All Natural Red Velvet Cupcake

Walk into most cafes or bakeries and you’ll find red velvet cake, it’s that popular. The vibrant red colour of the cake catches our attention, but unfortunately many commerical red velvet cakes are baked with unhealthy artificial colourings.

In QL Kitchen’s red velvet cupcake recipe we use all natural red colouring from fresh beetroot, so you can enjoy them worry-free. Plus beetroot is loaded with nutrients such as iron, calcium, vitamins A and C, and is an excellent source of folic acid, fibre, manganese and potassium. We use beetroot puree (not just the juice) so the end result is a moist, high-fibre, nutritious and delicious cupcake with an earthy crimson colour. Sure, the colour may look less vibrant than the commercial version, but these are packed with goodness and nutrients!

The health kick doesn’t stop at the beetroot; these cupcakes are made with low-cholesterol vegetable oil and QL Deli Fresh eggs, which contain 40% lesser cholesterol than ordinary eggs, so you can enjoy them with peace of mind.

If you like, you can top the cupcakes with some frosting and decorate with sugar sprinkles, we have included a cream cheese frosting recipe together with the red velvet cupcake recipe, but if you are concerned with calories and sweetness, you can certainly just serve them plain and they taste just as delicious.

Preparation time: 40 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes
Makes: 12 regular sized or 24 small cupcakes


1large beet (skin peeled and cut into small cubes, to get 200 g of beetroot)
3 tbspfreshly squeezed lemon juice
150 gsoft brown sugar or caster sugar
170 g (or 1 cup) odourless vegetable oil (such as sunflower, soybean, corn)
3QL Deli Fresh eggs
240 gplain flour
1 tbspcocoa powder (heaped)
2 tspbaking powder
¼ tspsalt
1 tspvanilla extract/essence
2 tbspmilk
Cream cheese frosting (optional):
120 gcream cheese (softened at room temperature)
60 gbutter (softened at room temperature)
180 gicing sugar
1 tspvanilla extract/essence


  1. Steam beetroot cubes in the steamer on medium heat for about 40 - 50 minutes until soft when poked with a fork. Remove from steamer and leave to cool. You can also roast the beetroot cubes wrapped in aluminium foil in a preheated 180 C oven for about an hour, then remove from oven and leave to cool.
  2. In a blender, add beetroot cubes (do not discard the beet water from steaming or roasting, pour into the blender as well), lemon juice, and 2 – 3 tablespoons of water to blend into puree. The amount of water added should be just enough to blend, or you will end up with runny batter. Set aside the puree.
  3. Preheat oven to 180C.
  4. Line cupcake/muffin tin with cupcake muffin paper liners or place standalone muffin/cupcake paper cups/liners on a tray.
  5. Sieve plain flour and cocoa powder with baking powder and salt into a medium bowl.
  6. Beat vegetable oil with sugar until well combined, then add eggs one at a time and vanilla extract/essence and continue to beat until smooth.
  7. Fold in flour mixture and beetroot puree alternately until well combined. Fold in milk to loosen the texture.
  8. Scoop batter into prepared cupcake tins or standalone muffin/cupcake paper cups until 2/3 full and bake for 25 – 30 minutes until a skewer comes out clean when inserted into the centre of the cupcake.
  9. Leave to cool and pipe cream cheese frosting onto cupcakes and decorate with sugar sprinkles if preferred.
  10. To make cream cheese frosting, beat cream cheese and butter with an electric mixer in a large mixing bowl. Beat in icing sugar gradually with the mixer on low speed until smooth and creamy, then beat in vanilla essence/extract until well combined. Scoop into a piping bag with a round or star nozzle and chill in the refrigerator for 40 – 60 minutes for a firmer frosting if preferred.

QL Kitchen Tips:

  • You can replace vegetable oil with butter (softened at room temperature) if you prefer a more buttery flavour/aroma.
  • The cupcakes can be stored in an air-tight container for up to 3 days, or in the refrigerator for 5 days. However they are best consumed fresh as the moisture may cause the cupcakes to go bad after 3 to 4 days.
  • QL Omega eggs can be used in place of QL Deli Fresh eggs, they contain 50% lesser cholesterol compared to the normal eggs in the market.


QL Omega & QL Deli Fresh eggs are available at major hypermarkets and supermarkets. For more information on QL Eggs, click here.

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