Photo: Antonis Achilleos
YieldsMakes 12 cupcakes (serving size: 1 cupcake)Total Time2 hrs 30 minsCool Time1 hr 15 minsTotal Time3 hrs 45 mins
AuthorDiane Morgan,
These electric magenta cupcakes get their color not from the usual food coloring but from puréed roasted beets, which also add a subtle flavor. Don't use canned or packaged steamed beets--the cupcakes' color will be drab.

How to Make It

Step 1
1

Make cupcakes: Preheat oven to 350°. Wrap each beet in foil, put on a rimmed baking sheet, and roast until tender when pierced, 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Let cool. Peel, cut into chunks, and purée in a food processor. Measure 1 1/4 cups purée.

Step 2
2

Line a 12-cup muffin pan (1/2-cup size) with paper liners. Sift together flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon in a medium bowl. Set aside.

Step 3
3

Whisk together beet purée, granulated sugar, eggs, oil, and vanilla in a large bowl. With a plastic spatula, stir in flour mixture one-third at a time just until smooth.

Step 4
4

Spoon batter into muffin cups, filling each almost to the top of the liner. Bake until cupcakes spring back when gently pressed and a toothpick inserted in center of one comes out with a couple of moist crumbs clinging, 25 to 30 minutes. Let cool in pan on a rack 10 minutes. Transfer to rack to cool completely.

Step 5
5

Make buttercream: Beat butter with a mixer on high speed until very smooth. Add powdered sugar, orange oil, and vanilla; beat on low speed to blend, then on medium until fluffy and smooth.

Step 6
6

Spread a thick layer of buttercream on cupcakes, swirling it decoratively. Or pipe frosting from a pastry bag, using a star tip.

Step 7
7

Make ahead: Up to 1 day, chilled.

Step 8
8

*Find pure orange oil, an essential oil pressed from orange rind (and different from orange extract), at surlatable.com

Ingredients

  CUPCAKES
 1 pound red beets (3 medium), scrubbed
 2 cups sifted cake flour
 1 teaspoon baking powder
 3/4 teaspoon kosher or fine sea salt
 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
 1 cup plus 2 tbsp. granulated sugar
 3 large eggs, beaten to blend
 2/3 cup canola oil
 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  ORANGE BUTTERCREAM
 1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
 2 cups powdered sugar
 1/2 teaspoon pure orange oil*, such as Boyajian brand, or zest of 1 large orange
 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions

Step 1
1

Make cupcakes: Preheat oven to 350°. Wrap each beet in foil, put on a rimmed baking sheet, and roast until tender when pierced, 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Let cool. Peel, cut into chunks, and purée in a food processor. Measure 1 1/4 cups purée.

Step 2
2

Line a 12-cup muffin pan (1/2-cup size) with paper liners. Sift together flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon in a medium bowl. Set aside.

Step 3
3

Whisk together beet purée, granulated sugar, eggs, oil, and vanilla in a large bowl. With a plastic spatula, stir in flour mixture one-third at a time just until smooth.

Step 4
4

Spoon batter into muffin cups, filling each almost to the top of the liner. Bake until cupcakes spring back when gently pressed and a toothpick inserted in center of one comes out with a couple of moist crumbs clinging, 25 to 30 minutes. Let cool in pan on a rack 10 minutes. Transfer to rack to cool completely.

Step 5
5

Make buttercream: Beat butter with a mixer on high speed until very smooth. Add powdered sugar, orange oil, and vanilla; beat on low speed to blend, then on medium until fluffy and smooth.

Step 6
6

Spread a thick layer of buttercream on cupcakes, swirling it decoratively. Or pipe frosting from a pastry bag, using a star tip.

Step 7
7

Make ahead: Up to 1 day, chilled.

Step 8
8

*Find pure orange oil, an essential oil pressed from orange rind (and different from orange extract), at surlatable.com

Red Velvet Cupcakes with Orange Buttercream