Saturday, 6 October 2012

Red Velvet Cupcakes

Another week has flown by! And here we are again for another Sweet Saturday. 

One of my beautiful friend's from Australia, Rachael, has been staying with me for the past couple of weeks as she is on a bit of a holiday here in London. I say bit of a holiday because she is go go go and has been training hard while she is here (she's a dancer too). It's been very motivating for me. (Thanks Rach!) 

It was her birthday just a few days ago so I was lucky to be in the same country with her to celebrate. This is what I made:

As much as I admire red velvet cakes I'd never really thought about making them. The first time I saw them was at the famous Hummingbird Bakery in Notting Hill and they were delicious. But I didn't really want to go down the food dye route so I just left the idea of making them alone. 

Then, when Rachael happened to mention she likes red velvet cake I thought there must be a natural way to make them, and surely someone has done it before! So after a quick google search I landed on here: Keepin It Kind. I loved Kristy's recipe and tweaked it a little... cos that's what I like to do!

Red Velvet Cupcakes
adapted from Keepin' It Kind
Vegan, sugar-free, (can be gluten-free)

Makes 12 cupcakes
(Tip: Do not use baking soda as it reacts with the beetroot causing it to dull. Don't skip the lemon juice as it helps retain the colour.)

  • 1 1/4 cups spelt flour (or all-purpose gluten-free flour)
  • 1/4 cup coconut sugar 
  • 2 Tbsp natural cocoa powder (not dutch processed)
  • 1 tsp Baking Powder (or gluten-free baking powder)
  • 1/4 tsp fine sea salt
  • 1 cup beetroot puree (about 3 beetroots)
  • ½ cup coconut nectar
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract


  • Preheat oven to 180C and line a 12 cupcake tin, or you could use silicon cupcake cases. 
  • In a large bowl mix together all dry ingredients until thoroughly combined. Set aside.
  • In a food processor blend all the wet ingredients until smooth.
  • Pour the wet mixture into the dry ingredients and gently stir together. 
  • Divide the batter evenly between the 12 cupcake cases and bake for 18-22 minutes. 
  • Check the center of the cupcakes with a tooth pick or skewer, if it is clean they are done! 

Now of course a red velvet cupcake wouldn't be complete unless you have white icing! I decided to keep it vegan and came up with this:

White Tofu Icing
(Before you turn up your nose, I will promise you it doesn't taste like tofu!)

  • 1 block firm silken tofu (approx 400g)
  • 1/2 cup millet flour (just blend millet flakes, you could also try oats)
  • tsp vanilla extract
  • stevia to taste
  • Puree the tofu in a food processor until smooth. Add in the millet flour and continue to blend until smooth. 
  • Add in vanilla and stevia to taste.
  • Store in the fridge until you're ready to top your cupcakes! 


Wait right before you serve the cupcakes to ice them as after a while the red colour leaks onto the icing and causes the edges to go pink. 

If you want to add the crumbles on top of the icing just take one of the cupcakes and either crumble it with your fingers or in a food processor and sprinkle on top!

Coconut sugar and coconut nectar are both derived from coconut and are both very low GI. They also contain essential vitamins and amino acids. I think they make a great alternative to sugar however I personally only use them when baking for others or on special occasions such as this.

Have a great weekend!

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