Friday, March 13, 2009

Red Velvet Cupcakes

Hello, everyone! I'm so excited to be back. It has been a crazy few months, but I'm so happy to be able to write again. This is a little late, but I made red velvet cupcakes for Valentine's Day. Even though I grew up in the south, I'd never had red velvet cake before. It's an all time favorite among Southerners and is perceived as a decadent treat for special occassions. It was the flavor of Jessica Simpson/ Nick Lachey's wedding cake, and remember on Steel Megnolias, it was also the groom's armidillo cake. (lol)

I searched my cook books and the internet. Most recipes were fairly similar for the cake, so chose the one from Martha's 2002 Holiday Baking Magazine. However, it was very interesting to see the variety of frosting. According to several sites, the original red velvet frosting is cooked with butter, sugar, milk, and flour. It seemed a bit weird, so I opted for a popular topping of cream cheese frosting. And YUM-MO!! I'm in love!! Hope ya'll like it. :)

Red Velvet Cupcake
makes 12
2 1/2 cups cake flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups canola oil
2 large eggs
* large squirt red food coloring
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 teaspoons white vinegar
1 cup buttermilk
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
* The recipe actually asks for 4 tablespoons red food coloring, but I couldn't bring myself to add that much. Since the only purpose was for coloring, I just eyeballed the liquid red food coloring (which I purchased at the grocery store) to my liking. The vinegar and baking soda combo is also suppose to change the brown cocoa red which is where the name comes from.

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line cupcake tins with liners.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, salt, and cocoa. Set aside.
3. In the bowl of electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat sugar and oil on medium speed until well combined. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add food coloring and vanilla, and beat until well combined.
4. Add flour mixture and buttermilk in alternating batches, scraping down sides of the bowl as needed.
5. In a small bowl whisk together baking soda and vinegar. Add to the batter, and beat 10 seconds.
6. Evenly divide batter among cupcake liners. Bake in oven for 20-23 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean from the center of the cupcakes. Let cool completely on a wire rack before icing.

Cream Cheese Frosting (from
2 8 oz. package of cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 cups sifted powder sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. In a medium bowl, cream together cream cheese and butter until creamy.
2. Mix in vanilla, gradually add sugar until all combined and smooth.
3. Store in refrigerator after use.