Spicy Red Velvet Brownies

red velvet brownies

I’m not a big Valentine’s person and don’t care much about the pseudo holiday, but I still always end up doing a little something for Jesse. I think it’s because I was raised celebrating Valentine’s Day, both in school and at home, and a part of me still enjoys doing something cheesy or cute. What can I say? I don’t go all out though and always keep it low key. We usually have dinner at home with a special dessert, and I like to surprise Jesse with a few special dark chocolates from a local chocolatier. Jesse sometimes buys me flowers, but not always. He says he always wants to, but our Siamese cat, Mila, loves to eat them. And then get sick. We end up having to hide the flowers in the laundry closet when we’re not home because of her. We have a very small place too and aren’t able to make any part of our home off limits, except for closets. We can’t even have plants in our house, besides bamboo, because she’ll go to town on it.

This recipe was inspired by Elana’s Pantry Purple Velvet Torte. It was my first time making a dessert with beets, and I will say, it worked out very well. There’s still a little bit of beet flavor, but the honey tones it down and the cocoa makes for a nice complement. Additionally, these are incredibly moist. That would actually be how I’d describe the brownies if I could only pick one word. Maybe red (or reddish) too, if I could pick two words.


  • 3 cups red beets, chopped
  • 1/2 cup raw honey
  • 1 Tbsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup grass-fed butter, melted
  • 4 pasture raised eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa or cacao powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/3 cup homemade chocolate chips
Biggest beet ever. I only needed this big beet for the recipe because it yielded plenty on its own.
Biggest beet ever. I only needed this big beet for the recipe because it yielded so much.


  1. Place beets inside a steamer basket in a pot, and cook for 15-20 minutes or until fork tender.
  2. Once done, add the beets to a high-speed blender with the vanilla and honey. Blend a couple minutes, or until smooth and well combined.
  3. Add the cinnamon, cayenne, sea salt, cocoa powder and homemade chocolate chips. Blend on high for a minute or so. Then, add the melted butter and blend again.
  4. If the beet mixture is still warm, which it most likely will be, temper the beaten eggs by mixing a little of the beet mixture into the eggs. Once mixed, pour the eggs into the blender. This will ensure you don’t end up with scrambled eggs in your brownies! Blend for another minute, or until mixed through.
  5. Grease an 8×8 pan and pour batter evenly into pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 45-55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean (it’ll still be beet red though!). Let cool for at least 25 minutes before cutting, as it takes some time for the brownies to set up. If you cut into them too early, they will fall apart.
  6. Once cool, cut into squares or use cookie cutters to make shapes. I made heart shapes for Valentine’s Day.

red velvet brownies 2


28 thoughts on “Spicy Red Velvet Brownies

  1. Tara February 14, 2013 / 6:15 am

    Yum. I love beets, but have never used them like this!

    • paleoinpdx February 14, 2013 / 7:12 am

      I know, it was a first for me too! Since you like beets, I think it’ll go over well with you ๐Ÿ˜‰

  2. Rachel February 14, 2013 / 12:19 pm

    I made beet donuts last week. They didn’t turn out red at all (all the color baked out), so I deemed them a failure. Maybe I just needed to add more beets! I only used about a cup for batter that filled a six-donut pan…

  3. grokgrub February 14, 2013 / 12:21 pm

    I made beet donuts last week. They didnโ€™t turn out red at all (all the color baked out), so I deemed them a failure. Maybe I just needed to add more beets! I only used about a cup for batter that filled a six-donut panโ€ฆ

    • paleoinpdx February 14, 2013 / 2:06 pm

      Yes, sounds like you needed more beets if you were going for the reddish color. These brownies are noticeably red, both before and after baking (kinda hard to tell in the photos though).

  4. Cinnamoneats February 15, 2013 / 12:03 pm

    Trying to catch up on all your recent blog posts since my Internet connection is working a bit better now lol! These look good ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. rockyscafe February 17, 2013 / 8:20 pm

    Tried these last night. Wasn’t sure how well the beets would work out. I’d never baked with them before. In the past, my kids didn’t care too much for them (they had a bad experience with them at their great-grandmas, thinking they were cranberries) But I wanted to try a red velvet type recipe without actually having to use red food coloring. Yuk! I thought I’d rather have a beety taste than the bitter taste of dye. Well, it got great reviews from my kids! Yeah! Thanks again!

    • paleoinpdx February 18, 2013 / 9:47 am

      I’m so glad the recipe worked out for you and that your kids liked them! That’s great news! I can definitely see how your kids’ mistaking beets for cranberries could leave a bad taste in their mouth. This happened to me when I was a kid, but with rutabaga. I thought it was mashed potatoes and learned quickly that it definitely was not! Fortunately, I like rutabaga now ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. Luv What You Do February 24, 2013 / 7:18 pm

    We were just talking about all of the things you can sub into brownies. I mentioned beats and I think that is the only way I would eat beats! ha ha!

    • paleoinpdx February 24, 2013 / 8:19 pm

      If you’re not a beet fan, which I’m guessing is what you were hinting at, you may not care for the flavor. They’re definitely earthy. It’s toned down by the honey and cocoa, but is still very much apparent. I hope you like it if you try it though! Do you like roasted beets? That’s one of my favorite ways to eat beets. Beet chips are pretty awesome too. Beets are not beats though, as far as I know…unless you know something I don’t ๐Ÿ˜‰ Sorry, I couldn’t resist!

      • Luv What You Do February 25, 2013 / 9:49 am

        No problem! I deserve it!
        I need to re explore roasted beets!

      • paleoinpdx February 25, 2013 / 3:03 pm

        Hehe! I like to roast beets with coconut oil, sea salt, pepper and another veggie, like carrots or brussel sprouts. So good!

      • Luv What You Do February 25, 2013 / 4:22 pm

        That sounds good! Ok, I will definitely try it out : )

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