Inspired by Starbuck’s Valentine’-themed dessert offerings, this rich, red, chocolate flavored cupcake is filled with thick chocolate ganache and topped with a classic cream cheese frosting.

It contains no red food coloring, and gets the bright red color from beet powder – which does not add a beet flavor to the finished product.

Cake Ingredients
6 eggs, separated
1 cup granulated sugar, divided in half
1 tsp. vanilla
1/3 cup buttermilk OR dairy free milk PLUS 1 tbsp. vinegar
1 tsp. cream of tartar
3/4 cup (3 oz or 70 g) Better Batter Gluten Free Flour
1/3 cup beet powder
1 tbsp. cocoa powder

Ganache Ingredients
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate
1 cup heavy cream OR Silk creamer OR homemade Almond Creamer

Cream Cheese Frosting Ingredients
1/2 cup butter or margarine
8 oz. cream cheese OR Tofutti Cream Cheese OR cultured nut cheese
3 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Line 15-18 muffin tins with white liners.

In a metal bowl placed atop a pot of simmering water, whisk together egg yolks, 1/2 cup granulated sugar, vanilla and buttermilk (or substitute) for 3-5 minutes until pale yellow.

Remove from heat and continue whisking for an additional 5 minutes until thick and foamy, nearly tripling in size.

Meanwhile, in a separate bowl, whisk together egg whites until foamy. Add in cream of tartar. Continue whisking until soft peaks begin to form, then gradually add remaining 1/2 cup granulated sugar and beat until peaks are stiff and glossy.

In a third bowl, sift together cocoa powder, flour and beet powder.

Gently sift dry ingredients into egg yolk and egg white mixtures, folding all three components together until combined.

Divide cake batter into lined muffin tins, filling liners no more than 2/3 full. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until tops spring back when touched.
Remove pans from oven and remove cupcakes from liners. Allow to cool on a rack.

Meanwhile, prepare Ganache:
Melt chocolate into cream in a double boiler over low heat, stirring constantly. pour into a large bowl and set in the fridge to cool, about 30 minutes. This should be thin enough to pipe but thick enough to hold a shape. Place into an icing bag fitted with the largest star tip or a filling tip.

Take a toothpick and poke the top of each cupcake. Swirl the toothpick around to create a ‘hole’ in the center of each cupcake, disturbing as little of the surface as possible. Pipe about 1 1/2 tbsp. of ganache into the center of each cupcake.

Place into the fridge to set completely while you make the Cream Cheese Frosting:
Cream butter or margarine and cream cheese together until smooth. Add vanilla extract and beat till very smooth. Add powdered sugar. Spoon into piping bag and pipe onto cupcakes.

Return cupcakes to fridge for 30 minutes to set the frosting.

Sprinkle with red sugar, if desired.