Healthier Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

These gluten-free healthier Red Velvet Cupcakes are dreamy! Beets give them their soft, moist texture + add a fabulous pink hue to the cream cheese frosting, and no one will ever guess! They just taste amazing!

healthier red velvet cupcakes with cream cheese frosting gluten free #glutenfreerecipes www.healthygffamily.com
Healthier Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

Soft & Fluffy, Moist, Best Flavor and so YUMMY!

Can’t BEET these Healthier Red Velvet Cupcakes with Pink Cream Cheese Frosting for a Valentine’s treat!

Easy to make, an amazing soft & fluffy texture, moist and soooo yummy!

I mean can you ever really go wrong with a buttery, chocolatey cupcake and cream cheese frosting? Especially when cake is a deep maroon color and the frosting is naturally pink?!

And we have a cooking video on this page so you can see how easy they are to make!

If you’re new to the website, there is a printable recipe with exact measurements and directions at the bottom of this page.

healthier red velvet cupcakes with cream cheese frosting gluten free #glutenfreerecipes www.healthygffamily.com

So what exactly is a red velvet cake/ cupcake? I have to admit that despite being a life-long lover of the flavor I could never properly describe it…

So I googled it!

Apparently a red velvet cake is a traditionally crimson or deep maroon colored cake made with a combination of buttermilk, vinegar, butter, cocoa and flour so that you get an amazing smooth chocolate-y, buttery, slightly red cake that paired with a cream cheese frosting is just dreamy.

This basically describes what we’re about to make here!

This recipe is inspired by Eating Well (who’s recipe we had made in the past and who gave me the idea of using beets instead of red dye and tinting the frosting pink!) and based on our own Best Chocolate Cake/ Chocolate Cupcakes which already had a cocoa and buttermilk base and the best flavor/ texture!

healthier red velvet cupcakes with cream cheese frosting gluten free #glutenfreerecipes www.healthygffamily.com

So let’s make them!

Here’s what you’ll need for the Red Velvet Cupcake:

all purpose gluten-free flour (we use with GF Jules -affiliate link )

sugar

egg

Hershey  cocoa (100% cacao unsweetened)

baking powder

baking soda

salt

canola oil

butter or dairy-free butter

vanilla

cooked beets (we used pre-packaged plain Love Beets)

buttermilk (we make it in 5 minutes using apple cider vinegar and milk of choice! )

healthier red velvet cupcakes with cream cheese frosting gluten free #glutenfreerecipes www.healthygffamily.com

Free-from info…

You will note, this recipe is gluten-free and nut-free.

It could be easily dairy-free using a milk of your choice and dairy-free butter and cream cheese.

I have not made it egg-free but as there’s only 1 egg, it should work substituting a flax egg or egg substitute of choice.

Gluten Free Flour…

We make this using gluten-free all purpose flour.  (For my non-gf families, it should work with a regular all purpose flour, but it will not work with an almond flour).

As an aside, you may have noticed that we are affiliate for GFJules.  To learn more about why we love GFJules flour and why we have used it for 10 years, click here.

Bonus: at the bottom of that post is a one-time use affiliate Discount Code.

And importantly, purchasing through an affiliate link does not change your cost at all. It generates a small percentage of the sale for me, and purchasing through an affiliate link helps me fund this website and all the recipes I share, so thank you!

Back to the gluten-free Healthier Red Velvet Cupcakes….

healthier red velvet cupcakes with cream cheese frosting gluten free #glutenfreerecipes www.healthygffamily.com

Hidden veggies work so well with gluten-free baking because not only are you sneaking in some nutrients but they add moistness to the cake (ever had a dry & crumbly gluten-free cake? ) and in this case add natural food coloring to the frosting too!

Here, puréed beets give the rich, buttery and chocolatey cupcake a soft fluffy texture + the cream cheese frosting its pretty pink hue.

The beet flavor is masked by the cocoa in the Red Velvet Cupcakes and by the cream cheese, butter  and sugar in the frosting.

I had several taste testers and not one of them believed that I made them with beets!

To make the beet puree, I used pre-packaged plain Love Beets and pureed them in a blender.

 

But all of this can be our secret.

All anyone will taste is a rich, slightly chocolatey cupcake with perfect soft & fluffy texture + a yummy cream cheese frosting with a pretty pink hue.

Perfect for Valentine’s Day or any occasion you want a pretty, fun and festive cupcake!

And once you have your beets, these healthier Red Velvet Cupcakes are super easy to make.

The batter comes together in 10 minutes.

All you do is whisk together the flour, cocoa and dry ingredients.

Then add in the butter, oil, beets and wet ingredients. And mix until well combined.

Just look at the gorgeous batter color!

Spoon into cupcake tins and bake!

healthier red velvet cupcakes with cream cheese frosting gluten free #glutenfreerecipes www.healthygffamily.com

I want to point out that the color ends up looking more chocolatey once it bakes and more chocolatey than a classic red velvet because of the deep hue of the beets and how it interacts with the chocolate.

healthier red velvet cupcakes with cream cheese frosting gluten free #glutenfreerecipes www.healthygffamily.com

Let cool and it’s time to frost them!

For the Cream Cheese Frosting, you’ll need:

cream cheese or dairy-free cream cheese

butter or dairy-free butter

confectioner’s/ powdered sugar

vanilla extract

beet puree (made earlier for the cupcake)

healthier red velvet cupcakes with cream cheese frosting gluten free #glutenfreerecipes www.healthygffamily.com

All you do it make sure the cream cheese and butter are room temperature and mix it all together until smooth and luscious!

Isn’t the color gorgeous?

healthier red velvet cupcakes with cream cheese frosting gluten free #glutenfreerecipes www.healthygffamily.com

Frost your cooled cupcakes and enjoy!

Want one?

healthier red velvet cupcakes with cream cheese frosting gluten free #glutenfreerecipes www.healthygffamily.com

Just look at the gorgeous color and texture!

And they taste amazing!

Hope you love them as much as we do!

For more Valentine’s Day treats, click here.

PIN it!

healthier red velvet cupcakes with cream cheese frosting gluten free #glutenfreerecipes www.healthygffamily.com

 

Scroll down to see the recipe and leave a comment if you try.

Recipe

Healthier Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Gluten-free Red Velvet Cupcakes so soft & moist and yummy that no one will guess they get they're color and pink frosting from beets! Beets give these chocolatey gluten-free cupcakes a fabulously soft and moist texture and the cream cheese frosting a gorgeous pink hue. The beet flavor is masked by the cocoa, butter and vanilla in the cupcake and by the cream cheese, powdered sugar and vanilla in the frosting.... all anyone will taste is pure yumminess! Enjoy!
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert, Cupcakes, Valentines Day
Cuisine: Gluten Free, Vegetarian, Dairy-Free optional, Nut-Free
Serves: 12 cupcakes
Ingredients
Red Velvet Cupcake
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 ½ cups gluten-free all purpose flour (I use GFJules) (affiliate link)
  • ⅓ cup Hershey’s Cocoa
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup beet puree (we used 2 8.8oz packages of Love Beets plain cooked beets and pureed them in a blender.. we had extra so I estimate about 12 oz cooked beets will give you the 1 cup plus extra for frosting)
  • ⅔ cup buttermilk (to make: use 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar plus milk to equal ⅔ cup)
  • ¼ cup canola oil
  • 2 tablespoons butter or dairy-free butter, melted
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Cream Cheese Frosting
  • 2 cups confectioner sugar
  • 4 ounces cream cheese or dairy free cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons butter or dairy-free butter, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon beet puree (you'll make for the cupcake)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 12 full size muffin cups with paper liners.
If making your own buttermilk, do so now.
  1. To make buttermilk: add 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar to a liquid measuring cup, then add enough milk to fill to ⅔ cup. Let sit 10 minutes or longer while it "curdles"
Make beet puree
  1. Add cooked beets to a blender and puree until smooth. Measure 1 cup for cupcake batter and 1 tablespoon for frosting.
Cupcake batter
  1. In large mixer bowl, blend sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  2. Add egg, beets, buttermilk, oil, melted butter and vanilla; mix to combine, then beat on medium speed for 2 minutes.
  3. Pour or spoon batter into prepared muffin tins.
  4. Bake 20 mins, or until tooth pick inserted in center comes out clean. TIP: check at 17 minutes and loosely cover with foil if tops done enough.
  5. Let cool in muffin tins for 15-20 minutes then, transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely.
Cream Cheese Frosting
  1. Add powdered sugar, butter and cream cheese to a large mixing bowl and mix on slow speed until starting to combine. Add beet puree and vanilla. Mix to combine, then run mixer at a higher speed for about 1 minute until smooth and creamy texture.
  2. Top each cooled cupcake with frosting
  3. Store in the refrigerator.

 

healthier red velvet cupcakes with cream cheese frosting gluten free #glutenfreerecipes www.healthygffamily.com

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