Beet-rose cupcakes

Xanthe Miltons pretty beetroot cakes have a satisfyingly complex flavour with a faint earthiness that contrasts with the toasty taste of hazelnuts View more cupcake recipes
Beet-rose cupcakes
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 12
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Effort: easy


  • 55 g shelled hazelnuts
  • 3 large eggs, separated
  • 2 tbsp milk
  • 100 ml groundnut or sunflower oil
  • 110 g golden or white caster sugar
  • 100 g plain flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 85 g raw beetroot, grated
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon

For the icing

  • 110 g unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 110 g full fat cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 450 g icing sugar, sifted
  • red food colouring, as needed


1. Preheat the oven to 190C/170C fan/gas 5. Arrange the nuts in a single layer on a baking tray. Roast until the nuts begin to turn golden-brown (about 5-10 minutes). Remove from the oven, leave to cool and then roughly chop.

2. Reduce the oven heat to 170C/150C fan/gas 3 and line a 12-hole non-stick muffin tin with paper cases.

3. Whisk the egg yolks and milk together in a bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together the oil and sugar and add this to the egg mixture.

4. Sift the flour and baking powder and add to the batter, mixing thoroughly. Stir in the beetroot, hazelnuts and cinnamon.

5. In a large clean bowl, whisk the egg whites until they form stiff peaks when the whisk is removed. Using a metal spoon, gently fold the whites into the pink batter. Keep turning the mixture so that the two are combined.

6. Divide the mixture between the paper cases. Bake in the central shelf of the oven for 20 minutes. Remove and place the cakes on a wire rack to cool.

7. For the icing: whisk the butter and cream cheese together in a bowl, then add the vanilla extract and a drop or two of red food colouring. Stir in the icing sugar a third at a time, making sure its well mixed in with each addition.

8. To serve, using a piping bag with a rose nozzle, pipe the icing onto the cakes or spread it onto them with a palette knife.

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