Red Velvet and Toasted Coconut Valentine’s Day Cupcakes

Feb 12, 2015 | Cakes

Red Velvet with Toasted Coconut (Wheat-free, Dairy-free)

I didn’t realize how much I love toasted coconut until I looked down and the plate full of it was gone. I had toasted some coconut flakes for a friend’s birthday cupcakes. Yes, I now make all of my friends birthday cupcakes. And yes, I use all of my friends as guinea pigs for my recipes. I decided I like the texture and taste of the shredded coconut better, mostly because you get more toasted coconut in every bite. But toasted coconut flakes do look very pretty.

These cupcakes are a natural version of red velvet. No red food dye here! It’s really amazing how vibrant the juice is. Who would imagine such a pretty color would come out of such an ugly root? The cup of beets in this recipe leaves the cakes very moist. I found it best to let them sit covered, but not sealed, overnight before frosting. Happy Valentine’s Day!

Cupcake recipe adapted from: Gutsy by Nature

Red Velvet and Toasted Coconut Valentine’s Day Cupcakes
Author: Last Course Gourmet
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 12
I find it best to let these cupcakes set and firm-up overnight, covered but not sealed. If need be, cool them in the fridge for faster serving.
  • Red Velvet Cupcakes
  • 1 cup pureed beets
  • 4 eggs
  • 3/4 cup honey (or more to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup sustainably sourced palm shortening (I use Nutiva brand from Whole Foods.)
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup coconut flour
  • 1/2 cup tapioca starch
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons cocoa
  • Coconut Frosting
  • 1/2 cup palm shortening
  • 1/2 cup coconut butter
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 4 tablespoons tapioca starch (or arrowroot powder)
  • 2 tablespoons coconut flour (sifted)
  • Toasted Coconut Topping
  • 1 cup shredded coconut
  1. To get beet puree, preheat oven to 400. Wrap 3-4 small beets in a foil envelope. Please on baking sheet and bake for 1 hour, or until a knife slides easily through the beet. If there is any question whether or not the beet is cooked thoroughly, cook it longer!
  2. When beets are cooked and cool enough to handle, use a strong paper towel or peeler to wipe or peel off the outside skin. Slice off the ends so the entire beet is smooth. Chop into pieces and process in a blender or bullet. Add a little water if necessary to process into a puree.
  3. Lower your oven temperature to 350 and prepare your muffin pan with liners.
  4. In a large mixing bowl or stand up mixer combine beets, eggs, honey, vanilla, shortening, and lemon juice.
  5. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk the coconut flour, tapioca starch, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cocoa. Add to the wet ingredients and mix until well combined.
  6. Fill the muffin well with batter to the top of the liner, as the cakes will stay pretty flat. Smooth the top of each muffin with the back of a spoon. Bake for 20 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.
  7. Let cool in the pan at least 10 minutes before moving to cooling rack. I find it best to let the cupcakes firm up over night before frosting and eating. (At minimum, they must be completely cooled for optimum texture. If need be, pop them in the fridge for faster cooling.)
  8. In a medium sized frying pan, heat the shredded coconut over medium-high heat. Stir the coconut in the pan until desired toastiness (it’s best when a little more than half of the coconut has browned). Once it starts browning, it doesn’t take much longer. Don’t walk away and let it burn! Pour the coconut on a plate and set aside.
  9. In a medium sized mixing bowl, mix all ingredients for the frosting with a hand-held mixer.
  10. Frost your cooled cupcakes and generously sprinkle with toasted coconut.
  11. Devour.


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