Paleo Red Velvet Cupcakes (Grain-free, Dairy-free, Dye-free, Refined sugar-free)

Paleo Red Velvet Cupakes that you won't know are paleo! Grain-free, dairy-free, dye-free, and refined sugar-free. They are also free of treenuts. Allergy friendly and sooo decadent!

Yes, you read that correctly Paleo Red Velvet Cupcakes. No bait and switch here. These are the real deal! Prepare to be amazed!

Whether you follow a paleo diet or have a loved one who has food allergies or sensitivities, this is a great recipe for making a very special treat that will make people wonder if it truly is paleo.

Putting the Red in the Red Velvet

Most red velvet cake recipes and box mixes use food coloring to create the classic red color.

Unfortunately, red food coloring like the kind you commonly find in the store or in cake mixes contain the following extremely harmful ingredients:

  • FD&C Red 40 has been linked to allergies, hyperactivity, and cancer. In some studies, it damaged the DNA of mice.
  • FD&C Red 3 is a known carcinogen, it caused thyroid cancer in animal testing. It is banned in cosmetic use.
  • Propylene Glycol is linked to allergies, irritation, and immune system toxicity.
  • Propylparaben is a highly hazardous preservative. It is linked to endocrine disruption since it mimics estrogen and it is linked to immune system toxicity.

Food coloring shouldn’t be ingested or put in contact with skin as the effects linger. Our bodies work hard at detoxifying from everyday activities, don’t compound the work with toxins like this one.

Instead, beets are a highly effective and nutritious alternative! There are many real food options for changing the color of your food (i.e., turmeric, spinach, berries, carrots, etc.). Beets give a deep red, almost purple color that is perfect for red velvet!

Paleo Red Velvet Cupakes that you won't know are paleo! Grain-free, dairy-free, dye-free, and refined sugar-free. They are also free of treenuts. Allergy friendly and sooo decadent!

Turning Beets into Cupcakes

First of all, thank you to Merissa from Little House Living for figuring out the science for using beets in red velvet cupcakes!

I used my Instant Pot to cook my beets until they were fork tender (oven roasting can take up to an hour or more).

Cooking on manual, high pressure, it takes about 15 minutes for small beets, 20 minutes for medium (2 inches wide), 25-30 for very large.

After they’ve cooked, check to make sure they are fork tender. Then, plunge into icywater. The skin should peel off easily.

Use a food processor to chop the beets into a fine puree. Then, add milk and apple cider vinegar to puree until smooth.

An Incredible Treat

I wanted to make something special that would fit within my son’s allergy and food sensitivity guidelines for a birthday party. So I began swapping ingredients and hoping it would work out.

This Paleo Red Velvet Cupcake wow’ed everyone who tasted it, even those who don’t usually like healthy or paleo food swaps.

You have to try it! And if you aren’t sensitive to dairy, a real cream cheese frosting would taste delicious! Here is the Coconut Cream Cheese Frosting recipe I used for these cupcakes: Coconut Cream Cheese Frosting

Paleo Red Velvet Cupakes that you won't know are paleo! Grain-free, dairy-free, dye-free, and refined sugar-free. They are also free of treenuts. Allergy friendly and sooo decadent!

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Paleo Red Velvet Cupcakes & Dairy-free Frosting

Prep Time: 30-40 mins
Cook Time: 14-15 mins
Makes: 12 cupcakes


  • 1 cup Cassava Flour
  • 1/4 c. Arrowroot powder
  • 1 1/2 T. pure, raw cacao
  • 1/2 t. Sea salt
  • 1/4 t. Baking soda
  • 1/2 t. Cream of tartar
  • 1/2 c. Coconut oil (soft but not melted)
  • 3/4 c. 1 T. 1 t. Pure Maple Syrup
  • 1/2 T. Pure Vanilla
  • 4 egg yolks (or 2 eggs)
  • 1/2 c. Coconut milk (other varieties are fine)
  • 1/2 c. Beet Puree
  • 1 T. Apple Cider Vinegar


  1. Cook beets until fork tender by roasting in the oven for 45-55 minutes, or using the Instant Pot. Cook on manual, high pressure--15 minutes for small beets, 20 for medium, and 25-30 for extra large beets.
  2. Meanwhile, whisk flour, arrowroot powder, cacao, sea salt, baking soda, and cream of tartar.
  3. In another mixing bowl, beat coconut oil, slowly add in maple syrup until creamy (works best with room temperature syrup). Add vanilla.
  4. Submerge cooked beet(s) in cold water, peel off skin. Puree beet in food processor or blender. Then add milk and apple cider vinegar and puree until very smooth.
  5. Mix egg yolks into oil/syrup mixture. Mix in beet/milk combination until well combined. Slowly add in dry mix.
  6. Scoop batter into cupcake liners. Bake in oven preheated to 350 degrees for 14-15 minutes.
  7. Allow cupcakes to cool completely before adding frosting.
  8. For frosting, see recipe for Coconut Cream Cheese Frosting.
  9. To have smooth, beautiful frosting, take a rounded frosting knife (not serrated) and dip into a warm cup of water between frosting spreads. This allows you to smooth and spread your frosting to create a finished look!

Used in this recipe:

4 Replies to "Paleo Red Velvet Cupcakes (Grain-free, Dairy-free, Dye-free, Refined sugar-free)"

  • comment-avatar
    Samantha February 17, 2017 (10:21 pm)

    the last ingredient says 120-130 g. what is that? I want to make these for my husband’s birthday next week and want to make sure I get it right! thanks! 🙂

    • comment-avatar
      Jenny February 20, 2017 (1:19 am)

      Hi Samantha! How fun! Let me know how he likes them!
      120-130 is grams. I do a lot of weighing of ingredients to make sure I have the amount correct for translating into recipes, but it doesn’t work well for those who don’t have a kitchen scale. 🙂 The amount is 1/2 cup and 2-3 Tablespoons. I’ve added a separate post just for the frosting so it’s easier to follow: Coconut Cream Cheese Frosting

  • comment-avatar
    Mel February 18, 2017 (10:47 am)

    This recipe is difficult to understand. Coconut milk is mentioned 3 times in the recipe. The last ingredient only has measurements and no actual ingredient and there is no recipe for the frosting. Disappointing to say the least.

    • comment-avatar
      Jenny February 20, 2017 (1:14 am)

      Hi Mel, thank you so much for letting me know! I’ve updated the recipe so it is easier to follow. Here’s the recipe for the frosting in a separate post: Coconut Cream Cheese Frosting

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