Cacao-Beet Muffins

Cacao-Beet Muffins

Deeply complex flavors of chocolate and beet make for a spectacular gluten-free muffin, free of standard sugar and dairy-free.

By, variation of Food Matters chocolate beetroot cake

We had a Twinkie's Stay Educated evening a few weeknights ago where we learned from Brenda of Wellnessabroso how to be better gluten-free bakers. She introduced Mollie and me to these deeply dark, multi-layered flavor profile muffins, and I immediately rushed home to perfect this recipe. It was a tad too earthy for my taste, so I added more coconut palm sugar, one additional beet, and coconut milk to give it some mph; plus,these additions made the recipe fit one dozen cupcake papers perfectly!

These are definitely muffins and not cupcakes, y'all. They are perfect for an adult dessert or a family breakfast, given their high antioxidant load, lots of protein, and being free of refined sugar. I especially love the tiny bits of beets that make for an extra-moist dark maroon muffin, even after being frozen, transported across the state, thawed out, and enjoyed at a Texas Aggie tailgate. Whoop!


  • 2 medium beets, sliced
  • 1 Tbsp filtered water
  • 3/4 cup coconut oil (melted and allowed to come to room temperature)
  • 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
  • 3 eggs at room temperature, beaten
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk (fat removed)
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups almond meal or flour (I use Bob's Red Mill)
  • 3/4 cup cacao powder (I use Hershey's cocoa powder - natural unsweetened, which is 100% cacao)
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 3 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/3 cup coconut palm sugar


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Line cupcake tin with cupcake paper wrappers. Set aside.
  3. Into small saucepan, add beat slices and water. Cover with lid. With stove on medium-high heat, bring to boil, reduce heat to low, and allow to steam for 10 - 20 minutes or until just tender when pricked with a fork. Turn off stove, allow beets to cool slightly.
  4. Using a potato masher, mash beets. There should be still be small chunks. Set aside.
  5. In medium bowl, add coconut oil, maple syrup, eggs, coconut milk, and vanilla extract. Mix well with fork. Set aside.
  6. In large bowl, add almond flour, cacao powder, salt, baking soda, baking powder, and coconut palm sugar. Mix well with fork. Using fork, create hole in center of dry ingredients; this is a well.
  7. Take reserved wet ingredients and pour into well of dry ingredients. Mix well using spatula, preferably a glitter spatula because they make the best sweets!
  8. Gently fold in beets and their juice.
  9. Pour batter into reserved lined cupcake tin; fill up to just under the edge of the liner.
  10. Place tin into oven and bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Check for doneness with toothpick (does it come out clean).
  11. Turn off oven. Remove tin from oven. Allow muffins to cool in tin on cooling rack for 10 minutes. Gently remove muffins from tin and set onto cooling racks. Allow to cool for an additional 1 hour.


  • This recipe makes 12 muffins.
  • After completely cooled, tightly wrap muffins in plastic wrap and then a layer of foil. Store in freezer for up to 3 months. Bring to room temperature before serving.
  • These muffins keep well either on the counter or in refrigerator for several days in a lidded storage container.
  • April 30, 2017 Coconut Update: It has come to my attention that coconut palm sugar is a questionable item for those of us restricting FODMAPs. Monash University has not yet tested coconut palm sugar although preliminary word is that it is high in fructans which could be troublesome. FODMAP Friendly tested it at 1 tsp servings and found it to be low-FODMAP in that quantity. The current recipe yields 12 muffins, so that would be just over 1 tsp coconut palm sugar per muffin; eat with caution.
  • Migraine Warning: Chocolate (cacao) and Nuts (almond).