Valentine's Day Beetroot chocolate cupcakes with vanilla caramel frosting

Valentine's Day is one of my favorite holidays. Not necessarily for the over-hyped chocolate and flower sales, but because of LOVE. Love for your partner, your children, your parents, your family, your tribe, your community, and most importantly yourself! Caring for yourself should always be the center of everything you do, because if you run out of fuel, you can't do anything for anyone else you love. So this Valentine's Day I highly encourage you to start thinking about yourself. Start a new ritual, for example a relaxing evening routine, a soothing mediation practice, or an energizing morning workout.

And then bake these amazing beetroot chocolate cupcakes! Yes, I know it sounds weird to have beetroot in them, but I promise you won't even taste the beetroot. It will however give the dough a gorgeous pinkish glow and extra fiber. Don't get turned off when you taste the batter after mixing it. It's not extremely sweet, because the frosting is very sweet. The whole cupcake is meant to be one bite to disappear into your mouth at once. Then the flavors will just explode in your mouth, and your mind will be blown that this did not require butter, icing sugar, or regular white flour.

Preparation time: 30 minutes

Cooking time for beets: 20 minutes

Baking time: 12 minutes

Total time: about an hour

Makes 15 mini cupcakes:

For the cupcake:

  • ¾ cups beetroot (1 big or 2 small beetroot)

  • 1 Tbsp flaxseeds

  • 4 Tbsp maple syrup

  • 2 Tbsp coconut oil

  • 1 tsp baking soda

  • 1 tsp almond butter

  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

  • pinch of sea salt

  • ¼ cup + 2 Tbsp raw cacao powder

  • ½ cup + 2 Tbsp oat flour

For the frosting:

  • 8 Medjool dates

  • ½ cup warm water (from the tab)

  • ½ tsp vanilla extract

  • pinch of sea salt

For the topping:

  • 1 Tbsp raw cacao powder

  1. Start by peeling the beetroot, chopping it very finely, and boiling it in a pot with water for 15 minutes or until soft. You can do this step ahead of time (up to 3 days beforehand). Set aside and let cool.

  2. Preheat the oven to 190ºC/ 375ºF. Line a mini muffin tray with mini muffin or cupcake papers.

  3. Place the flaxseed in the food processor, and grind until you have flax meal. Place in a small bowl with 1 Tbsp water and let soak.

  4. Place the cooled beetroot, maple syrup, coconut oil, baking soda, almond butter, vanilla extract, sea salt together with 2 Tbsp of water into the food processor and process until smooth - about 1 minute on medium to high speed.

  5. Next, add the flax mix and mix again for another 30 seconds.

  6. Add raw cacao powder and oat flour, process for 30 seconds.

  7. Drop 1 Tbsp of batter at a time into the muffin holders. Bake for 12 minutes or until a tooth pick inserted comes out clean. Let cool.

  8. While the cupcakes are baking, make the frosting. Place dates, water, vanilla, and salt into the food processor. Puree at medium speed for 3 minutes until smooth and creamy like a dense caramel.

  9. Since I am not a pro baker, I make frosting anything super easy. Take a glass, place a open zip loc