These healthy red velvet cupcakes are made from scratch with whole food ingredients like cooked beets, cassava flour and eggs. They are completely gluten free, dairy free and paleo friendly - perfect for a healthy dessert.
After sharing my vegan beet brownie recipe, I've been ALL about adding cooked beets to baked goods. And what better way to do it than with these healthy red velvet cupcakes?!
Honestly, red velvet has never been my favorite flavor. But these cupcakes? Oh, these cupcakes are GOOD.
These are cassava flour cupcakes, so they're completely grain free, gluten free and nut free; as cassava flour comes from the cassava plant, a root vegetable. In addition, this gluten free red velvet cupcake recipe is only colored with beets and is sweetened with coconut sugar.
Healthy Red Velvet Cupcakes
- gluten free and grain free: made with Otto's cassava flour
- paleo friendly: this homemade red velvet cupcake recipe is completely grain free, dairy free, has no vegetable oil and is sweetened with coconut sugar (no refined sugar)
- dairy free frosting: the frosting for these red velvet cupcakes is made without cream cheese, cream or butter. Instead, it uses coconut cream as the base.
- naturally colored: no dyes here! This dessert has a red hue thanks to cooked beets and beet powder
- easy to make: the batter is made in a food processor, but can also be made in a mixing bowl. You'll need a food processor or blender to puree the beets.
- kid friendly: all three of my kids ate these cupcakes without complaint! They loved the cake and the frosting.
These paleo red velvet cupcakes are the perfect way to sneak in some veggies with dessert. Beets boast SO many nutrients and this is a great way to squeeze them into your diet.
Here's a list of what you need to make this small batch red velvet cupcake recipe:
- cooked beets
- large eggs
- avocado oil
- vanilla extract
- cassava flour
- coconut flour
- cocoa powder
- beet root powder (optional)
- coconut sugar
- paleo baking powder
- baking soda
All of these ingredients are naturally gluten free and paleo friendly.
For the cooked beets, I used Love Beets organic pre-cooked beets. However, you may steam your own. The beets will need to be pureed in a food processor or high powered blender.
Eggs are necessary for this cupcake recipe and no substitutions have been tested.
I like using avocado oil in baking because it has a neutral flavor. However, olive oil will work as a replacement.
The flours used to make these red velvet cupcakes include: cassava flour, coconut flour and cocoa powder. The coconut flour is necessary for texture purposes and there is no substitute. I tried this recipe using just cassava flour, and the texture was slightly gummy.
Coconut sugar is used as a sweetener, but any granulated sugar may be used instead.
How to Make Red Velvet Cupcakes From Scratch
These red velvet cupcakes are made from scratch - no boxed cupcakes here! Here are the step by step instructions:
First, preheat your oven to 350 degrees F and line a muffin pan with 9 cupcake liners.
Make the Batter
Next, make the batter. Combine the pureed beets, eggs, avocado oil, water and vanilla in the food processor and blend until well combined.
Then, add in the remaining cupcake ingredients (cassava flour, coconut flour, beet powder, cocoa powder, coconut sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt). Stir the batter with a spatula, then process until well combined.
Pour the cupcake batter into the lined muffin pan. This recipe will make 9 cupcakes. Each cupcake is about ¼ cup batter.
Bake the Cupcakes
Place the grain free cupcakes in your preheated oven and bake at 350 degrees for 18-20 minutes.
Cool the Cupcakes
After baking, remove the cupcakes from the oven and cool them for 3-5 minutes in the baking pan, then transfer them to a wire cooling rack.
Cool completely before frosting.
Frosting Recipe For Red Velvet Cupcakes
The frosting I used for these red velvet cupcakes is made without cream cheese, making it completely dairy free and vegan friendly.
Here's what you need:
- coconut cream
- melted coconut oil
- vanilla extract
- lemon juice (optional)
- powdered monk fruit (or any powdered sugar)
- ground ginger (optional)
To make the red velvet cupcake frosting, simply combine all ingredients in a small mixing bowl and whisk until smooth. If the coconut cream is too firm, then warm it at 5 second intervals in the microwave.
The cupcakes are best frosted and decorated just before serving. You may make the frosting ahead of time and keep it in the fridge until you're ready to use it.
Red Velvet Cupcake Decorating Ideas
I topped these homemade red velvet cupcakes with frosting, miniature dark chocolate chips, dried edible flowers and naturally colored sprinkles. Here are some more excellent decoration ideas:
- Dye-free sprinkles
- chopped nuts (like walnuts or pecans)
- freeze dried fruit (for instance, crushed freeze dried strawberries or raspberries)
- miniature dark chocolate chips
- sprinkle on some beet root powder
These red velvet cassava flour cupcakes need to be stored in the fridge after a day. Place them in a sealed, air-tight container in the fridge for up to one week.
Frequently Asked Questions
Before pureeing beets, they need to be cooked. You can buy pre-cooked beets, or steam them yourself in a steamer pot. To do this, wash the beets, peel the skin and cut them into bite-sized pieces. Place the beets in a steamer pot (with water at the base) and steam them on the stovetop until tender.
Next, place the steamed beets in a food processor or blender and blend until they form a jelly-like texture.
For best results, I recommend using Love Beets precooked beets. They tend to produce the best color for these red velvet cupcakes. If you can't find Love Beets, then look for beets that are bright red (not dark) and peel the skin before steaming them. Adding beetroot powder will also help bring out a more red color.
Yes, this particular red velvet cupcake recipe uses cassava flour and I do not have any alternative flour recommendations.
Without coconut flour, these cupcakes will have a slightly gummy texture. I do not recommend removing or swapping out this ingredient.
More Homemade Paleo Cupcake Recipes
These healthy red velvet cupcakes are made with cooked beets and cassava flour. They are gluten free, grain free, dairy free and nut free - perfect for a healthy paleo dessert.
Red Velvet Cupcakes
- ½ cup pureed beets (120g)*
- 2 large eggs
- ¼ cup avocado oil
- ¼ cup water
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- ½ cup cassava flour (75g)
- 2 Tbsp coconut flour (14g)
- 1 Tbsp beet root powder (optional)
- 2 tsp cocoa powder (5g)
- ½ cup coconut sugar
- 1 tsp paleo baking powder
- ¼ tsp baking soda
- ¼ tsp salt
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and line a muffin pan with 9 cupcake liners.
- Make the batter: combine the pureed beets, eggs, avocado oil, water and vanilla in a food processor and blend until well combined.
- Add in the remaining cupcake ingredients (cassava flour, coconut flour, beet powder, cocoa powder, coconut sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt). Stir the batter with a spatula, then process until well combined.
- Pour the cupcake batter into the lined muffins pan. Each cupcake is about ¼ cup of batter.
- Place the cupcakes in the oven and bake at 350 degrees F for 18-20 minutes.
- Remove from oven, cool the cupcakes 3-5 minutes in the baking pan, then transfer to a wire cooling rack.
- Cool completely before frosting.
- In a small mixing bowl, combine all frosting ingredients. Whisk until smooth***
- Scoop frosting into a plastic baggie, cut a hole on one end and pipe frosting onto cupcakes.
For best results, measure the cassava flour by weight using a kitchen scale.
*I recommend using Love Beets to achieve the best color for these cupcakes. They are precooked and ready to go! If you choose to use raw beets, then wash, cut and steam them until tender. Puree the beets in a food processor or high powered blender until they reach a jelly-like consistency.
**just the cream from a can of coconut cream or full fat coconut milk
***If the frosting separates, then warm it in the microwave for 10-15 seconds. Whisk ingredients together, then place it in the fridge to firm.
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