It’s so great to be back in the kitchen! Thanks for inviting me, ladies, and thanks for all of the wonderful recipes you share every day. You’re keeping my family safe from dying of culinary boredom and a diet consisting solely of cupcakes.
My next cupcake caper, DEATH BY THE DOZEN, comes out in October, so when Ellery invited me to blog, I knew it had to be one of the recipes from that book. The trouble was – which one? You see, this story finds our intrepid, over-sugared heroines Mel and Angie entered in the challenge to the chefs, pastry division, at the Scottsdale Food Festival. Their bakery rival Olivia Puckett joins the fray and the tensions run high as they have to bake delicious desserts from mystery ingredients such as beets, beer and chili peppers. Mel and Angie are up to the task until Mel’s mentor, Vic Mazzotta, who is judging the competition, is found murdered. Now Mel and Angie have to whip up amazing desserts and solve a murder before the killer makes sure they are out of the competition – for good.
So, you can see, I had several unorthodox recipes to choose from. My personal favorite is the red velvet cupcake made with beets, so that is the one I’m going to share with you today. For you non beet lovers, take heart. My Hub hates beets and he loved these cupcakes. And moms, it’s one more sneaky way to get those veggies in!
Red Velvet Cupcakes (using beets): A red velvet cupcake made with beet puree and topped cream cheese frosting and an edible flower (optional).
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons cocoa
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup beet puree
1/3 cup canola oil
1 egg, room temperature
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350° F. Put 12 cupcake liners in muffin tin. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder and salt. Set aside. In another bowl, add in the oil, lemon juice, vanilla and egg to the pureed beets. Pour the beet mixture into the bowl of dry ingredients and mix just enough to combine. Fill each muffin cup 2/3 full and bake for 18 – 22 minutes, until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool completely.
Cream Cheese Frosting:
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
3 cups powdered sugar
Beat cream cheese, butter and vanilla in large bowl until smooth. Gradually add powdered sugar and beat until frosting is smooth. Put frosting in a pastry bag and pipe onto cupcakes in thick swirls, using an open tip. Decorate with an edible flower, such as a nasturtium.
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