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Chocolate Beet Cupcakes with Low Fat Cream Cheese Frosting

This recipe was inspired by Anna Olson’s Red Velvet Cupcakes recipe. Moist chocolate cupcakes made with fresh beets and cocoa, topped with low fat, fluffy cream cheese frosting.
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword chocolate beet cupcakes, chocolate desserts, cream cheese frosting, desserts that are healthy, desserts with beets
Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
cooling time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 35 minutes
Servings 12
Author Chrissie Baker


  • 6 tbsp finely shredded beets
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 tsp white vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • 3 tbsp canola oil
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 6 tbsp white sugar
  • 4 tbsp brown sugar

For the frosting:

  • 6 oz low fat cream cheese at room temperature
  • 4 tbsp butter at room temperature
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tbsp milk any variety
  • shaved dark chocolate for garnish optional


  • Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and line a 12-cup muffin tin with your favourite paper liners.
  • Add the finely shredded beets to a large bowl, along with the milk, vinegar, vanilla, the egg, and the canola oil. Whisk these ingredients together until they’re combined.
  • In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cocoa powder and sugars with a wire whisk until there are no visible lumps.
  • Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and using a rubber spatula, fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients just until no streaks of flour remain and everything is evenly incorporated (be sure the scrape down the sides of the bowl well!).
  • Divide the batter between the 12 paper liners. I used stiff paper cupcake baking cups, but regular paper liners work well too. If you’re using paper cupcake cups like I did, just place them directly onto a baking sheet.
  • Bake the cupcakes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for about 18-22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of one comes out clean.
  • Remove pan from oven and allow cupcakes to cool completely before frosting.

To make the frosting:

  • Whip the cream cheese and the butter on high speed using a stand mixer (a hand mixer will do just fine too!). Add the powdered sugar 1/2 cup at a time and mix on high speed until the mixture achieves the texture of stiff frosting.
  • Add the milk 1 teaspoon at a time as you mix on high speed, just until the frosting softens in texture enough that it becomes creamy enough to pipe. The exact amount of milk and powdered sugar will vary every time because of the temperature of the butter and cream cheese, so feel free to add a little less or more milk or powdered sugar to achieve the perfect piping texture.
  • Add the frosting to a piping bag fitted with a large star tip and pipe the frosting onto the cooled cupcakes in a swirl design. Garnish with shaved chocolate (if desired) and serve.


The texture of these cupcakes is more dense than a regular chocolate cupcake, however they're still light enough to spring back to the touch. Be sure to let them cool completely before you frost them!