Red Velvet Beet Cupcakes

A way to enjoy one of your favorite special treats while making it a little healthier!
Cupcakes
  1. 2 large beets
  2. ¼ tsp. salt
  3. 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  4. 2½ cups all-purpose flour
  5. 1½ cups granulated sugar
  6. 1 tsp. baking soda
  7. 1 tsp. salt
  8. 2 Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
  9. ½ cup coconut oil, melted
  10. ¾ cup low-fat buttermilk
  11. 2 eggs
  12. 1 Tbsp. red food coloring
  13. 1 tsp. white vinegar
  14. 1 tsp. vanilla extract
Frosting
  1. 3 Tbsp flour
  2. 1 cup milk
  3. 2 tsp. clear vanilla
  4. 1 cup sugar
  5. 1 cup shortening
For the cupcakes
  1. Preheat oven to 400º F. Slice off beet leaves close to the stem and scrub the beets clean. Cut them each into 4 pieces and place them on a large square of foil. Sprinkle with the salt, olive oil and a splash of water. Wrap the beets loosely with the foil.
  2. Place foil-wrapped beets on a baking sheet and roast until a knife or fork comes out with ease when inserted into the beet, about 30 minutes or so. Set the beets aside to cool.
  3. Preheat oven to 350º F. Line two 12-cup muffin tins with paper liners.
  4. In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking soda, salt and cocoa powder.
  5. Peel the cooled beets and place in a blender or food processor. Blend until pureed.
  6. Add coconut oil, buttermilk, eggs, food coloring, vinegar and vanilla to the beet puree and blend. In two parts, mix the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, until it’s mixed well.
  7. Scoop batter into lined cupcake tins, filling about ⅔ full.
  8. Bake for 25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted.
  9. Let cool and then frost!
For the frosting
  1. Cook flour and milk until thick, stirring constantly. Add vanilla and let cool. Cream the sugar and shortening. Beat until it looks like whip cream, then add your flour and milk mixture.