Saturday, February 11, 2017

Your Cheatin’ Heart: yummy chocolate-beet cupcakes #recipe #veggie #giveaway @AbbottMysteries

Well Valentine’s Day is just around the corner and here WE are with our on-going veggie challenge. What to do???

Don’t forget to leave a comment to be in the draw for the veggie platter shown below!

There's no way we'll give up on our challenge yet and yet, there’s something about that special day that calls out for chocolate treat with a special sweetie, family or friends. 

Could we cheat and have it all?  Although we’d never had one, we had heard of chocolate cakes with beets and that seemed to us to be just the right kind of compromise. To spur ourselves on, we raced out and bought some new gear.  

We waded through recipes and couldn’t find one that had everything we wanted (like that nearly full container of buttermilk) so we mixed and matched and made things up. Do you do that too?

At any rate, the results sounded alarming to the little mister, but even he had to agree the finished product was excellent. 

Chocolate-Beet Cupcakes
1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour (We also experimented with a blend of flour and oat hull fiber and they were--surprisingly-just as good. You may not believe this and we understand.)
½ cup best quality cocoa: we used Penzey’s for a potent punch!
1 ¼ tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
 ½ tsp salt
1 cup sugar
2/3 cup canola oil
1 extra-large egg, room temperature
1 14 oz can sliced or diced red beets, drained and pureed in food processor
1 ½ tsp good quality vanilla
1 1/2 tbsp cold coffee
2/3 cup buttermilk

Preheat oven to 350 F
Grease the muffin pan or use liners. 
Sift flour with cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, cocoa, and salt into a large bowl.
Beat the sugar and oil until smooth. Beat in egg, pureed beets, vanilla and coffee.
Beat in 1/3 flour mixture, followed by half the buttermilk until just blended. Repeat: flour, buttermilk, flour. Do not overbeat.
Fill muffin cups to ¾.   We had enough batter left over to make a small cake in a ramekin.  It didn’t last long enough to take a photo. Gobble. Oh well.  
Bake until a tester comes out clean, about 25 minutes.  
Cool on a rack.  Don’t ice until completely cool, one of many things we’ve learned the hard way.

Ice with butter-cream icing or chocolate cream cheese icing or chocolate ganache whatever frosting you love.
These cupcakes are rich and moist but not overly sweet and that suited us perfectly.  We found that they were better the second day and that means we’ll make them ahead in future. We froze a few and they thawed and were still good in taste and texture. We chose to use a cake decorator tip and make a butter cream rosette rather than ice them all over. You must be true to your own self.  Nudge nudge wink wink.

We hope you’ll savor these as much as we did. Invite your friends, light a few candles and enjoy!

And in case you have forgotten who we are:  Victoria Abbott is a collaboration between me: the artist and photographer Victoria Maffini and other me:  Victoria’s mother, Mary Jane Maffini.

Together, we write the award-winning Book Collector Mysteries. We love writing together and oddly enough, we have fun.   


Want to see the books? Here they are!  All are available in print, e-book and audio.

Winner of the 2016 Bony Blithe Award!

Now hear this!
Get in on more fun with  our email newsletter.  All you need to do to get on the list is ask us RIGHT HERE
We’re also on Facebook and love to hear from you. Mary Jane Maffini
and Victoria Abbott

Don't be a stranger!  💘💘💘


  1. Fabulous cupcake recipe and books!

    1. Thanks, Liz (NoVeggieGirl). And you never taste them. Thanks for coming by and good luck.

  2. My mother loved beets. My father loved beets. Me, not so much. But I can see that they'd keep your cupcakes moist and add an interesting twist to the flavor.

    1. Thanks, Sheila. They do and they don't overwhelm the cocoa, so people never guess. Have fooled everyone so far!

  3. Well, I have put sauerkraut and a can of tomato soup and zucchini in a chocolate cake, so why not beets???!!!

    1. LOL! I gasped at sauerkraut and tomato soup! Don't forget to include your email addy to be in the draw!!!

  4. The cupcakes look delectable and enticing. Thanks for this wonderful recipe and giveaway. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

    1. Always glad to see you here! Thanks for your kind words and good luck in the giveaway.

  5. I've never been a fan of beets but I could definitely eat them in this cupcake! Thanks for the excellent recipe and the chance to win the beautiful platter! kimdavishb (at) gmail (dot) com

  6. I've tried a beet chocolate cake before and wasn't happy with the flavor, but these ingredients are a lot different. I'll definitely be trying this one. Thanks for the recipe and the great giveaway!!
    And thanks, too, for one of my very favorite series!!

    1. Aw, thank you! I was a bit worried, but the beets didn't let me down. Good luck!

  7. I enjoy beets and we always have beets available. Perfect for baking, in salads, soups etc. The cupcakes are yummy. Many thanks. elliotbencan(at)hotmail(dot)com

    1. I am just getting on the beet bandwagon! I'll see where it takes me. Thanks for coming by.

  8. HAHAHA! Oh..this is so funny...get your veggies anyway you can!! I do a lot with beets..but I have to say..this I have never tried! I agree with Shelia...I can see the moistness with them....but I think my guys would rebel against the cook..if I tried this!! goes to can do anything with anything!! the3beersus (at) yahoo(dot) com.

  9. I was wondering how many times you "had" to try the results until you got your perfect recipe. That must be the fun part. Unless, of course, something is just disgusting. 😱😉

    1. I see you read between the lines, Ann. Such a hardship this recipe business. Lucky we were happy with it.

  10. YUM -- you'll have me eating my vegetables in no time -- I love chocolate, and actually am the only one in my family who likes beets. Add coffee, and it sounds and looks delicious. I love the vegetable platter!

    1. Glad you dropped in, Celia! You could probably add more coffee to it. Good luck in the draw!