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Secretly Healthy Red Velvet Cupcakes

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Secretly healthy cream cheese frosting + rich and chocolatey red velvet cupcakes that require no food coloring to achieve their trademark color. With all natural ingredients, they're also much lower in sugar than your traditional red velvet cupcake. Full recipe here:

I will admit to dragging my birthday out each year for so much longer than the one day that it pretty much turns into a birthday week. This year’s birthday week began with the Healthy Oatmeal Pancakes I posted a few days ago, and it continued to include a family dinner, Thai food and after-dinner drinks with friends, and a trip to the famed Sprinkles Bakery for birthday cupcakes.

A few days ago, my friend Sarah treated me to birthday cupcakes to-go from Sprinkles. It was my first time at the bakery, and I was super excited to try their vegan red velvet cupcakes. (Sarah ordered chocolate marshmallow.) The cupcake was pretty good… I thought the frosting was extremely over-the-top sweet, but I liked the actual cake. And thus the Sprinkles cupcakes inspired today’s creation:

Red Velvet Cupcake

Healthy red velvet cupcakes!

Note: the red velvet cupcakes in the photos are frosted with my Healthy Cream Cheese Frosting, which I swirled onto each cupcake with a piping bag. If you don’t have a piping bag, you can use a plastic bag with a small piece of one corner cut off. Or just spread the frosting onto the cupcakes.  I am partial to cream cheese frosting on red velvet cupcakes, but feel free to use any other frosting recipe if you wish.

natural food coloring

Healthy Red Velvet Cupcakes

  • 1/2 cup spelt or all-purpose flour (or Bob’s gf plus 1/4 tsp xanthan gum)(65g)
  • 3 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder (15g) (not Dutch)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 cup xylitol or sugar of choice (90g)
  • handful mini chocolate chips, optional
  • 1/4 cup mayo-style spread, such as Vegenaise (58g)
  • 1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup beet juice (60g)
  • 2 tbsp water (30g)
  • 1 tsp natural red food coloring, optional if you want them redder than the ones in the photos

Preheat the oven to 350 F and line a muffin tin with 6 liners (or double the recipe for 12). In a large bowl combine first 5 ingredients (and chips, if using). Sift very well. In a separate bowl combine remaining ingredients and whisk until the mayo spread is completely smooth. Now pour wet into dry and stir until just combined. Immediately pour the batter into the pan (about 2/3 full each) and bake 14 minutes, after which time cupcakes should have risen and domed. Let sit 10 minutes to cool before removing from the mufin tin.

Any of the following mayonnaise spreads will work in this recipe: Earth Balance Mindful Mayo, low-fat or regular Vegenaise, or homemade cashew mayonnaise… Although I can’t vouch for every single mayo spread out there, the recipe should be fine as long as your mayo includes lemon juice or vinegar and a fat source such as oil or cashews. If you are using homemade mayo, I recommend omitting any onion powder and mustard that might be called for in the recipe.

View Red Velvet Cupcakes Nutrition Facts

Healthy Red Velvet Cupcakes

And below, the real Sprinkles vegan red velvet cupcakes that inspired today’s recipe:

sprinkles cupcake   katie cupcake

Questions of the Day:

How did you celebrate your most recent birthday? Or how are you planning to celebrate your next one? Anyone else like to drag out their birthdays to last all week?

Link of the Day: Crustless Pumpkin Pie

Katie is the baker, photographer, and author of the popular blog Chocolate-Covered Katie. Her favorite food is chocolate, and she believes in eating a balanced diet that includes dessert every single day. More about Katie—> 
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  1. Lisa says:

    I’ve been loving beets in red velvet desserts lately. I just posted a recipe for red velvet protein balls and they are so tasty. I love them, and it’s kind of cool being able to get that red velvet color without using food coloring – plus much healthier.
    This looks awesome!

  2. gigi says:

    Where do you get your beet juice? Does it come in a bottle ready to use?

    1. Yes, I found it at Whole Foods.

  3. Lily says:

    My birthday is next week (yaaaaay) and I try to drag it out to “birthday month” if possible. Spread out dinners, etc. so it always feels like I’m celebrating. 😉

    1. moriah says:

      In my family it’s referred to as ‘Birthnukkah’. Eight days of fun!

  4. Justin says:

    Yessss I’m so excited to make these! I’m interested in making homemade cashew mayo…do you have a recipe for that?? And my sister is the one that spreads out her birthday…it’s definitely turned into a birthday month! August also the month a lot of my relatives were born in so she can kind of get away with it 😉

    1. I don’t, personally… but if you google it, a lot of the recipes are probably pretty similar to one another and will work! :)

  5. Kelly J. R. says:

    My birthday is coming up in October. My husband and I will be vacationing in the desert southwest. On my birthday we plan on backpacking down into the Grand Canyon and spending the night in our little tent almost a mile lower in elevation than where we started. Most people would not consider that a very good birthday present but it’s so perfect for me.

    1. lisa says:

      I am jealous of your birthday plans, having just read them Kelly! I thought we were the last tent campers alive. Did you have a a fantastic time?? DUH! of course you did. :)

  6. Tammela says:

    I am also prone to celebrating a “birthday week,” or at least “birthday weekend.” Much more fun!

  7. My sister is obsesed with red velvet, so I can’t wait to have her try these! My birthday bumps heads with Thanksgiving, so I’m lucky to even get one day some years.

    1. OilLadyLaura says:

      I feel your pain, mine does too and as I kid I almost never got a party on my birthday because all my friends were visiting out of town relatives.

  8. I love that you used beets for red colouring!

  9. Leesa D says:

    What perfect timing! My birthday is on Sunday and I was trying to decide what sort of cake/cupcake I would make. I think I may have found a winner 😉

    1. Sarah =) says:

      Mine, too! =D Happy early birthday!

  10. OilLadyLaura says:

    Whatever I end up doing for my birthday, I hope it starts with breakfast in bed! And I wouldn’t mind having these cupcakes for breakfast, yum.

  11. That’s a beautiful frosting swirl on top of those cupcakes! I hate it when cupcakes are too overloaded with sweet frosting – yuck! I’m not big on my own birthday celebrations but I love to go over the top celebrating others’!

  12. Dianne says:

    My hubby and my birthdays are two days apart, this week so yes at our age 60 and 65 we definitely drag it out from birthday week to birthday month. It’s so much fun to be bad…

  13. Ekta says:

    Hello! First time posting on a blog! Love your recipes!
    Can I substitute sour cream for the vegan mayo? or yogurt or buttermilk?

    1. Technically, yogurt will work… it has less fat so it tastes a bit more gummy. But it does work.

      1. Oh, if you do use yogurt you will have to play with the proportions but I’d suggest adding some oil in there as well, maybe subbing out the water…

        1. Ceci says:

          How about using regular mayo? would that be ok?

  14. Aya B. says:

    Very nice recipe.. I have the same issue with any baked Goodie that we get from a bakery or a store, they are always either wood stiff (almost dehydrated lol) or too sweet (sometimes I believe bakeries do that to misguide you so you think the cupcakes or cake is tasty while it has only sugar in it)
    Last birthday I baked my own lowfat carrot cake with frosting & honey drizzle.. it surely was way better than any bakery birthday cake & way healthier 😀

    1. Ceci says:

      omgosh! I totally agree! I think they do that because of 2 reasons: 1. sugar is cheaper than cream, chocolate, flavoring and other good ingredients… 2. sugar is addictive… I personally dont like sugary or too sweet stuff so I am so happy to cook these things at home!

  15. Kelly L. says:

    Answering the birthday question: I have actually dragged my birthday out for a whole week. I call it my birthday celebration week! Usually what I do is take a few days off from taking care of my three year old and go on a much needed vacation for a few days with my husband or I leave my husband and child at home and go on a girl’s vacation week with a friend of mine.
    I always come back refreshed and ready to take on the world when I get back.

  16. Emah says:

    For my birthday on the first of last month my bf got me a strawberry gateaux from the VeganCakery here in the UK, which was scrumptious. But for my mums birthday this week I made coconut lime cupcakes, and they are even tastier. I’ve only tried red velvet cake once and didn’t like it. But I’ll give these a whirl soon:) X

  17. Celebrating all week is a concept I was first introduced to by the blog world – too late to put it into action this year but I’ll definitely keep it in mind for years to come.
    Such a [literally] sweet idea of Sarah to take you out for cupcakes. I wish we had more vegan options over here, too, but at least they are slowly expanding. Until then it’s still ‘bake you own’ – and that’s not too bad, either :).

  18. Debbie says:

    You look beautiful in that last picture! I love Sprinkles cupcakes, can’t wait to try your version. If my birthday is inconveniently in the middle of the week, I spread it out. But it mostly falls during Memorial Day weekend or the actual holiday itself so I get to celebrate all weekend and have a “birthday weekend”!

  19. Amanda says:

    Hi Katie – in this recipe and others, do you primarily use xylitol or do you use the sugar in the recipe? I have never used xylitol but was curious if any other readers here have?

    Thank you.

    1. I’ve tested these cupcakes (or the chocolate ones on which they are based) both ways. I always test both ways before posting, just because there are some recipes where xylitol will not work.

  20. Ah red velvet cupcakes are where it’s at. These look so decadent and healthy, thanks for sharing!

  21. Amy says:

    Happy birthday week Katie! :)

    I drag out my birthdays too. We generally have a family dinner, family brunch (or two, seeing as we have two favorite breakfast restaurants!), and quite a few birthday desserts. I’m not too big on presents; I’d rather spend as much time (and eat as much food) with my close friends and family as possible!

    So jealous and happy for you that you got to go to Sprinkles Cupcakes!! It’s on my bucket list, so maybe I’ll try to go for my birthday next summer!

  22. Emily says:

    I didn’t know that Sprinkles had vegan cupcakes!! And you are looking absolutely GORGEOUS in that photo at the bottom- share more pictures with us, you’re stunning! :)

  23. Alexandra says:

    Hey! :)
    I have wanted to make you a question flr a while… In some recipes, you say things, such as:
    – 3 tbsp. Oats (15g)
    – 1/2 cup flour (180g)

    Isn’t one tbsp. oats 15g y itself? In all the places I have checked, they agree it is 15g per tbsp, so I don’t get it. The same happens w/ the flour… Isn’t ONE cup 180g? I mean, when you put the measurements in there, maybe you are saying the grams of the whole measure tool (cup, tbsp, tsp.) and not the ones meant for the quantity the recipe requires? I wouldn’t say you’d do that, but I don’t know… I have actually been held from making some recipes ‘cuz I don’t know the reason of such a big difference, so I just step away in fear it might go wrong…
    Also… Go on with being awesome lol! Loove your recipes, I have tried loads of them and most have gone well (just not the coconut butter – this kills me a bit everyday I see a recipe of yours with it, for they are all overwhelming!, or breakfast cookie dough – the latter had a texture I just could not handle).
    The hot chocolate is just the best I have ever had. When I were a kid, I would go to a hot chocolate place and it tasted just THE SAME! Cool, because it closed and I am desperate to taste my childhood LOL
    The resee’s peanut butter eggs, cookie dough dip (although I knew what it had and so it got in disadvantage) and pb cookie dough balls, as well as the chocolate frosting, the 5min oatmeal and the cookie dough baked oatmeal were all damn great. The cookie dough dip could not be swallowed so easily for me lol, maybe just because I am not so into cookie dough (really, what’s up with America and uncooked goodies? Damn, people in here don’t even know what it is, the first time I knew that was a few months ago = what the hell, who eats raw cookies? LOL)
    Oh, and the ultimate chocolate pie is on the fridge right now, begging to be tried (and devoured). I made the vegan whipped cream to top it, buut it looks like roughly mashed potatoes (not creamy mashed potatoes, smashed-by-hand-making-a-tower-in-your-plate-and-being-lumpy-just-to-joke-meanly-at-your-disappointed-face mashed potatoes!) and I am kind of sad because the pie looks awesome and cool and delicious but has puree on the top D: I think I ruined it. The agar basis was just fine! Was it because it was done with soy milk (yep, soy milk. The yellow soy milk wich has the colour of a potato. GREAT.) ? Or because I tried it before it was on the fridge? (Please please pleeeease!)
    Anyways, sorry for the ranting really. I just wanted to ask for tips for solving my cook problems, give you some feedback and tell you how I loooove your blog! Really, it is great, so keep it up 😉 you are making me (as you teached me vegan isn’t boring and made me take a closer closer look at the life of someone who is vegan, happy and not obsessed – some vegans are kind of rude for non-vegans) reduce my animal products intake!
    Oh and congratulations for always having a smile, you look really cute (is this odd? Just to say, despite those who make critics, you are talented, an awesome cooker and also pretty 😉 )

    1. Alexandra says:

      OOOH I am really sorry for the speech, I really did not mean to! :(

    2. Alexandra says:

      For some reason my 1st comment doesn’t show up in my computer as it does now (tablet)… Just warning in case there are problems with the website… Can you actually see it?

      1. Alexandra says:

        Ohhh and now I just got it, it days it’s “awaiting moderation”. It is problem due to its large nature lol… Sorry! (And I have to apologize again for the rapping, I do not want to bore you…) 😉

        1. Hi,
          I’m not sure what you mean. This recipe lists flour as 65 grams and does not call for oats.

          1. Alexandra says:

            I was not talking about this very recipe, but I felt like I should comment in this one, not only because it was in several posts, but also because I din’t know if you would answer to comments on older posts, for I have already seen many unanswered comments in older posts… I am sorry if it was inconvenient! :)

          2. I think what you mean is that sometimes in recipes it will call for… let’s say 1 cup of flour and she may list that as 145 grams, but the measurement on the actual flour would say 120 grams = 1 cup. Is that what you are getting at? If so, I think that’s the beauty of sharing ingredient weights. Most of us don’t sift our flour or fill the cups perfectly so the standard American measurement in cups/tbsp/etc won’t be as accurate.

            This is a pretty good explanation for the reasoning behind it: But long story short, in experiments it’s been shown that one baker may use twice as much flour in what they deem as a “cup” just from the way that they scoop it.

            Sorry if I’m stepping on your toes Katie. I just saw the comment and (at least I thought) could relate and provide some insight. :)

          3. Alexandra says:

            That is basically it, but I was not sure of that, once the grams she lists are exactly what people say to be the single unit (eg – 3 tbsp flour, 15g, when most people say 15 grams is ONE tbsp…) I just did not get that part, for it happened several times. i was wondering if that is just a coincidence or the parentesis include the 1 cup/tbsp/… content in grams, despite the amount the recipe requires). Btw, I am sorry for the no use of abvs, that is just because the ‘ is hard to reach and I get lazy, so that happens to make me sound fancy lol, just saying because it might look snob or something 😛

  24. Looks amazing! Hope you’ve been enjoying your birthday!


  25. Ellen says:

    You are reminding me I never actually got any cake in celebration of my recent birthday. That’s gonna change!

  26. Mary says:

    I am so happy to see you are including the Gluten Free option on so many of your recipes. I don’t have celiac, but am very sensitive to gluten. I initially started following your blog for your sugar free cookies, after I was diagnosed with diabetes. I continue to follow it, and try many of the recipes because they are healthy and so tasty.

    THANK YOU!!!!!!

  27. Quinn Alexandra says:

    How funny my birthday is actually today! I’ll totally have to make these soon, have a good birthday whenever it is!

  28. Emily says:

    happy birthweek katie!!! these cupcakes look so good (i might have to make them… NOW!)
    i was wondering if you’ve ever had cinnamon ice cream. i looked through the ice cream category and didn’t find it… maybe post a healthy recipe?? (*cough cough*) its really good but what i’ve tried isn’t vegan. :(

    1. Maybe just add cinnamon to my regular ice cream recipe? I love your idea for cinnamon ice cream… if you don’t try it first, I might :).

  29. Liz says:

    I’m wondering if a pomegranate juice, like POM, would work in place of the beet juice since it’s so much easier to get….

  30. Oh these sound fun! I love the idea of adding beet juice! I’m not a fan of mayo or mayo substitute, I wonder if banana or applesauce would work?

    1. You need something with fat. You could always experiment with some banana and some oil… if you try it, let me know how it goes!
      I’m also working on a yogurt variation, which has part yogurt and part oil.

  31. AnonymousGirl22 says:

    For my last birthday (my 12th birthday), my parents only took me to dinner to my favorite restaurant to eat tacos. And then, 2 days later, I had my birthday celebration. This time with cake, family, and friends! And cake. (Did I mention there was cake?). LOL. But… that was 11 months ago. 😀 My next birthday is in less than a month! And I have a feeling it’ll involve a healthy cake recipe… 😉

    P.S. I love your blog, Katie. :)

  32. AnonymousGirl22 says:

    For my last birthday (my 12th birthday), my parents only took me to dinner to my favorite restaurant to eat tacos. And then, 2 days later, I had my birthday celebration. This time with cake, family, and friends! And cake. (Did I mention there was cake?). LOL. But… that was 11 months ago. 😀 My next birthday is in less than a month! And I have a feeling it’ll involve a healthy cake recipe… 😉 P.S. I love your blog, Katie. :)

    1. AnonymousGirl22 says:

      Ooops. I posted my comment twice. Sorry. 😛

  33. This looks so very good! I cannot wait to give it a-whirl. Thanks for including a GF option on it as well!

  34. Chelsea says:

    I love Red Velvet but since going gluten free I haven’t had any. I’m excited to try these!
    I’m going to NYC next week and I’m super excited to try all of your suggestions from your last trip there!
    You’re picture looks beautiful, by the way!

  35. Ellie H. says:

    My 15th birthday was on Thursday!!!! :)
    Unfortunately, I couldn’t do much to celebrate because I had school and homework. :(
    I wish that you didn’t have to go to school and/ or work on your Birthday because IT IS A HOLIDAY and you should have holidays off! However, I did get a pedicure on my birthday. And I ate chocolate cake (which was vegan). LOTS of chocolate cake :) .
    When is/ was your Birthday?

    1. It was the 6th.
      So we are almost birthday twins… just over a decade apart :).

  36. Delores says:

    what can you use instead of xanthan gum? it bothers my stomach.

  37. Happy Birthday to you! Mine was yesterday and I love making mine into a week-long celebration as well. Red velvet is my favorite, can’t wait to try these!

  38. I LOVE Sprinkles and I love their red velvet cupcakes. :) These look great! It happens to be tradition for our family to celebrate birthdays for a week! Enjoy it!! 😉 Happy birthday!!

  39. I do the 8 Days of Veronica. (Think Hanukkah) I get presents the 8 days preceding my birthday, and then the 9th day is my birthday, which is to be celebrated with jubilation. Can you tell I’m an only child 😉

  40. Caitlin says:

    In my family, we have birthday months! I have a little one (she’ll be two next month) and so a family member took her on the night of my most recent birthday, and DH treated me to dinner and a movie.
    Anyway, keep on celebrating, m’dear, you’ve helped and inspired SO many people you deserve the month…heck, take two!

  41. I thought your secret ingredient would be the same one that I use…chickpeas! I make these and my son loves them!

  42. Jo says:

    Hi Katie, do you think beet root purée would work rather than juice? I have loads of beets from my organic box this week you see! And also, can I check the nutritional info – does that change if I use sugar rather than xylitol? Thanks, Jo

    PS only just found your site but really love it. I’ve got vegan friends, friends who need gluten free and friends trying to lose weight and get fitter so it’s just perfect! :-)

    1. Sorry I’ve not tried beetroot so I really don’t know.
      The stats would change a little… xylitol has something like 30 calories to sugar’s 50 per tbsp, I think.

    2. Carrie says:

      I made a quadruple batch of these awesome cupcakes today and didn’t have beet juice but I did have beets. So, I just boiled 2 smaller ones until tender, stuck them in my Vitamix with a bit of the water from the pan used to boil them and pureed that together. I measured out the amount called for in the recipe and they turned out just lovely – great texture and taste. My family thought they were absolutely delicious. Thank you so much for these super treats!

  43. Kim says:

    I turned 18 on the first of September, not too long ago.
    But I did not atually celebrate it. It was a Sunday and I spent the weekend in a martial arts camp. For me it was a great way to spend my birthday and they gave me a cool black shirt that says “Yong Verein” (“Yong club”) on the chest and “Taekwondo&Kali Sikaran” on the back with siluettes of fighters and all the prints are….guess what: red velvet =D
    Katy, I wonder how or if I can substitute the beet juice. I hate the taste of it and even it’s not noticable in the muffins, I would have no use for the rest of it…

  44. These cupcakes look fabulous! I love how you made them so much healthier. <3 And your cream cheese frosting is so pretty how you piped it on!
    Pinning this. :)

  45. Cristina says:

    Can I use the soy-free Natural Balance spread instead of the mayo?

  46. Mmmm, these sound wonderful! Red velvet is probably my favorite cake flavor.

  47. Kelly Wang says:

    You look so BEAU-TI-FUL in the photo Katie ;-).
    By the way do you know that if we use purple yam in baking, in will turn out to be blue. That’s what I usually use in my blue velvet pancakes. It looks great to me although blue is considered to be the most unappetizing color.

  48. Laura says:

    I love red velvet cupcakes and love that this uses beet juice instead of red food dye! Do you know the approximate substitution ratio for honey in lieu of sugar? Would this even work?

  49. Fiona says:

    Stunning – do you think almond flour would work too?

  50. Jenna says:

    Just saw a recipe for red velvet cupcakes last night that used pureed beets – I would assume that would take the place of the veganaise and beet juice in this recipe. I’ll try it out and let you know how it goes. They look great.

  51. Vanja says:

    Maybe I’m just stupid, but when I used only half a cup of flour, I ended up with enough for 3 muffins….where did I go wrong? :O I aslo wonder what you used for frosting? I can’t seem to find that on the page?
    Love from Norway/Scandinavia

    1. kate says:

      The link for the frosting Katie used is in the paragraph under the second photo of the cupcake. The recipe makes 6 cupcakes so maybe you are making them a bit bigger than what Katie made?

      1. vanja says:

        I have no idea. I made them like…standar size, so almost 2 inches. I don’t knooow*feeling stupid*

  52. Carly says:

    Can beet juice be omitted ?
    And you should try a fall inspired pumpkin apple spice muffin! My friend loves them from a local bakery

  53. Happy B-Day
    I love celebrating my birthday all MONTH! :)
    And yet again, another yummy recipe I will try!

  54. Toni Long says:

    Hi, can you leave out the beet juice? Only because I don’t have any and might make soon. And I live in a town where I’m not sure I’d even be able to find it. Thanks.

  55. Yum! I love red velvet. It’s one of my favorite kinds of cake.
    For my birthday this year, it’s definitely turning into a two week long thing. My family and I are going to Chicago the weekend after my birthday for a book signing. Normally my birthday only lasts two to three days. 😉

  56. Elizabeth says:

    whatttt mayo in a cupcake?? these look awesome. I’ve never cooked with xylitol but i’d probably sub out stevia and add some protein powder

  57. Am says:

    I just celebrated my 20th bday a little bit ago. We celebrated by enjoying the outdoors with kayaking and I came home to tofu brownies (your recipe :)). We played games that night, and went to the aquarium the next day. It was unlike any other birthday I had had before! So fun! It is so cool to see how you celebrated your birthday.

  58. Red Velvet Cake is my favorite. Thank you SO much for posting a healthy version. I’ve tried very unsuccessfully to make red velvet cupcakes with beets before – cant wait to try this!

  59. Lisa says:

    Hi Katie – your grams aren’t consistent with your ingredient amounts (cups, et cetera), especially when different ingredient options are listed. Which did you follow for accurate results?


  60. Jeanette says:

    Happy birthday, sweet Katie!
    Everytime I visit your website I enjoy your funny writing and your beautiful pictures. And then I haven’t even made the recipes yet!
    Now that I’ve got such good experiences, I recommended this website to others as well. My friend just let me know that her husband and sons (who are quite critical) loved one of your pies.
    So gratulations for convincing school boys that healthy can be yummy!

  61. Ilana says:

    Katie, you look gorgeous gorgeous gorgeous in that photo. Looking forward to your book!


  62. Jessica says:

    The cream cheese icing is the best part of red velvet cake – otherwise it might as well not be red velvet cake (although the original, which I know as Red Waldorf cake, has a cooked sugar icing – but the southern version uses cream cheese because it holds up in the heat).

    I would give up celebrating my birthday if my family would let me because they always find a way to ruin it. But I went out to eat and also had a red velvet cupcake :-)

  63. chloe says:

    i’ve never had beets in cupcakes before, i’ll have to give these a try! I must though….why the vegenaise?
    Btw, i really like your shirt where you’re holding the cupcake and your hair straight :)

  64. Molly Horn says:

    That photo of you is stunning. You look very mature and you’re growing into your looks so well, if that makes sense. What I mean is, you don’t look like a little girl anymore — you look like a beautiful, adult woman!! :) :)
    <3 Molly (from Central Market Fort Worth)

  65. Tawnya says:

    I made these for my birthday on Friday the 13th! I’m so glad I did a test run on Thursday night and made a half dozen…because they all collapsed terribly. Thank goodness I hadn’t made the whole 2 dozen I’d planned to, only to have that happen. I’m in Colorado (high altitude.) I modified it by turning the temp up to 375, letting them cook about 2 minutes longer, and I also added about 2 tablespoons more flour (for the quadruple batch) so about 1 tbsp for every cup of flower is the general rule. Hope that helps any other high altitude folks!!! They came out great! My omni friends were shocked that the little gems had beets, mayo, and tofu (in the icing!) Thanks Katie!

  66. Emily says:

    I tried these and they were really delicious (I followed the recipe exactly and used homemade beet juice.) The cupcakes tasted pretty much exactly like regular red velvet cupcakes (gooey and chocolatey and SO GOOD.) The icing did taste a little bit like tofu but I got used to the flavor and ate it all anyway! Will definitely make again- thanks for the recipe Katie!:)

  67. Anna says:

    Really love the photography on this blog. These cupcakes look delicious- it’s making me hungry! I like the idea of using beetroot in red velvet supcakes to enhance the colour. I wonder how the flavour would be affected by using beets. Plus, it’s much healthier! I’ll have to give this recipe a go.

  68. LV says:

    I am so excited to try this recipe for Healthy Red Velvet cupcakes. I live at high altitude and wondering what adjustments I should make for using spelt flour at high altitude?

    1. Hafsa says:

      Same here LV!
      I’m similar to u!
      I wanna ask same question

  69. Hafsa says:

    Is this gluten free!!!
    I wanna make this for a gluten free friend of mine!!!
    Please reply ASAP!!!
    As soon as possible!!!
    It looks delish!!!

  70. Tracy says:

    This recipe looks great! I’m guessing that if I boil up some beets, I can use the water from that for the beet juice?

  71. Zo says:

    Is there anything the beet juice does besides add the color? I would like to make these this weekend but I don’t live anywhere near a whole foods. I have red food coloring, could I just substitute water?

    1. Sorry, I’ve never tried anything else… you will have to experiment. Beet juice is sweeter than water so I might try subbing apple juice. Report back if you do experiment at all.

  72. Tziporah says:

    I subbed grape juice for the beet juice. They weren’t red, but they were a HUGE hit with my kids. Thanks, Katie, for another great recipe!

  73. Gita says:

    Dear friends, Brahmakumaris are vegetarian… and emphasize the importance of keeping thoughts pure… when preparing food… they either enhance or decrease the vibes of what we eat…thus affecting our health. There is Brahmakumaris meditation…that relaxes the mind…nurtures a healthy balance between inner and outer worlds…recharge… rejuvenate the inner-self…

  74. Keith says:

    The cupcake looks good, but that photo of you is far too distracting to focus on the recipe. Wow, you look lovely.

  75. Robin Rogers says:

    Help. I just made these. After 14 minutes, they are still completely runny in the middle. I’m continuing to cook them but am wondering if anyone else has had this issue and how long did you cook them? Thank you.

    1. Unofficial CCK Helper says:

      Oven temps vary, as does climate. You can check out CCK’s recipe faq page at the top of her blog for troubleshooting, but my guess is that you just need to cook longer. Did that work?

  76. Emily says:

    I just made these and they turned out great! Everything I have made from this site has been absolutely delicious. I actually used vanilla greek yogurt instead of the mayo, the beet juice from canned beets, reduced the sugar by almost half and threw in a handful of mini-chocolate chips. They turned out awesome!

  77. Nicki says:

    I made this cake for my son’s third birthday and everyone said it was great. Even my son ate it, who does not actually like cake but rather likes the idea of cake. That translates to he usually just wants to eat the icing. Great job!

    I made my own beet juice with the juicer. It was really easy and I only made the amount that I needed.

  78. veronique says:

    Goodness. Where are the folks that actually MADE the cupcakes? Could we see some of those comments instead of vacation plans and such? Yeesh!

  79. Todd says:

    Healthy, but not exactly tasty – sorry, I wanted to like these, but they pale in comparison to the real deal.

    1. Unofficial CCK Helper says:

      No way! These are delicious! Did you check out CCK’s troubleshoot recipe FAQ page at the top of her blog to see where you might have gone wrong? Here’s the link:

  80. Kj says:

    I made these for my kiddos and they were so moist and yummy. I made a couple of substitutions and it didn’t seem to affect the outcome. I didn’t have beet juice so I substituted unsweetened almond milk and I substituted 1/2 of the xylitol with stevia in the raw.

    Thank you for another fabulous recipe!

  81. Shaley says:

    Hi Katie!
    I made this cake for my sisters birthday. It was amazing! I ended up making it twice… for the same person:) I became sugar-free a year ago and I was dying for some treats (Literally dying!) Thank you so much!

  82. Danielle Plate says:

    I was just wondering if the serving size 60g, was after it was baked or before. My cupcakes came out to around 20-24g a piece, so I wasn’t sure.

  83. Matea says:

    I love red velvet cupcakes! I made a red velvet cake for my sister’s wedding (picture: and it was quickly gone! I like the substitution of beat juice for red food coloring; I should try it next time I’m baking red velvet goodies!

  84. Juliet Tye says:

    Would it work if I use this as a recipe for a cake?

  85. Juliet says:

    Would the sweetener measurement be different if I am using stevia? Could the batch be used for a cake recipe too? Hope to hear from anyone! Cheers!

  86. Juliet says:

    And how many drops of sweetener stevia would this recipe be equivalent to?

  87. lucy says:

    these tasted amazing but how do I prevent my cupcakes from sinking? They all sank :(

    1. Unofficial CCK Helper says:

      They should not sink. Sounds like you didn’t put them in the oven right after you activated the baking soda. But it’s impossible to try and guess when one was not in the kitchen with you. Can you read through Katie’s Recipe FAQ page (at the top of her blog) and then report back with more details after reading the troubleshoot section of that post?

  88. Tara says:

    Katie, you can also make these redder (or really pinker) by changing the pH of the batter, most notably by adding vinegar. :)

  89. Rachelle Goodier says:

    Hi Katie! I have been using recipes from your website for a while now and everything has ALWAYS turned out great. This past weekend I made the gingerbread cake and chai banana bread and my family LOVED both of them. Just want to say thank you for providing such amazing, creative recipes for those health-conscious eaters and bakers like me!

    1. Thank YOU for trying the recipes :)

  90. Bridget says:

    Long time follower, first time commenter. love your creativity. The recipes don’t always work for me but the process of learning is fun..I made the red velvet cupcakes tonight with these small changes and it came out amazing- thanks for the inspiration:

    Doubled the recipe, and used a cup of pureed mejoola dates instead of sugar; used half cocount flour, half ww flour. Cooked a beet and used the diluted ‘beet water’ Didn’t need the frosting- moist and wonderful!

  91. Sarah says:

    OMG! Thank you so much for this recipe. My children cannot have sugar. They have about 10 times the “normal” reaction to sugar with just one bite, so with my daughter’s birthday today I went looking for healthier cake recipes. (I must be honest, I did modify it a bit, but based on your other recipes I thought you might be interested in that too) Instead of sugar, I used dates. Whole, pitted dates. Just filled the half-cup measure up, and then mixed the wet ingredients (including the dates) in the blender, pureed until smooth. These are fantastic! Stand-alone even, they don’t need the frosting at all. Gorgeously rich and soft. Thanks to you, my children can have cake on their birthdays!

  92. Emma says:

    Oh my gosh. THANK YOU for making a recipe with only 10 ingredients that are accessible to everyone anywhere! Red velvet cupcakes are fussy enough to make and making them vegan and Gluten free looked like it was gong to be a nightmare until I came across your recipe. I also find it hard to find a lot of vegan alternative products in oz (different brand names? Also not a strict vegan…). LOVE your work! And thanks again!

  93. Denise Anderson says:

    Hi! so far I have made several of your desserts for my (not so easy to fool with healthy dessert husband) and picky 4 year old. They have LOVED ALL desserts that I have made so thank you! But when I have tried printing some of your recipes like healthy cream cheese frosting, red velvet cupcakes, ect. Everything from the pictures to the hundreds of comments print out (I have never waited for all to print I just cancelled). I noticed many of your recipes are not in the box where you can just print the recipe. Are you aware of that? If so how can I just print the recipes out? Thanks Again!

    1. Unofficial CCK Helper says:

      This should answer your question, but for the older recipes you can highlight the recipe and press “control c” then open a word document and paste:

  94. Chelsea says:

    My fiancees favorite cake is this so I’m glad my favorite website for healthy sweets has provided me this ;-). If I can see him on our anniversary I might surprise him two fold!

  95. Betty Ann says:

    How do you get 6 cupcakes from 1/2 cup flour?

    1. Coffy says:

      We thought the same thing but the recipe works out for 6 cupcakes (plus some bowl licking leftover 😉

  96. These sound delicious, just need to get some beetroot juice and then ill get started! Xx

  97. Shula says:

    (1) Can you use beet juice from canned beets?

    (2) What are those pretty red sprinkles made from? They are not mentioned in the recipe.

  98. Kaylie S says:

    Could you maybe use greek style coconut yogurt instead of mayo spread?

  99. Nancy says:

    Why not Dutch cocoa? The kind I buy is a blend of natural and Dutched cocoa. I’ve used it in every recipe I’ve made, but have never seen one where it specifies not Dutch. What’s the difference and will it matter if I use my blend in this recipe?

  100. Jennifer says:

    I cant find this xylitol in any grocery store near me. whole foods, trader joes and cub foods all do not carry! where does one buy xylitol (in MN)? I really want to try it. can you substitute stevia in this recipe?

  101. Coffy says:

    My daughter and I made these cupcakes today. They were delicious! Followed the recipe as is. Juiced one large beet which made more than enough for the recipe. We will definitely be making these again!

  102. Iris says:

    I made these this morning because I had some moist pulp left over after straining my beet, carrot, apple and mango juice. I used that instead of just beet juice, along with maple syrup for the sweetener and cacao powder, no chocolate chips- and they are amazing! Thank you for the recipe! You can find my pic of one on my instagram 😉 Love and Light to you!