We’re all pretty familiar with chocolate cake with hidden vegetables, but it’s not zucchini this time. I guarantee that all but the very pickiest of eaters won’t notice any hidden vegetables, especially since beets do hide a bit better than zucchini does.
Despite being made with whole grain spelt flour and a pile of veggies, these are definitely chocolate muffins and they don’t taste nearly as healthy as they are. The chocolate chunks help, but we all know dark chocolate is good for you, right?
If you have a sad lonely beet sitting in the fridge, shred it up and make these chocolate beet muffins, then feed the muffins to your children and laugh at fooling them into eating beets. They’ll just see chocolate on top of more chocolate and never think to look for sneaky vegetables.
Ingredient Notes and Substitutions
- Cocoa: use any kind of cocoa you have on hand. Raw cacao can be used, but it will make for a slightly bitter muffin, and is rather more expensive than regular cocoa powder. Don’t mix up baking cocoa, which is pure cocoa, with cocoa mix for drinking – if there are added ingredients like sugar, milk powder, etc., it’s not for baking.
- Spelt flour: light spelt flour, regular whole wheat flour, or white flour can all be substituted for the whole spelt in this recipe. I haven’t tried making these gluten-free.
- Oil: any kind of oil can be substituted for the coconut oil, but will change the texture slightly. I most often use olive oil as a sub but an oil that is liquid at room temperature will reduce the denser, hearty texture of the muffins slightly. If you prefer a lighter, slightly crumbly muffin, use a liquid oil.
- Chocolate: chopped dark chocolate can be used in the place of the chocolate chips/chunks, but note that regular chocolate will likely burn while baking. If you use a bar of chocolate, you may want to exclude it from topping the muffins as a result. This doesn’t apply if you’re using the baking chocolate in bar form. I top with chopped baking chocolate but mix chocolate drops into the muffins.
Step by Step
1. Mix dry ingredients: add the flour, cocoa powder, coconut sugar, baking powder, baking soda, vanilla powder, and salt to a large bowl. Whisk to combine. Stir in the chocolate chunks.
2. Mix wet ingredients: in a smaller bowl, whisk together the milk and coconut oil until combined. Mix in the grated beet (it will turn bright pink).
3. Combine: add the beet mixture to the large bowl.
4. Stir: use a wooden spoon or spatula to mix until just combined.
5. Fill the cups: measure approximately equal amounts of the batter into each muffin cup of the prepared tin, filling about three-quarters full. Top the muffins with the extra chocolate pieces.
6. Bake: bake for 20-22 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the centre of a muffin comes out clean. Cool the muffins for ten minutes before removing and cooling fully on a rack.
Although dark and natural cocoa can be used interchangeably (see above), I recommend using dark for the best colour and flavour. This can be Dutch process or regular (they aren’t usually demarcated here in Holland anyway) as both baking powder and soda are used in the recipe.
There are a couple of things that will be different here for European and North American readers. I use vanilla powder and chocolate drops because extract and chips are prohibitively expensive, but note that extract can be used and in what amount in the recipe card. Chocolate chips or chunks are listed in the recipe card for the same reason.
These must be made with raw beetroot, not the type that comes pre-cooked, or any that you’ve baked/steamed/roasted. I have no idea how mashed cooked beets would do here and I don’t know the quantities in which they should be used.
If the milk is cold when the coconut oil is stirred in, the oil will solidify very quickly. You whisk it in to reduce the size of the pieces – to prevent this further, use room temperature oat milk.
How to Store
Storage: keep in a sealed container for 2-3 days at room temperature, or refrigerate for longer storage.
Freezing: transfer cooled muffins to an airtight container and freeze for up to three months.
- Don’t bother with peeling: don’t worry about peeling the beets. The skin won’t be noticeable in the final product and it’s a bit of a time saver. This isn’t the case if you use a very large, older beet – in that case, especially if the skin is very thick, you may want to peel it.
- Don’t over mix: spelt flour is a little delicate, and if over-mixed, will make for tough, chewy muffins.
- Use baking chocolate: this is only really important if you top the muffins with extra chocolate, but dark chocolate meant for eating is more likely to burn when baked.
More Beet Recipes
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Chocolate Beet Muffins
- 225 grams whole-grain spelt flour
- 50 grams cocoa powder
- 80 grams coconut sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon vanilla powder*
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- 100 grams dark chocolate chunks or chips, plus extra for topping
- 375 ml non-dairy milk** room temperature
- 60 grams coconut oil, melted***
- 130 grams grated, raw red beet, packed
- Preheat the oven to 190°C (375°F) and grease or line a standard 12-cup muffin tin.
- Add the flour, cocoa powder, coconut sugar, baking powder, baking soda, vanilla powder, and salt to a large bowl. Whisk to combine. Stir in the chocolate chunks.225 grams whole-grain spelt flour, 50 grams cocoa powder, 80 grams coconut sugar, 2 teaspoons baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon baking soda, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla powder*, 1/4 teaspoon sea salt, 100 grams dark chocolate chunks or chips, plus extra for topping
- In a smaller bowl, whisk together the milk and coconut oil until combined. Mix in the grated beet (it will turn bright pink).375 ml non-dairy milk**, 60 grams coconut oil, melted***, 130 grams grated, raw red beet, packed
- Add the beet mixture to the large bowl and use a wooden spoon or spatula to mix until just combined.
- Measure approximately equal amounts of the batter into each muffin cup of the prepared tin, filling about three-quarters full. Top the muffins with the extra chocolate pieces.
- Bake for 20-22 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the centre of a muffin comes out clean. Cool the muffins for ten minutes before removing and cooling fully on a rack.
- Store in an airtight container for up to three days, or freeze for up to a month.
* For American cup measurements, please click the pink link text above the ingredient list that says ‘American’.
Nutrition is provided as a courtesy and is an estimate. If this information is important to you, please have it verified independently.
This post was originally published in March 2017. It has been updated with changes to the text and new step-by-step photos as of January 2020, with no changes to the recipe.
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