What’s in a name?

You may have noticed the name of this blog is Baking on the Side.

Maybe you’ve wondered where exactly the baking has been.


Four years ago I was looking for a change from my first blog, which I’d felt I’d outgrown. I wanted a new name that might have some room to grow with me. This name worked for me for a few reasons. I love to bake, but I don’t always have time in life, so despite baking being a fun activity it often gets relegated to the side.

It also spoke to my food philosophy. As a dietitian I believe in balance, and ultimately that hated word moderation. So delicious, butter, sugary baked goods should be something you eat and enjoy (if you like them), but within parameters of what’s healthy for you… say the 80-20 rule (for must of us baking fits in the 20%).

So that’s why despite having baking in the title there seems to be so few baking recipes on this blog. But hopefully that will change, after all with my new work schedule I have a little more time and energy to devote to writing this blog, and I also have more time for baking as well… so that definitely helps.


So today I am bringing you some baking. A delicious recipe – with a hidden-you’d-never-guess-it ingredient. Or maybe you would… beets.


Earlier this week I was craving something chocolaty so I began the hunt for a recipe on some of my favourite recipe blogs. These cupcakes are inspired by this recipe from Minimalist Baker, changed simply because I didn’t have some ingredients on hand. Now I don’t find it too uncommon to have beets in cupcake recipes, I’ve seen it before. However, the recipe called for roasting whole beets, and I only had shredded beets from food I’d prepped for meals last week. I also only had cow’s milk, which I knew would substitute just fine. I wanted to post what I did, so you can see how it’s possible to alter a recipe to suit what you have on hand rather than always rushing out to buy everything you don’t normally keep in your kitchen (even if the adjustments are small, it can be intimidated to make changes, so I find it helpful to see what one person did compared to the original recipe).

Beet Chocolate Cupcakes

1/2 cup shredded beets
1 cup milk (Original recipe was almond milk, but I used what was on hand – having just regular milk)
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup + 1 heaping tbsp all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 & 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp salt


1. Preheat oven to 375*F, line or grease 12 muffin tins.
2. In a small bowl combine milk and apple cider vinegar and set aside to curdle into buttercream
3. In a blender add the beets, oil, sugar, vanilla and milk + vinegar combo. Blend until smooth, then transfer to a large bowl.
4. Into the bowl sift the flour, cocoa powder and baking soda mixing at the same time. Mix until the batter is smooth.
5. Pour batter into muffin tin, fill about 3/4 full (I definitely overfilled mine oops!). Bake for 20-25 minutes – a toothpick will come out clean if inserted into the middle.
6. Cool completely, then dig in!

These cupcakes do not need to be iced, I was experimenting with an icing recipe (did not turn out awesome, mostly just overly sweet). But of course if you want to ice them that is totally up to you! I think a nice buttercream recipe would work well on these.


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