So much love to all of you this February fourteenth! I’ve received a few kind messages recently and I want to say a huge thank you for taking the time to visit my blog. It makes me so happy! I’m sending you smiles, hugs, and gratitude. I wish I could send you cupcakes. I baked a whole bunch for Valentine’s Day and I don’t want to be stuck eating all these myself, which will most likely happen. I used a recipe from Joy the Baker but switched it up a bit to make it gluten free! The original recipe was for chocolate beet cake, but I wanted something more Valentine’s-ish that I could hand out to friends. I decided that pink velvet gluten-free cupcakes would do just the trick! This being my attempt to replicate the excitement of receiving personalized valentines from each classmate in elementary school.
Decorating these cupcakes was so much fun. I owe it to Rhea for letting me flip the kitchen upside down to bake these and completely re-arrange the living room to set up a mini photo shoot…hah! If you want to try these out, follow the recipe below.
Happy Valentine’s Day!
For the (gluten-free!) Cupcakes:
2 medium red beets trimmed of their greens
1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
3/4 cup unsalted organic butter
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup cane sugar
2 large organic eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups organic gluten-free flour
2/3 cup raw organic cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 1/4 cups buttermilk (or mix 1 1/4 cups almond milk with 1 1/4 tbsp white vinegar for dairy-free version.)
For the Frosting:
1 cup unsalted softened butter
2/3 cup softened cream cheese (or the coconut dairy-free version: beat 2/3 cup coconut milk [the thicker top layer in a chilled can of coconut milk] with 2 tsp of fresh lemon juice until fluffy.)
3 cups organic icing sugar, sifted
2 tbsp finely grated beets
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp almond milk (I use Earth’s Own Almond Fresh or make my own)
1 tsp fresh lemon juice
pinch of salt
To Make the Cupcakes:
Place a rack in the center of the oven. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Wash the beets and place on foil. Drizzle with olive oil and seal up the foil. Place on a baking sheet in the oven. Roast for one hour, or until the beets are tender when pierced with a fork.
Remove the beets from the oven and allow them to cool completely. The beets will be easy to peel (using a paring knife) once cooled.
Grate the peeled beets with a fine grater. Measure 3/4 cup of grated beets for the cupcakes and 2 tablespoons for the frosting.
Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees.
In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter and sugars until pale and fluffy. If you have an electric stand mixer you can use the paddle attached for 3 to 5 minutes. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, mixing between each. Beat in the beets (hehe) and vanilla extract until thoroughly combined.
In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
Add half of the dry ingredients to the butter and egg mixture. Prepare your buttermilk mixture ahead of time to allow it 5 minutes to settle. Slowly add the buttermilk while continuing to gently mix. Once the buttermilk has combined, add the second half of dry ingredients. Gently mix until milk and dry ingredients are just incorporated. Try not to overmix the batter. Your mixture should be thick, not pourable.
Scoop the batter into paper baking cups or a well buttered cupcake pan. Bake for 25 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove cupcakes from the oven and allow to completely cool on a rack before adding frosting.
To Make the Frosting:
In a medium mixing bowl, prepare your cream cheese mixture and beat until smooth. Add the butter and beat for another 30 seconds, until well combined. Add the grated beets and any extra juice to get the pink colour you desire. I added a tsp of pure cranberry juice to make the colour even richer. Add the icing sugar, vanilla extract, almond milk, lemon juice, and salt. Beat until smooth and silky. Refrigerate the frosting for 30 minutes before icing the cooled cupcakes.
Original recipe from Joy the Baker!
Whether you’ve got a hot date or not, spread some love today.
Romantic plans? Do tell in a comment below. Thanks for reading.
(Middle photo [original without text] via Moonrise Kingdom)
(cupcake photos from my kitchen ♥)