Red Velvet Cupcakes With Orange Chocolate Frosting!! Gluten-Free Death By Chocolate!

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These delicious all natural Red Velvet Cupcakes are inspired by a recipe in Chatelaine magazine.  They get their dark sinful Red Velvet nature from beets.  As always, I have tweaked the recipe to make it gluten-free and delicious for me.  Anyone who knows me, knows I love the combination of orange and chocolate.  Terry’s Chocolate oranges are a Christmas favourite.  So these cupcakes and their frosting are a nod to that favourite.  Enjoy!

Red Velvet Cupcakes

Dry Ingredients:

2 1/2 cups of gluten-free flour mix

1/2 cup good cocoa powder

2 tsp Xanthan gum

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

Wet Ingredients:

1 – 398mL can of beets well-drained and rinsed, let sit to dry for 10 minutes

1 1/2 cups sugar

1/2 cup vegetable oil

2 eggs

2 tsp vanilla

1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

3/4 cup milk

1/4  cup of Greek yogurt (milk and yogurt can be replaced by 1 cup of buttermilk)

2 tsp grated orange zest

Pre heat oven to 350 degrees F.  Line muffin pan with muffin cups or spray with non-stick spray.  Mix dry ingredients together in a bowl with a whisk.  Mix yogurt, milk and orange zest together in mixing cup til smooth.
In a large food processor, purée beets until very smooth.  Add sugar, oil and chocolate chips, purée for 2 minutes.  Add vanilla, and eggs,  purée again for 30 seconds.  Add dry ingredients and yogurt/milk/zest mixture alternately in two batches until batter is smooth.  Spoon into muffin cups filling 3/4 full.  Bake for 20-25 minutes til tester comes out clean. Allow to cool in pan for 15 minutes before taking out of pan and allowing to cool completely before frosting with this decadent Orange Chocolate Frosting.

FN_Ina Garten Chocolate Buttercream
Photo courtesy of Ina Garten

Orange Chocolate Frosting

8 oz good quality semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate

1/2 cup of good cocoa powder

8 – 10 Tbsp milk (this will determine if your frosting is softer or thicker)

2 1/2 Tbsps grated orange peel

1 1/2 cups butter room temperature

3 1/2 – 4 cups confectioners sugar (powdered sugar) (less sugar is for the semi-sweet chocolate, more sugar for the bittersweet)

2 tsp vanilla extract

pinch of salt

In a small heavy sauce pan over low heat, melt and stir chocolate, cocoa and milk together until chocolate is melted and all ingredients are combined.  Allow to cool.  In a heavy mixer cream together  butter and sugar until fluffy and light.  Add orange peel, chocolate mixture, vanilla and salt, beat until all combined.  Taste and adjust seasonings of salt and orange.
When cupcakes are completely cooled, ice with this delicious frosting.  Enjoy.  Try this recipe out and let me know what you think.  Cheers, Michele