Food Geek Friday: Beet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Icing

Hooray! It's the first day of fall! Fall has always been by far my most favorite season. We see glimmers of relief from the baking summer and I especially love the warmer colors and flavors. This past week I received beets in my food co-op delivery. Beets.

I've had them. I like them well enough. But I've never had them in my kitchen or worked with them. Let me tell you, these babies aren't for the faint of heart if you have a white kitchen like I do.

After much internet searching I came across a beet cake recipe that I liked. (There will also be some other beet recipes to come with my beet haul.) Since I knew that I'd eat an entire cake if I made it - and I don't want to do that - I decided to play with the recipe and turn it into cupcakes instead. This recipe is a spin-off of a carrot cake. The batter was beautiful and included some of my favorite fall flavors. Plus, I am all about some cream cheese icing. I had to throw what little remained in the bowl into the sink and pour water into it so I wouldn't eat the leftovers! I halved the original recipe (but not the icing!) and then made some healthier substitutes. The link below will take you to the original. It all turned out really well. Well enough that I may have had beet cupcakes for breakfast.

Only in celebration of the first day of fall, of course.

Beet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Icing

adapted from Makes 12 cupcakes



  • 1 beet
  • Cooking spray
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1 large egg
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • dash of salt
  • 1/4 cup milk


  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 (8-ounce) block cream cheese
  • 1 cup powdered sugar


  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. Coat muffin tin with nonstick spray or use muffin liners.
  3. Trim, peel and shred the beet. I used my food processor. Be prepared. It can turn into a giant, staining red mess if you aren't careful.

  4. Combine the granulated sugar, brown sugar, oil, and eggs in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until well-blended. Add beets; beat well.
  5. In a second bowl, add the flours and next 5 ingredients (flour through salt) and whisk until combined. 
  6. Add flour mixture to sugar mixture alternately with milk, beginning and ending with flour mixture.
  7. Pour batter into prepared tins.
  8. Bake at 350° for 15 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Remove cupcakes from tin and cool on a wire rack. 

  9. To prepare frosting, beat vanilla, and cream cheese with a mixer at high speed until fluffy. Add the powdered sugar; beat at low speed just until blended (do not overbeat).
  10. Ice cupcakes and enjoy!

I store these in the refrigerator and bring to room temperature before eating.

What's your favorite fall recipe?