Gluten Free Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cashew Frosting

Flour is amazing. It raised me from childhood and nurtures me into adulthood. Flour cuddles me when I’m sad and feeds me when I’m hungry. Flour even pays my student loans and folds my laundry. Flour may just be the love of my life.

But what about people who can’t eat flour? Well, they need to find love to!

In come these vegan and gluten free red velvet cupcakes made red with nothing other than BEETS!

These cakes are moist and fluffy and beautifully red without food coloring, but the star of the show is the cream cheese frosting.

I have made so many frostings, but I’m never quite impressed with the butter or shortening variety. One day in a moment of clarity, I thought Why not cashews?

And after many trials, this frosting was born! And since birth, it has made my bed (fitted sheets and all), washed my dishes, and scrubbed my bathtub. It’s now competing with flour (and peanut butter) for the title of love of my life!

With a few ingredients and a vitamix, It could be the love of your life too.

Recipe

Total Time: 35 minutes (not including cooling and frosting)
Makes 12 Cupcakes

Ingredients

Red Velvet Cupcakes

3/4 cup beet puree*
3/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup oil
3/4 cup unsweetened plant milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/4 cup gluten free flour**
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt

Cream Cheese Frosting

2 cups cashews***
1 1/2 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons beet puree
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and line a 12 cup liner.
  2. Mix the beet puree, sugar, oil, vanilla, and milk in a large bowl.
  3. Add the flour 1/4 cup at a time. Then, add the rest of the dry ingredients until incorporated.
  4. Fill the cupcakes liners until 3/4 cup full. Lower oven to 350 degrees and bake for 20-23 minutes.
  5. While the cupcakes are baking, make the frosting. Add the cashews to the blender and puree until smooth. This may take a few minutes, so be patient.
  6. Add the rest of the ingredients into the blender and blend until you have a creamy frosting consistency.
  7. When cupcakes are done baking, remove from oven and let cool for at least 30 minutes before frosting. If you want, use a piping bag with fancy nozzles to make shapes (even if they’re messy)!

Notes

*To make beet puree, wrap beets in tin foil and bake for 50 minutes to an hour. Place beets in a blender and blend until smooth. Add a little water if needed.
**I used King Author’s GF flour blend, which is mostly rice flour.
***If you don’t have a high speed blender, soak the cashews for at least 4 hours before making the frosting.
****DO NOT substitute the baking powder for baking soda. The baking soda will alter the color and you will be left with yellow velvet cupcakes.

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