Beets are my new secret ingredient. Lots of people say their secret ingredient is love. Well, mine is beets. I love beets, so I suppose it amounts to the same thing? Maybe?
I had my first beet dessert success with these gluten-free chocolate cupcakes, Rinny's Race Cakes. They were so good, people kept requesting I make them over and over again. The beets keep the cake moist. Super moist. Like so moist, I've stored them in my freezer for weeks (probably longer than I should) and they are still moist. Can you beet that?
All puns aside, I wanted to make a vanilla version. I'm a chocolate girl, but John, he likes vanilla. But before you go calling vanilla boring, these cakes are anything but. Using golden beets, you can lock in that same cake moisture, while poppy seeds and salted pistachios give them a nice texture contrast. The salt from the pistachios also creates a nice contrast with the sweet coconut cream. The result is a true masterpiece. Great for breakfast, brunch, snacks and, well....pretty much all the time. Which is when I've been eating them anyway.
What You Need:
For the Cake:
1-½ cups almond meal
1 cup brown rice flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon baking powder
1-1/2 teaspoons sea salt
1-1/2 cups turbinado sugar or coconut sugar
4 small golden beets, roasted
½ cup almond milk
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil (I used Colavita)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tbsp poppy seeds
1/2 cup salted pistachios, coarsely chopped
For the Frosting:
See my Coconut Cream recipe here.
First, roast the golden beets:
Preheat your oven to 400°F degrees.
Slice the beets in half and wrap them in aluminum foil.
Place the wrapped beets in the oven and roast for 30 minutes, or until soft when pierced through the center with a knife.
Remove the beets from the oven, allow to cool and then peel the skins off. Chop them into cubes.
Reduce the oven heat to 350 degrees.
Place the cooled, chopped beets in a blender with the almond milk and puree until very smooth - so smooth you could drink it.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the almond flour, brown rice flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, turbinado sugar and poppy seeds. Mix all these dry ingredients together.
In a separate mixing bowl, whisk the eggs, olive oil and vanilla extract.
Add the puréed beets to the egg mixture and mix to combine. Pour the wet beet mixture into the mixing bowl with all of the dry ingredients and stir until combined.
Prepare a cupcake tin by lining with cupcake paper or greasing with non-stick baking spray.
Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan (I used a mini bundt cake pan) and bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of one of the cupcakes comes out clean.
Allow the cupcakes to cool.
Drizzle some coconut cream frosting onto the tops of the cakes and sprinkle with the chopped pecans.
If you're not eating these right away (GASP!), you can store them (unfrosted) in the freezer, covered for 2 weeks.