Our garden is overflowing with root vegetables. After eating beets and carrots in salads everyday and pickling and canning sooo many jars of them I needed to find a new way to eat our veggies. Enter the cupcake!!! This is an adaptation of a wonderful recipe from Honey and Jam by Hannah Queen. I love, love this cookbook, if you don't already own it then go out and buy it right now. I use cookbooks as inspiration and guidelines, I simply can't seem to follow a recipe. . Kinda like a blank coloring book, the lines are there but I put in all kinds of weird and different colors.
The original cupcake recipe is awesome: super simple and quick to make. If you need to whip up something homemade and fast with no fancy ingredients, try this recipe. I really love that it uses oil instead of butter, just so much faster to make. Also, for me it was only one dirty bowl which is always a winner in my book.
The changes I made are pretty minor, well, ok I changed a lot. I added in some spice: cinnamon and nutmeg. I've been out of vanilla extract for weeks and keep forgetting to buy or make more so I used almond extract instead. I also added in more veggies since using veggies was the point of making these cupcakes. I also wanted a little bit of bite so I mixed in some golden raisins (to color coordinate with the golden beet and carrots) and a few walnuts. And of course as always instead of salt I added in seaweed. In this case Springtide Seaweed's AMAZING Table Kelp!!! Go buy it. Do not wait. You will use it on everything, all the time, at every meal.
The best part of this recipe and what makes it super kid friendly and awesome, is the hot pink icing. This color is not from gross food coloring but comes from a second kind of beet. Luckily, I grow three different kinds of beets: Golden (which I used for the cake), Chioggia (a white and pink striped that doesn't dye everything red) and the amazing Red Ace which brilliantly stains everything it touches, beet red. Red Ace Beet is the one I used for the icing. The key is to grate it super fine so that there aren't big hunks of raw beet in your sweet frosting. I used my micro-planer, and it worked perfectly. Beautiful icing, cool color, and just a bit of texture.
Seaweed, Carrot, and Golden Beet Cupcake with Hot Pink Beet Frosting
(adapted from Hannah Queen's Honey and Jam Cookbook)
1 1/4c- sugar
3/4c- veggie oil (I used olive, cause I didn't have anything else)
1/4t- almond extract
1t- baking powder
1/2t- baking soda
1t- powdered Sugar Kelp
1 1/4c- finely grated carrots
1 1/4c- finely grated golden beet
1/4t- finely grated nutmeg
1/4c- golden rasins
1/4c- chopped walnuts
Mix the oil, sugar, eggs, and almond extract in a large-ish bowl. Whip it all together. Add in the sugar kelp, baking powder, baking soda, spices and give it a gentle stir to incorporate. Sift in the flour and stir till it's just mixed in. Add in veggies, raisins, and nuts and pour into a well greased or lined muffin tin.
Bake at 350 for 30 mins. Pull them out when a toothpick or knife pulls out clean from the center of the cupcake. These might take a little longer since there is so much water from the veggies. Turn the cupcakes out and allow to cool completely. While you are waiting for them to cool make the awesome frosting.
Red Ace Beet Cream Cheese Frosting:
2T- room temperature butter
2oz- cream cheese (about half a bar)
2T- finely grated red beet
Combine butter and cream cheese in a bowl and beat it till it looks fluffy. Add in the beet and then sift in the sugar. Continue to beat the frosting till its is smooth and the right consistency. If too runny add more sugar, if too stiff add a pinch more beet. Frost your cupcakes and try not to eat all of them at once.
(in all honesty you can totally double the frosting recipe cause its super good!!!)