With the rack in the middle position, preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F). Butter and flour 12 muffin cups.
In a saucepan over medium heat, soften the beets in the butter and lemon juice, about 5 minutes. Let cool partially. Refrigerate until no longer warm to the touch.
In a bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt.
In another bowl, beat the eggs, sugar, lemon zest and vanilla with an electric mixer for about 2 minutes. With the mixer on low speed, add the dry ingredients, alternating with the beet mixture.
Divide the batter among the muffin cups. Sprinkle with the slivered almonds. Bake between 20 and 22 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the centre of a cake comes out clean.
Loosen the cakes by running a knife around the inside of each muffin cup. Unmould gently, without inverting, and place on a cooling rack. Let cool completely.
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