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Beet & Date Muffins with Tahini Icing

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beet & date muffins with tahini icing

beet & date muffins with tahini icing

Carrots are a typical go to veggie for baked goods and I wanted something different this time.  Shredded beets are so beautiful in salads that I figured they would be as lovely in muffins.   Reading through recipe books I found a great carrot muffin recipe in Flying Apron’s Gluten-Free and Vegan Baking Book that I adapted quite a bit by replacing ingredients including the carrots for the beets.   The tahini icing is my own recipe.  I sometimes drizzle tahini dressing on my beet salad and end up with a delectable combination of bitter and sweet so why not try it on muffins?

red beet flakes inside muffin

red beet flakes inside muffin

Beets are remarkable because of their nutrition and color. Lighting had a hand in creating the vibrant colors in the photograph of the muffin insides, but they are really not far off from what you should see in your own kitchen.

beautiful red beets

beautiful red beets


My oven is quite small so I must bake muffins in batches of six.  This was a good thing today since the first batch of muffins I made at the 350 F for 40 minutes in the parchment tulips browned a bit more than I would have liked.  Thankfully the muffins were still fine.  The second batch I made in plain muffin liners and I dropped the temperature to 325 F  and baked for only 35 minutes.  These muffins were perfect. My oven is a powerful convection oven so I always have to adjust times and temperatures of recipes.  Best way to check for doneness is to stick a toothpick in the middle that then comes out clean.


Taste the tahini icing as you add the sugar and decide the sweetness that is best for you. The same goes with the tahini itself.  This icing will not harden but rather stay a sticky consistency that will soak in and leave an appetizing shine on the muffins.  I substituted raisins for dates.  Dates are milder than raisins when baked so the sugar level in the muffins was balanced with the tahini sugar icing.

red luscious batter

red luscious batter

Flashbacks of 60s and 70s vampire movies were on my mind the entire time I was baking. Perhaps this is because the blood in those vintage movies always looked like thick red batter.   Remember Dracula’s wives dressed in pink and blue baby dolls with teased hair?  Superb.



The photo above is of the second batch of muffins, which were just right in color comparing to the ones pictured below.  Both tasted just as good though.

sweet tahini icing

sweet tahini icing


John and I ate the muffins with the icing and we gave Gabriel the ones without the all sugar.  Jerry Seinfeld once said, “A two-year old is kind of like having a blender, but you don’t have a top for it.”  So true.  My two-year old little blender needs anything but more sugar.

sweet red color



Beet & Date Muffins with Tahini Icing
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 24
I baked two batches of the beet muffins and one came out a bit darker on the top the other based on two different temperatures and baking times. In my convection oven the muffins were just right at 325 F for 35 minutes. Please adjust your temperature and time accordingly. Taste the tahini icing for sweetness as you add the sugar. Do the same for the tahini. The tahini icing will soak into the muffins leaving a shiny top. Recipe makes 24 muffins or one 9-inch three-layer cake.
For beet & date muffins
  • 2 cups brown rice flour
  • 1¼ cups garbanzo bean flour
  • 1½ teaspoons baking soda
  • ¾ teaspoon sea salt
  • 1½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup canola oil
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups agave syrup
  • 1¼ cups shredded raw beets
  • 2½ cups blanched almond flour
  • 1 cup chopped dates
For tahini icing
  • 1 cup confectioner’s sugar
  • 3 tablespoons non-dairy milk plus more if needed
  • 4 teaspoons of tahini
For beet & date muffins
  1. Preheat oven to 325 F
  2. Line muffin pans with muffin liners
  3. Combine brown rice flour, garbanzo bean flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon in a large bowl
  4. Combine canola oil, water, vanilla and agave syrup in another bowl
  5. Combine beets, almond flour and dates in a third bowl
  6. Whisk canola oil mixture into flour mixture
  7. Fold in almond flour mixture
  8. Pour batter into muffin pans
  9. Bake for 35 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean
  10. Let muffins cool in pans for 5 minutes
  11. Transfer muffins to drying rack and cool completely before icing
For tahini icing
  1. Whisk together 2 teaspoons of non-dairy milk and two teaspoons of tahini
  2. Whisk in ½ cup of sugar
  3. Taste and continue to slowly add the rest of the sugar and tahini as you like and add remainder of non-dairy milk (plus more if needed) until you have a thin icing that you can drizzle
  4. Drizzle icing on muffins and serve
Recipe adapted from Flying Apron’s Gluten-Free & Vegan Baking Book by Jennifer Katzinger ~ Carrot Cake recipe Pg. 91


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13 Responses

  1. These muffins sound great and they look amazing. I love the color!!!

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  3. Karielyn says:

    Hi Tabatha…these are so beautiful! I wonder if I could use beet pulp from making beet juice instead of the shredded beet…that should work? Thanks for sharing 😉

    • Tabatha says:

      Hi Karielyn, I have never tried using the pulp but I don’t see why not? Ultimately the beet shreds are what you want and I would think they would color the batter as well and bake nicely. Let me know how they come out!

  4. k says:

    These look amazing, I can’t wait to make this weekend. Much better that all the red dye in a red velvet

  5. carol says:

    What is tahinh?

    • Tabatha says:

      Hi Carol. Tahini is just sesame seeds ground up into a paste. You can find it readily made at most grocery stores. Thanks for visiting!

  6. Tasha says:

    I love the sounds of your recipes but just wanted to know what the calorie content is on them. Is this something you could add… as looking at few of the ‘sweet’ ones, it seems like a lot of sugar but then I could be wrong. Am definitely trying these beet ones though, I love beetroot and tahini :)

    • Tabatha says:

      Hi Tasha and thanks for the suggestion. The muffins are delicious and hope you will enjoy them. And I will look into adding calorie content for my recipes. Thank you for visiting!

  7. Karissa says:

    Any idea on what I can sub for the almond flour? We can’t do almonds, but these sounds amazing!

    • Tabatha says:

      Hi Karissa and thanks for writing! I don’t know right off what you could use to substitute for the almond flour since it is a wet flour and the liquids in the recipe work well to counter. You would have to change the recipe quite a bit if you opted for another flour. Is it an allergy to nuts? I read somewhere that you may be able to substitute with finely ground sunflower seeds but I can’t guarantee it since I have never tried it. Another option is to use Bob’s Mill gluten-free flour and find a recipe for muffins and add the beets. That may work. Keep me posted!

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