Gluten-Free Red Velvet Cupcakes header
Gluten-Free Red Velvet Cupcakes header

GF Red Velvet Cupcakes (Dye-Free)

April 8, 2018

I can't remember the last time I had red velvet cupcakes, so for my birthday this year, I decided to make some. I just couldn't stomach the thought of eating red food dye (gross!) and the natural food dyes found in the store didn't give my cupcakes the desired color. So instead, I decided to make these cupcakes red by using ground up beets. The beets not only add color, but they also add antioxidants and moisture to these already delicious cupcakes. Enjoy!

NOTE: I haven't tried this recipe with canned beets, but I suspect they would work well and would cut out a lot of the extra effort.

  • Prep: 45 mins
  • Cook: 20 mins
  • 45 mins

    20 mins

    1 hr 5 mins

  • Yields: 18 cupcakes


Red Velvet Cupcakes

2-3 large beets (1+ cup until desired color is reached)

2 large eggs, separated (room temperature)

1 and 2/3 cups (250 grams) of Bob's Red Mill 1-to-1 Gluten Free Flour Blend

1/2 tsp. baking soda

2 tsp (5 grams) unsweetened cocoa powder

1/2 tsp. salt (omit if using salted butter)

1/4 cup (60 grams) of unsalted butter

1 cup sugar (200 grams)

1/2 cup oil (I used avocado oil)

2 tsp. vanilla extract

1/2 tsp. apple cider vinegar

1/2 cup buttermilk (room temperature)

Cream Cheese Frosting

8 ounces cream cheese (room temperature)

1/2 cup unsalted butter (room temperature)

3 cups powdered or confectioners sugar

1 tsp. vanilla extract

Pinch of Kosher salt (omit if using salted butter)


Prepare beets (or use canned beets)

Wash, peel and cut beets into about 6-8 wedges each. Add beets to medium pot and cover with water.

Bring water to boil, then simmer beets for about 15-30 minutes until soft (use a fork to piece beet for doneness).

Drain and allow beets to cool for 10 minutes, then use your food processor to process the beets into a smooth mixture. Set aside.

Prepare cupcake batter

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line your muffin pan with 18 cupcake liners. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, add flour, baking soda, cocoa powder and salt. Whisk together and set aside.

Using your standing mixer and the whisk attachment, add egg whites and beat on high speed for 2 minutes until stiff white peaks form. Add egg whites to a small bowl and set aside.

Return the standing mixer bowl to the mixer, and change to the paddle attachment. Add butter and sugar and beat on high speed for about 2 minutes, then add oil, egg yolks and vanilla and continue to mix until well combined, then add vinegar and 1 cup of beet mixture (more until desired color is reached) and continue to mix for another minute. (The beets will add moisture and sweetness and are relatively tasteless in the finished product).

Next, add half of the dry mixture to the wet mixture and mix on medium speed, then add buttermilk and continue to mix. Add the remaining dry mixture and mix until well combined.

Remove bowl from mixer and gently fold in egg whites using a rubber spatula until well combined.

Pour batter into cupcake liners, filling about 3/4 of the way full.

Bake for 19-21 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Allow cupcakes to cool in the pan for 10 minutes and then transfer to a wire rack to continue cooling.

Prepare cream cheese frosting

Beat cream cheese and butter together in your mixer. Add vanilla and salt and then slowly add powdered sugar until mixture is well combined.

Frost cupcakes as desired.

If you decide to omit beets and use food dye instead, simply add about 2-4 Tbsp of red food coloring to batter (before folding in egg whites). Please note you'll only make about 14 cupcakes instead of 18.


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