I used my recipe for the "Best Carrot Cake" ever, and simply replaced the grated carrots with grated beets. Things were going according to plan...
CUE THE SAD TROMBONE.
After doing some post-baking research I found out that "Baking soda is in fact alkaline, and an alkaline environment promotes browning," and that the best way to preserve the red color of beets when baking is to keep the batter acidic.
Well, I guess I can keep that in mind for the next batch! In the meantime, these beet cupcakes were at least very moist and tasty - they don't really taste like beets at all (just like carrot cake doesn't really taste like carrots!). Nate really liked them.
Beet Cupcakes Recipe
1 1/4 C canola oil
1 1/2 C white sugar
1/2 C brown sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 C all purpose flour
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp apple pie spice
3 C peeled grated red beets
1/2 C butter
8 oz. Neufchatel cheese (1/3 less fat cream cheese)
4 C confectioner's sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1. Preheat the oven to 350°.
2. In a large bowl, beat together eggs, oil, sugars, and vanilla.
3. In a separate bowl, mix together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and apple pie spice.
4. In three batches, add dry ingredients to wet ingredients, mixing thoroughly after each addition.
5. Stir in 3 C grated beets.
6. Line a cupcake tray with paper liners. Fill each cup about 2/3 full.
7. Cook for 35-40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cupcake comes out clean. Let the cupcakes cool completely before frosting.
For the frosting:
1. Cream together butter, cheese, and vanilla.
2. Add confectioner's sugar and beat until creamy.