Red Velvet Cupcakes- All Natural!

I try to make sure the things I feed my family are as healthy as possible, which means I try to use very little (if any) artificial food coloring. However, Red Velvet cake is something of a cultural obsession, so rather than deprive the munchkins and hubby of the delicious, cream cheese frosting topped, red-hued cake, I went looking for a way to make it naturally! Lucky for me, Sophistimom has a great version. With a few adaptations, I've found a recipe that not only tastes yummy, but is a truly gorgeous, bright red color...NATURALLY!!!

Red Velvet Cupcakes- All Natural!
Makes 12

3/4 cup beet puree (try this recipe!)
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 teaspoons vinegar
1 cup sugar
8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter, softened
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (not bleached flour)
2 eggs
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 tablespoon natural cocoa powder (not Dutch Process, or dark cocoa powder)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and fill a muffin pan with paper cupcake liners.
2. Beat together all the ingredients until smooth.
3. Spoon mixture evenly into cupcake liners and bake for 18 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
4. Remove cupcakes from the pan and place on a wire rack until completely cool. Top with cream cheese frosting (try this recipe!) and enjoy!

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