Covert Vegetable Cupcakes

Everyone once and a while I feel like I need to boost my kids’ veggie intake and I do not feel shamed by hiding vegetable goodness in treats. So occasionally I’ll make these Covert Vegetable Cupcakes (another recipe gem from the Borg Family Cookbook) and encourage them to eat as many as they want. The bonus is I don’t feel so bad about eating as many as I want, too!

They have yet to figure out there are beets and spinach in the cupcakes (because I don’t let them in the kitchen while I make them). In fact, I have fed these to friends and neighbors and no one has figured it out. I love it!


2 packages (10 oz each) frozen chopped spinach thawed and squeezed dry (I’ve used one tin of canned spinach and it worked just as good)
1 jar(16 oz) beets, drained
1 package Devils Food cake mix
4 Eggs
1/3 cup Oil
1 cup Water
Frosting of your choice (I usually make a basic chocolate buttercream frosting)


  1. Heat oven to 350°. Lightly grease eighteen muffins pan cups.
  2. In food processor or blender puree together spinach and the beets until smooth.
  3. Prepare cake mix according to package directions using four eggs instead of three. Stir in puréed spinach and beets.
  4. Spoon batter into muffin cups, filling near to the top.
  5. Bake 22 to 25 minutes until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
  6. Cool completely on wire racks before frosting.

Chocolate Brownie Cupcakes

These are DIVINE. A great chocolate-on-chocolate recipes that always wows. Plus … it’s my Mother’s favorite so they have a special place in my heart. Thanks to Beyond Frosting for the recipe!

Chocolate Cupcake
Easy doctored-up cake mix recipe. Yields 26 Cupcakes

1 Box Betty Crocker Chocolate fudge cake mix

1 C Reduced-fat sour cream

3/4 C Water

1/2 C Vegetable oil

1 tsp Pure Vanilla Extract

3 Large eggs

  • Mix all ingredients until well incorporated.  Fill your lined cupcake pan 2/3 full per cupcake. Bake at 350° for 12 minutes. Insert a toothpick into the center of your cupcake and if it comes out clean, then they’re done. You may have to adjust the cooking time based on your oven.

Brownie Batter Frosting
Adapted from Beyond Frosting

2 Sticks butter at room temperature

2 tsp Vanilla extract

1/3 C + 1 tbsp  Unsweetened dark cocoa powder (I used Hersey’s Special Dark)

2/3 C Powdered brownie mix (from a box)

2 tsp Milk

3 C Powdered sugar

1/3 C Light corn syrup

2 tsp Hot water

  • If you have a stand mixer, combine the softened butter and vanilla extract, beating on a medium speed until smooth. If you are like me and use an electric hand beater, you get an arm workout until the butter is light and smooth.
  • In a separate bowl, sift cocoa powder and brownie mix together. Yes, you must sift this! The fine powder ensures it will properly mix into your batter. Add to your butter and mix on medium speed until well combined.
  • Next, add 2 tsp of milk and beat into the frosting. I added the milk because it adds a real creaminess to the frosting. The frosting will be a little grainy, which is very reminiscent of actual brownie batter.
  • Continue to slowly add your powdered sugar while beating on a medium speed. Your batter will be come very thick. Once you have added all of your powdered sugar, quickly add your corn syrup and continue to beat until well combined.
  • Lastly, add 2 tsp hot water and increase speed to medium-high for 30 seconds until well mixed. The speed at the end to help make the frosting a little bit lighter.

Top your frosted cupcakes with crumbled bits of brownies.