined.

In a separate bowl, combine the dry ingredients. Add dry ingredients to wet and mix until just combined.
How about some beet cupcakes this Valentine's Day? Check out the recipe here: www.mudonherboots.com

Hand stir in the chocolate chips.

Portion into a greased muffin tin.

How about some beet cupcakes this Valentine's Day? Check out the recipe here: www.mudonherboots.com


Bake 350 for 20 mins, until cupcakes spring back under light pressure from fingers or a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

Allow to cool, then ice.

For Cream Cheese Frosting

Whip butter and cream cheese together until light and fluffy. Add vanilla and mix on high for one minute. Add icing sugar and mix on high until smooth and creamy.

How about some beet cupcakes this Valentine's Day? Check out the recipe here: www.mudonherboots.com

Yields 12 cupcakes that are really pretty good, if I do say so myself!

How about some beet cupcakes this Valentine's Day? Check out the recipe here: www.mudonherboots.com


  1. Diane Galambos - 2 years ago

    Wow! Those look amazing! Happy to have discovered your site/blog!!

    • Jen - 2 years ago

      Thanks for stopping by!

  2. Those cupcakes are absolutely delicious and so pretty, and your daughter is adorable! That shot of the cupcake on her drawing is priceless. I am a fan of beets in baking, I made a flourless chocolate beet cake that is nothing less than the best chocolate cake ever.

    • Jen - 2 years ago

      I agree that beets add a certain something to chocolate cupcakes, and a flourless chocolate cake with beets sounds pretty darn good! ( you’re right: my daughter is pretty adorable, if I do say so myself…she’s a keeper!)

  3. Awww that picture from your daughter is just so sweet! I’m not a huge beet fan but putting them in cupcakes to get some of those good vitamins sounds like my kind of plan! Yum! (And yes, totally with you on the dry red velvet – it’s pretty but TASTE is what matters with cake, people!)

    • Jen - 2 years ago

      I’ll let my daughter know you like her picture: she’s very proud that her work is on mommy’s blog (she thinks the entire world has seen it…love that innocence!) 🙂

  4. maria - 2 years ago

    Absolutely love beets and this recipe looks like a keeper. Pinning this one! Thanks for sharing 🙂

    • Jen - 2 years ago

      If you get around to making the cupcakes, let me know what you think! I’m always looking for new perspectives!

  5. Liz W | EmmaEats - 2 years ago

    Beets are awesome! These look delicious and with the added beets, could they be considered health food?

    BTW, I’ve used beet juice as food colouring for frosting. While it wasn’t the hot pink that you’d get from gel food colouring, it was still very pretty and my little girls loved their pink-hued, non-beet flavoured frosting. Yet another reason beets rock!

    • Jen - 2 years ago

      Yes, let’s call these healthy cupcakes! (which makes me feel so much better when I eat them all in one sitting!) Thanks for the reminder on the beet juice colouring. I always forget about that! I’ll try that next time for sure!

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