Natural Red Velvet Cupcakes with beetroot

I get asked a lot at markets what a red velvet cake is and despite what many people think, it’s not just a vanilla cake with red food colouring.
Red velvet cakes contain buttermilk and a small amount of cocoa powder. These ingredients give the cake a subtle and very distinctive flavour which makes it different to a chocolate or vanilla cake.
The original red velvet cake is said to have had a reddish hue that was caused by the reaction between natural cocoa powder and an acidic ingredient, like buttermilk.

Nowadays the intense red hue mostly comes from red food colouring.

If you have been following on instagram you would have noticed a few trials for natural red velvet cupcakes with beetroot.
Good news, the kids loved them and even though they know they contain beetroot they don’t seem to mind.




Here’s the recipe:

Natural Red Velvet Cupcakes with beetroot
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Natural Red Velvet Cupcakes with beetroot
Serves: about 12 cupcakes
  • 100g self raising flour
  • 30g almond meal*
  • 20g beetroot powder***
  • 15g natural cocoa
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 100g pureed raw beetroot
  • ½ teaspoon vinegar
  • ½ cup buttermilk**
  • 110g sugar
  • 150ml vegetable oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • Cream Cheese Icing
  • 150g butter, room temperature
  • 250g cream cheese, room temperature
  • 350g icing sugar, sifted
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  1. Preheat oven to 180C/160C fan. Line a 12 cup cupcake pan with cupcake papers
  2. Sift dry ingredients together and set aside
  3. Grate peeled raw beetroot and puree it in food processor or use a hand held blender,
  4. combined with the vinegar and buttermilk so it becomes a fine texture
  5. Using an electric mixer, cream the oil, sugar and vanilla for a few minutes then beat in
  6. eggs one at a time, mixing until combined
  7. Alternate adding dry and wet ingredients to the creamed mixture, mix until combined
  8. Spoon batter into cupcake papers, about ⅔ filled. Bake in preheated oven for 20-25
  9. minutes. Test with a skewer
  10. Remove from oven and cool completely before icing
  11. Cream Cheese Icing
  12. Beat butter and cream cheese until well combined
  13. Add vanilla and sift in 1 cup of icing mixture and beat until combined. Then sift in the remaining
  14. sugar and mix until smooth and thick, about 8 minutes.
* If you don’t want to add nuts then just replace the almond meal amount with self-raising flour
**How tomake buttermilk:
Pour 1 tablespoon of vinegar in a cup and then fill up to 1 cup with milk, set aside for about 10 minutes at room temperature.
For this recipe use ½ a tablespoon of vinegar to make ½ cup. You will notice curdled looking milk, that’s your buttermilk
*** Beetroot powder available from health food stores or online



The colour in these isn’t as vibrant as the food colouring ones, but that doesn’t matter does it, they are natural!

Have you made any with beetroot, did you like them.

Have you got any tips?

Have a super week ♥