Tiny Gems: Beetroot & Super Dark Chocolate Mini Cupcakes + Butterless Frosting

Cakes and bakes, Dessert

I have always disliked beetroot. Its ugly skin, earthy and slightly bland taste and just how it looks, all cooked and cubed up at salad bars. Ew.

So I recently completed a marathon (thank you, thank you) and in the run up to it, I would search for things like ‘What should I eat a week before a marathon’. Silly, I know, but Google knows best. Out of the many interesting tips from fellow runners and sports websites, I found the beetroot one to be most fascinating. I found that its juice lowers blood pressure, helps with muscle contraction and boosts endurance. What runner in their right mind wouldn’t want that? So off I went to buy some.


I found out that I could spiralize raw beetroot and it would taste delicious, fresh, crisp and far from earthy. So I ate that everyday until my marathon. After that, my baking bug kicked in and beetroot was at the top of my list. That is how this recipe was born and the end result was actually better than I expected!


Firstly, if you have a trusted carrot cake recipe, you could use it as a guide to this cake, just swap carrot for beetroot, nuts for chocolate etc so the ingredients weigh the same.

The cake was moist, had a slight crunch from the pieces of beetroot and the chocolate did not overpower the flavours. I also found out that it wasn’t overly sweet as most cakes are, so that helped me gauge how much sugar to add to the frosting. The yoghurt frosting did wonders to the cake; its slight tang completed the chocolate and the rest is history.

This mix will make two chunky 8 inch cakes or about 60 mini cupcakes.


The what:

3 eggs

175g soft light brown sugar

175ml vegetable or sunflower oil

2tbsp vanilla extract

140g melted dark chocolate (85% cocoa)

Rind of 1 grapefruit, orange or lemon

250g grated raw beetroot

2tbsp milk

175g self raising flour

1tsp ground cinnamon

1tsp bicarbonate soda

1/4tsp salt

For the frosting (make sure the cream cheese and yoghurt are chilled)

150g cream cheese

150g 0% fat Greek yoghurt (I used the FAGE brand)

80g icing sugar (add more or less depending on what you prefer)


The how

1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees and grease/line/flour your pans.

2. In a mixing bowl, beat the eggs and sugar for about 5 minutes then add the remaining wet ingredients together (see above: up to and including the milk).

3. Add the sifted dry ingredients into the mix on low to medium power and in three batches until thoroughly incorporated.

4. Use a spatula to fold in the mix again just to make sure there are no chunks of flour.

5. Divide into your tins carefully as the cake will rise and you don’t want any of that overflowing business. Put in the oven for 12 minutes if making mini cupcakes and about 27 minutes if making the big cakes.

6. Once the cakes are out and cooling down, put the frosting ingredients into a bowl and using a fork, gently mix them together until smooth. You can also add a teaspoon of vanilla paste to taste.

7. Spread it all over the cake and eat as you wish. Et viola!

Do you have any other ways of cooking/baking with beetroot?

Posted by

Hello, I’m Aisha and I am a foodaholic. If weight gain does not correlate with food intake, my whole life would be about food. I’d eat (more of) it, breathe it, swim (although I can’t swim) in it, drown (since I can’t swim) in it. I’d speak the language of food and my body would be food. I’d probably end up eating myself. My brain is occupied with food thoughts 84.74% of the time. If I didn’t go running at least 4 times a week like I do now then I’d definitely be 90kg or 14 stones or 1000000 stones or more. And I wish I didn’t care because I’d be the happiest fattest person ever as long as I eat good food. So welcome to the virtual food side of my brain and let’s get virtually fat together.

4 thoughts on “Tiny Gems: Beetroot & Super Dark Chocolate Mini Cupcakes + Butterless Frosting”

  1. Yum! I’ve used beets before in a red velvet cake to get that deep red color without food coloring and it was amazing.


    • Really? Did you use cooked or raw beetroot? I tried using cooked beetroot one time to make red velvet cakes but the outcome was a brownish dirty red colour, not the best looking cake.


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