Un-beet-able Red Velvet Baby Cakes with Caramel-Feta Frosting

  • Recipe courtesy of Janice Elder, Finalist in the 2016 Nikos® "Wave of Flavor" recipe contest
  • Yield: 24 mini cakes


  • 1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tbsp. cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 c. nonfat plain yogurt
  • 1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp. almond extract
  • 1/4 c. canola oil
  • 1 small raw beet, peeled and very finely shredded
  • 1 tbsp. red food coloring
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 c. granulated sugar
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 2 ounces feta cheese, at room temperature
  • 1/2 c. light brown sugar, packed firmly
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • Optional garnish: 24 raspberries or blueberries (or a combination of both)


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 24-capacity mini-cupcake tin with liners.
  • Sift the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt into a mixing bowl. In a separate bowl whisk together the yogurt, vinegar, almond extract, oil, shredded beet and food coloring (if used).
  • Using an electric mixer, beat the eggs until well blended; gradually add the granulated sugar and continue beating for about 5 minutes, or until thick and lemon colored.
  • By hand, gently fold the flour/cocoa mixture into the eggs, then gently fold in the yogurt mixture. Spoon the batter into the muffin cups and bake for about 12-15 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean. Invert cupcakes on a wire rack to cool completely.
  • Using an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and feta cheese together until well blended; add brown sugar and vanilla, blending until smooth.
  • Frost the cooled cupcakes with a small knife (a butter knife works well); top with a berry, if desired, and refrigerate, tightly covered.
  • Author's Note

  • Note the food coloring may be omitted, but the red color will be intensified if used. The shredded raw beet adds color, moisture and nutrition to these little cakes. Use a microplane fine shredder to get the beet finely grated. The feta in the frosting is amazing, and plays well against the flavor of the brown sugar, resulting in a tangy salted caramel type flavor profile but more complex and lots better.