These Chocolate Beetroot Cupcakes have the most delicious Crème Fraiche Ganache slathered on top of them. The Crème Fraiche adds a tanginess to the ganache which I think tastes so much better than using double cream. The cupcakes are sweet and the ganache is sweet as well so you need another flavour to cut through all the sweetness and the sourness of the Crème Fraiche does the job perfectly. And luckily there is a bit of ganache left over which you can place in the fridge and keep for those late night chocolate emergencies.

Chocolate Beetroot Cupakes

First some good news! Both these images made it to the top 3 of their category in the Njord Sustainable Food Photo Competition in Denmark on Friday night. No win unfortunately but very happy that they will be part of a year long travelling exhibition showing at various food festivals like Copenhagen Food and Terra Madre Salone Del Gusto in Turin, Italy.

Njord Sustainable Food Photo Competition - Hein van Tonder

Back to the cupcakes. The cupcakes are moist and chocolatey. The beetroot adds an earthy sweetness to the batter without making it overly sweet and it works so well with the chocolate.

Chocolate Beetroot Cupcakes

I used beetroot crisps to decorate the cupcakes. It adds  a beautiful pop of colour on top of the ganache. It also adds a bit of salty crunch to the cupcakes which works really well. Most retailers stock vegetable crisps these day but if you can not find them you can make the crisps by slicing 1-2 beetroots into thin slices, rubbing each slice with some oil and placing them on a prepared baking tray without crowding the tray. Roast the crisps at 200 degrees C for about 20 – 25 minutes until they are crisp, turning the crisps over once during the roasting process. Sprinkle lightly with some fine sea salt once they have cooled down and decorate the cupcakes with a crisp each.

Chocolate Beetroot Cupcakes

 Do enjoy!

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Chocolate Beetroot Cupcakes


  • 150g 70% dark chocolate
  • 3 whole free-range eggs
  • 200g sugar
  • 100ml buttermilk
  • 30ml sunflower oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 250g raw beetroot, finely grated
  • 275g plain flour
  • 30g cocoa powder
  • 1tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp bicarb of soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • Frosting:
  • 150g dark chocolate
  • 50g butter
  • 100g icing sugar
  • 250g crème fraiche
  • Beetroot crisps for decoration


  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C and place 12 cupcake ½ cup cases in a muffin tray.
  2. Break the chocolate in small pieces, place in a metal bowl over a double boiler and gently melt
  3. Remove from the heat and set aside
  4. Whisk the sugar and the eggs until pale in colour
  5. Mix the buttermilk, oil, vanilla, melted chocolate and beetroot and stir this into the egg mixture.
  6. Sieve the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, bicarb of soda and salt and gently fold this into the egg and beetroot mixture
  7. Spoon the cake mix into the cupcake cases, till ¾ full
  8. Bake for 25 – 30 minutes in the preheated oven. Insert a metal skewer to check if the cupcakes are cooked.
  9. Cool the cupcakes on a wire rack
  10. Make the frosting by melting the chocolate over a double boiler
  11. Mix in the butter until glossy and smooth
  12. Sift the icing sugar well into a large bowl
  13. Stir in the chocolate and crème fraiche and mix well
  14. Let the frosting cool down to thicken a bit and ice the cupcakes with the frosting
  15. Top each cupcake with a beetroot crisp
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This recipe first appeared on Marie Claire Cuisine et Vins de France

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