Learn how to make your favorite red velvet cupcakes with beetroot powder as its natural food color. Moist, soft and has no beetroot after taste. Topped with a simple cream cheese frosting, this becomes a special treat that both kids and adults will love.
What does red velvet cake taste like?
A cross between a chocolate cake and vanilla cake is how I would best describe a red velvet cake. It has the best of both worlds, really.
The small amount of cocoa powder gives a subtle chocolate flavor while the buttermilk and vinegar give it a touch of tang, but it is hardly noticeable. The vanilla in the batter mix and the icing lifts the overall flavor of the cake.
Beetroot powder: Things to know
Beetroot powder is the root vegetable in a highly concentrated powdered form. It is a known food supplement used by many that supposedly helps lower blood pressure, boost energy and help detox.
I have only personally used it as a natural food coloring for longganisa and cakes. I think that its possible medical benefits are an added bonus and give me more reason to use it.
What you need
- All-purpose flour – can also be substituted with cake flour. For 1 1/3 cup all-purpose flour, use 1 and 2/3 cups cake flour.
- Cocoa Powder – I use natural unsweetened cocoa powder for this recipe.
- Leavening agents – baking powder and baking soda. Baking soda is a must for cakes made with buttermilk.
- Butter – use unsalted pure butter for the best flavor.
- Eggs – use two whole eggs.
- Buttermilk – use homemade or store-bought. More on this later.
- Vanilla Extract- it is a part vanilla cake after all.
- Beetroot powder – for food color. Sift to remove the lumps then add water to form a paste.
How to make Red Velvet cupcakes
Making red velvet cupcakes is as easy as making regular cupcakes.
In this recipe, I used homemade buttermilk and so it was the first thing I prepared before everything else. Next was making the beetroot paste. Sift the beetroot to remove lumps. Add water and form a paste.
- While allowing the buttermilk to curdle, combine the dry ingredients and wet ingredients in separate bowls. Sift the dry ingredients or stir it with a whisk to remove the lumps.
- For the wet ingredients, start by creaming the butter and sugar together. Add the eggs one at a time and whisk until batter becomes light and fluffy. Pour the buttermilk, vanilla, and beetroot mixture. Continue whisking until everything is combined.
- Gradually add dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Whisk until just combined. DO NOT OVERMIX. Pour into cupcake liners and bake away!
How to make homemade buttermilk
To make homemade buttermilk, combine 3/4 cup whole milk and 2 tsp vinegar in a small bowl. Stir and allow to sit for 10 minutes until it curdles.
Vinegar can also be substituted with lemon juice using the same amount.
Where can I buy beetroot powder?
Beetroot powder is a popular food supplement and is available in many health food stores. You can also buy it online
Why is the cake not too red?
The color output of the cake when using beetroot powder is reddish-brown. As beets are a natural ingredient, the shade can be affected by many factors such as other ingredients and the heat during the baking process.
Can I get a richer red color to my red velvet cupcakes?
You can reduce the amount of cocoa powder in this recipe from 1 to 2 tbsp, however, this will affect the overall flavor of the cake.
You can also increase the amount of beetroot powder to 3tbsp. But nothing more than that.
Can I make a red velvet cake without food color?
Yes, of course! Before I discovered beetroot powder, I used to omit food color when making red velvet cupcakes for my friend’s children.
And finally, frost the cupcakes with cream cheese frosting. It just goes so well with the red velvet cupcakes.
I like my cupcakes with minimal frosting so as not to overpower the cake. So I always make a small serving. It’s good enough for 12 cupcakes if spread moderately. Just follow this link to get the recipe.
- 3/4 cup whole fresh milk
- 1 1/2 tsp vinegar
Natural Food Color
- 2 tbsp beetroot powder mixed with 1 tbsp water
- 3/4 cup + 2 tbsp white sugar
- Pre-heat oven to 350f / 180c. Place 12 cupcake liners in a cupcake tin.
- Combine buttermilk ingredients in a cup. Stir and set aside for 10 minutes until it curdles. In a small bowl, sift beetroot powder. Add water and stir until a paste is formed.
- In a bowl, sift flour and cocoa powder. Add baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Whisk until combined.
- In a large mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar using an electric mixer or by hand until pale and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time. Whisk after every addition. Pour buttermilk, vanilla, and beetroot paste. Continue whisking until everything is combined.
- Gradually add dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Whisk until just combined. DO NOT OVERMIX. Fill each cupcake liner with the batter. They should just be over 3/4 full. Use a big spoon or an icecream scoop.
- Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Test at 22 minutes. Remove cupcakes from pan and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Frost with cream cheese frosting before serving.
- Cake flour – all-purpose flour can also be substituted with cake flour. For 1 1/3 cup all-purpose flour, use 1 and 2/3 cups cake flour.
- Store-bought Buttermilk – use the same amount as directed in the recipe.
- For a richer red color red velvet cupcakes, you can reduce the amount of cocoa powder in this recipe from 1 to 2 tbsp, however, this will affect the overall flavor of the cake. You can also increase the amount of beetroot powder to 3tbsp. But nothing more than that.
- Beetroot powder – available in many health food stores. You can also buy it online.
- Make Ahead & Storage Instructions: Cupcakes can be made ahead 1 day in advance. Place in an airtight container in the fridge. Decorate immediately before serving.
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