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Red Velvet Cupcakes

February 8, 2012
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I have consumed and baked my fair share of Red Velvet Cupcakes and honestly, I have never seen what all the hype is over. Is it the red food coloring? The distilled vinegar? The limited amount of cocoa powder used? I just don’t get it! Help me out here!

This past week was my friend’s birthday and since Valentine’s Day is coming up, I thought I would bake the expected and make Red Velvet Cupcakes… It’s not my first choice, but it wasn’t my birthday and it meant less temptation to eat five one… But then again I would eat anything with cream cheese frosting, maybe even a cardboard box.

Okay, so I might not have jumped on the Red Velvet bandwagon just yet, but this is hands down the BEST Red Velvet Cupcake recipe I have tried to date (I’m sorry, Paula, I hope we can still be friends).

They have a subtle cocoa flavor that isn’t overly sweet but still very flavorful, but my favorite part of this recipe is the texture of the cupcakes. They are soft, tender, and moist. Melt-in-your-mouth deliciousness. Definitely something to consider baking for your Valentine’s Day dessert.

Speaking of Valentine’s Day, I thought I would use this opportunity to introduce a great photography project I discovered recently, called “Love Ever After.” The photographer/artist behind the project is Lauren Fleishman and she is amazing. I don’t want to give too many details away, but you must check it out for yourself!

It is absolutely precious… I might have cried. True love exists, Regan!

Red Velvet Cupcakes recipe from Joy of Baking:

Red Velvet Cupcakes:

1 ¼ cups sifted cake flour

¼ teaspoon baking powder

¼ teaspoon salt

1 tablespoons regular or Dutch-processed cocoa powder

¼ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature

¾ cups granulated white sugar

1 large egg

½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract

½ cup buttermilk

1 tablespoon liquid red food coloring

½ teaspoon white distilled vinegar

½ teaspoon baking soda

Cream Cheese Frosting:

8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature

½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract

½ cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted

2/3 cup cold heavy whipping cream (double cream) (35-40% butterfat

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and line 12 muffin tins with paper cupcake liners.
  2. In a large bowl sift together the flour, baking powder, salt, and cocoa powder.
  3. In the bowl of your electric mixer, or with a hand mixer, beat the butter until soft (about 1-2 minutes). Add the sugar and beat until light and fluffy (about 2-3 minutes). Add the egg and beat until incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the vanilla extract and beat until combined.
  4. In a measuring cup whisk the buttermilk with the red food coloring. With the mixer on low speed, alternately add the flour mixture and buttermilk to the butter mixture, in three additions, beginning and ending with the flour.
  5. In a small cup combine the vinegar and baking soda. Allow the mixture to fizz and then quickly fold into the cake batter.
  6. Working quickly, divide the batter evenly among the 12 muffin cups and smooth the tops with an offset spatula or the back of a spoon. Bake in the preheated oven for approximately 18 – 23 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cupcakes comes out clean.
  7. Cool the cakes in their pans on a wire rack for 10 minutes and them remove from pan. Let cool completely before frosting. Either spread the frosting with a knife or offset spatula, or use a large 1M Wilton open star decorating tip to pipe the frosting.
  8. In the bowl of your electric mixer, or with a hand mixer, beat the cream cheese until smooth. Add the vanilla and confectioners sugar and beat until smooth. Using the whisk attachment, gradually add the heavy cream and whip until the frosting is thick enough to pipe. Add more sugar or cream as needed to get the right consistency.

Makes 12 cupcakes

11 Comments leave one →
  1. February 8, 2012 9:37 am

    They are pretty cupcakes, but honestly I don’t understand the enthusiasim over red velvet either. They lack the amount of cocoa to be considered chocolate and aren’t vanilla either so therefore they don’t really have much flavor. But your frosting sounds yummy so I might give that a try on my favorite chocolate cake recipe. But anything red or pink makes me smile on Valentines! Happy Valentine’s day!

    • February 9, 2012 9:41 am

      I completely agree.. I would take a Carrot, Banana, or Lemon Poppyseed Cake (well, just about every cake!) over Red Velvet any day. Although, I liked this recipe because it calls for a little more cocoa powder than most Red Velvet recipes. And I know, I hate how much more excited I get when things are red or pink– it just tastes better!

  2. Rachel permalink
    February 8, 2012 11:44 am

    These look pretty! But I agree, not all that crazy about red velvet either, not saying I wouldn’t stuff my face with these cupcakes if they were in front of me. The BEST red velvet I have tried was from Nothing Bundt Cakes.

    • February 9, 2012 9:42 am

      We need to go back to Nothing Bundt Cakes… I want to try their White Chocolate-Raspberry Cake next!

  3. Terrylee permalink
    February 9, 2012 12:05 am

    Went to a cute little cupcake shop in Murphy’s, Ca over the weekend. They need your help with presentation!
    Beautiful photos even if I’m not a fan of red velvet. I don’t know what the rage is about either unless the majority of people don’t bake so anything seems fabulous compared to what they are use to making.
    This weekend I’ll be making your cinnamon rolls and maybe these since after all it’s going to be Valentines very soon. HAppy early Valentines Day!

    • February 9, 2012 9:44 am

      Yeahh, Dad told me about that… I’m surprised they opened a cupcake shop only– cupcakes are so last year!

  4. Jen permalink
    February 9, 2012 1:07 am

    I miss you, Claire!!!! And these look just lovely. Come visit in the soon time!

    • February 9, 2012 9:45 am

      Miss you too, Jen! I should be home around St. Patty’s Day unless I happen to go on Spring Break which is doubtful. Got to see the bebe… and Emmett.


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