Friday, February 18, 2011

Red Velvet Cupcakes

Would it be biased as a redhead to say that all great things are red?  (Okay, maybe that's a bit of an overstatement, but I do adore these cupcakes).  There's something about a red velvet cupcake that never fails to impress. They ooze sophistication, deliciousness, and it's pretty obvious that they are nice to look at (and obviously even nicer to eat).  I always get excited whenever I am asked to make these cupcakes for people; I honestly never get sick of them.  There's just nothing that really can compare to a classic like this.  And if you want my opinion (I apologize if you don't, because you're going to get it anyway!), a rich cream cheese frosting is a must when it comes down to making these.  The combination is unrivaled...and who honestly wants to mess with perfection!? 

If you have never tried red velvet are seriously missing out.  I remember when I saw it for the first time and how intrigued I was. My first thought was, "I need to try it!"  And after falling in love, my second thought was, "I need to make it!"  It's amazing how a little food coloring really ups the "wow" factor of these cupcakes.  Personally, I like mine to have a bold red color to them like these ones, which contrasts quite nicely with the frosting.  You can keep them nice and simple or dress them all up for any occasion; whatever you choose they are extremely impressive, iconic, and a definite crowd-pleaser.  But, make sure you bring more than enough of these little cuties wherever you go...people will fight over who gets the last one!

Red Velvet Cupcakes
Yield: about 24 cupcakes


For the cake:

  • 2½ cups cake flour
  • 1½ cups sugar
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tbsp. cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1½ cups vegetable oil
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2 tbsp. (1 oz.) liquid red food coloring
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp. distilled white vinegar

  • Preheat the oven to 350° F.  
  • Line cupcake pans with paper liners.  
  • In a medium bowl, combine the cake flour, sugar, baking soda, cocoa powder and salt; whisk to blend.  
  • In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the eggs, vegetable oil, buttermilk, food coloring, vanilla and vinegar.  Beat on medium speed until well blended.  
  • Mix in the dry ingredients on low speed and beat until smooth, about 2 minutes.
  • Divide the batter evenly between the prepared liners.  
  • Bake, rotating the pans halfway through baking, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 18 minutes.  
  • Let cool in the pans 5-10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

    For the frosting:

    • 8 oz. cream cheese
    • 5 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
    • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
    • 2½ cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
    • To make the frosting, combine the cream cheese and butter in the bowl of an electric mixer.  
    • Beat on medium-high speed until well combined and smooth, about 2-3 minutes.  
    • Mix in the vanilla extract.  
    • Gradually beat in the confectioners’ sugar until totally incorporated, increase the speed and then beat until smooth.  
    • Frost cooled cupcakes as desired.
    Note:  Since I use a lot of frosting on my cupcakes, I increased the quantity of ingredients by 50% to frost 24 cupcakes.  

    Cupcakes adapted from: Annie's Eats

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