roasted beetroot and raw cacao nib cupcakes
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Roasted Beetroot & Raw Cacao Nib Cupcakes

Roasted beetroot imparts a gorgeous depth of flavour to these real chocolate cupcakes.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time2 mins
Total Time22 mins
Servings: 12 cupcakes
Author: Elizabeth



  • Preheat oven to 200 C/ 425 F
  • Wash the beetroots thoroughly under cold water to remove any traces of dirt. Leave at 2-3 cm of stalk at the top and the root tail intact.
  • Place the beetroot on a baking tray and drizzle with the sunflower oil.
  • Roast for 90 minutes, turning every 20-30 minutes, until the beetroot is tender. A knife will slide in and out of the beetroot easily when it is ready.
  • Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely.
  • When cooled, the skin will slip off. Discard the skin, top and bottom, and place the whole beetroot in a blender. Puree. You will likely need to use the blender tamper to keep things moving.
  • Preheat oven to 180 C/ 350 F. Line a 12-hole cupcake tin with large paper cupcake cases.
  • Blend the cacao nibs in your high powered blender until they form a powder.
  • Sift the flour, ground cacao nibs and bicarbonate of soda into a large bowl. You may have some cacao which won't fit through the sieve, just chuck it in the bowl along with the rest and stir in the sugar.
  • Break the dark chocolate into small pieces in a heat proof bowl and suspend over a pan of barely simmering water. Usually I boil the kettle, pour it into a pan, place the bowl on top and leave it off the heat, stirring once or twice, until it has melted.
  • If using the butter, add the butter along with the chocolate to melt. If using oil, add the oil along with the eggs after the chocolate has melted.
  • Stir 250 grams of room temperature roasted beetroot into the dry ingredients along with the chocolate mixture. Stir until just combined.
  • Spoon into the paper cupcake cases. They will be full, but rest assured it will be ok.
  • Bake for 25-30 minutes in the centre of the oven until a skewer, inserted into the centre of a cake comes out clean.
  • Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
  • To make the frosting, sift the icing sugar into a bowl and beat with the softened butter, milk and beetroot puree until it reaches the desired consistency. I use a food processor for this.
  • Using a plastic disposable piping bag, pipe swirls of frosting on the top of the cupcakes. Decorate with cocoa nibs.
  • Store in an airtight container. Cupcakes will keep lovely for a few days.


Recipe adapted from the chocolate beetroot cake recipe found in the Green & Black's Chocolate Recipes book (2003).