Photo: Antonis Achilleos
YieldsMakes 12 cupcakes (serving size: 1 cupcake)
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