At The Sylvia Center, teens learn to use only natural ingredients, replacing artificial and harmful substances, like food coloring, with plant-based ingredients. For these red velvet cupcakes, students made safe, natural food-coloring using beets.
Preheat oven to 350º F and position a rack in the center of the oven. Prepare cupcake pan and line with cupcake liners.
Add the uncooked beet, buttermilk, lemon juice, and extracts to a food processor fitted with the steel blade and process until very smooth.
Sift the cake flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt together in a bowl. Beat the sugar, and butter together in a large bowl until creamy, then add the eggs one at a time, mixing for 30 seconds after each addition.
Alternate adding the flour mixture and beet mixture to the bowl, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Divide between the cups and bake until a cake tester inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, 20 to 30 minutes.
Cool the cupcakes on a rack for 20 minutes then invert onto the rack to cool completely. Once cupcakes are cool, snip off the tip of the plastic bag and squeeze out icing onto the cupcakes.
10 ounces of cream cheese (such as Philadelphia), room temperature.