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HeartBeet Cupcakes - Red Velvet Cakes with Rose-Infused Cream Cheese Frosting

Every once in a while, when playing around in the kitchen is something you do more than regularly, you strike gold and come up with a flavor combination that is absolutely euphoric- more so than you may have originally imagined. These beautiful red velvet cupcakes turned out to be exactly that! I had the opportunity to cook for a group of farm apprentices graduating from their farming immersion program, and had the absolute pleasure of using some of the vegetables they grew themselves in the meal I prepared for them. One of the first things that came to my mind when I took on this project was "I must do something special with the beets! I know they are going to be absolutely gorgeous and vibrant." And indeed, they were!

I decided to use the beets to create a delicious red velvet cupcake, deeply desiring to showcase the royal purple-red hue of the beets in a creative and scrumptious dessert. I instinctively felt called to pair these cupcakes with a rose-infused frosting, as I couldn't imagine a more harmonious flavor combination to accent the sweet subtlety of the beets. The finished result was as I said previously, absolutely divine.

So here you are friends, the recipe for these heavenly little cakes. I hope they bring much joy to you and those you share them with!

HeartBeet Red Velvet Cupcakes with Rose-Infused Cream Cheese Frosting

yields 8 cupcakes

1 1/4 cups oat flour (gluten free if desired)

3/4 cup coconut sugar

1/4 cup cacao powder

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup diced raw beets

3 tablespoons coconut oil, melted

2 tablespoons unsalted almond butter

2 tablespoons agave syrup

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk (or milk of choice)

1 1/4 cups of cashews (soaked overnight)

1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk (or milk of choice)

1/3 cup agave syrup

3 tablespoons lemon juice

1/2 tablespoon vanilla extract

1 tablespoon rose water

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup coconut oil, room temperature

Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly spray muffin tins with cooking spray, or line with cupcake liners.

In a medium mixing bowl, combine the oat flour, sugar, cacao, baking powder and salt. Whisk well to break up clumps and ensure ingredients are evenly mixed. Set aside.

In a blender or food processor, combine the beets, coconut oil, almond butter, agave, vanilla, and almond milk. Blend ingredients together until mostly smooth. It is okay for the mixture to still have a bit of texture, but avoid large unblended chunks. If the mixture is hard to blend, add a small amount (1 -2 tablespoons) more almond milk at a time, until you are able to blend the mixture. Scrape down the sides of your machine as needed.

Add the wet mixture to the dry ingredients. Fold together gently with a spatula. The batter will appear thick at first, but will come together with more folding. Repeat until the mixture is homogenous, but avoid over-mixing.

Scoop the mixture three-fourths of the way up the muffin tin. Bake for 18 minutes in the oven. Remove from the oven and let the cupcakes cool completely before frosting them.

Rose-Infused Cream Cheese Frosting

yields 2.5 cups

Drain and rinse the soaked cashews.

Blend all ingredients, except the coconut oil, in a high-speed blender for 1-2 minutes, until completely smooth and shiny. Taste at this point. The rose flavor should be subtle, but noticeable. If you would like more of a rose flavor, add one more tablespoon of rose water. Blend again, and taste. You do not want the icing to taste perfume-y, less is more when it comes to floral accents.

When you are satisfied with the flavor, add the coconut oil and blend once more. Chill the icing in the refrigerator overnight or for a few hours, until it's firmed up a bit. Will last in the refrigerator for 5 days, or in the freezer until ready to use.

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