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Chocolate-beet cupcakes

Inspired by red velvet cake, this cupcake batter is a glorious magenta color. Adding chocolate turns the batter purple before it is baked into delicious cupcakes that don’t taste at all like beets. If there is one way to get kids to eat beets, it will be in these rich cupcakes. You’ll need to let the beets cool before grating them, so allow an hour or two to make this recipe.




Makes about 12 cupcakes

3 to 4 small red beets

2 ounces bittersweet chocolate

1 cup flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 cup sugar

2 eggs

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Powdered sugar for dusting



Place the beets in a saucepan, add water to cover, and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook the beets until tender, about 35 minutes. Drain in a colander and let cool.


When beets are cool enough to handle, grate them on the large holes of a box grater. You should have a total of 1 cup grated beets.


In a heatproof bowl, melt chocolate in a microwave, heating it in increments of 30 seconds at a time, for a total of 1 1/2 minutes. Or you can place the bowl over (but not touching) simmering water in a small saucepan. Stir the melted chocolate until it is smooth, then let it cool slightly.


Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line 12 standard muffin cups with paper liners.


In a small bowl, combine flour, baking soda, and salt. In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar with a handheld mixer until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs and vanilla. Add the grated beets and beat until the mixture is smooth and evenly bright magenta. Beat in the melted chocolate. Gradually add the flour mixture and beat until fully combined. Spoon the batter into the lined muffin cups, filling each about two-thirds full.


Bake until the tops spring back when touched and a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes. Put the pan on a wire rack and let the cupcakes cool completely. Dust the tops with powdered sugar by placing sugar in a fine-mesh strainer, positioning over a cupcake and tapping gently. Keep the cupcakes in an airtight container 3 to 5 days.


Recipe reprinted with permission from Chronicle Books. For more farm-fresh recipes, check out At the Farmers’ Market with Kids by Leslie Jonath and Ethel Brennan, out now.


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