Cupcake Craze Part 5: Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

I lied. I thought the cupcake craze was over, but there was another birthday that appeared. Here is a confession: I have no interest in red velvet cupcakes. I think they are just bad chocolate cakes dyed red. They can be beautiful but I don’t feel like there is a lot of creative potential since they are a little too ‘classic.’ I am also a little weary of the nearly necessary use of maddening amounts of food coloring. For your benefit, I shall one day use the scarlet reduction from beets or pomegranates but today is not that day.

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Before beginning, I will say that I made two batches of red velvet cakes. I won’t disclose which site I based my first recipe on for the sake of good blogging manners, but I will say that they were inedibly dry and quite wretched. Instead, this recipe was adapted from our sweet Martha Stewart.

Red Velvet Cupcakes
yields approximately 10 cupcakes

1 1/4 c. cake flour
1 T. cocoa powder
3/4 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt
3/4 c. sugar
3/4 c. vegetable oil
1 egg
1 t. red food coloring
1/2 c. buttermilk
1 t. vinegar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a small bowl, combine flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, & salt. In a mixing bowl, whisk together sugar & oil. Whisk in the egg & food coloring. Measure out the buttermilk & vinegar in a liquid measuring cup and gradually alternating adding the wet & dry ingredients to the sugar mixture. Whisk together until combined.

Pour batter in cupcake wrappers situated in a muffin pan. Place in the oven for about 15 minutes, or until an toothpick comes out clean. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

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Cream Cheese Frosting

1/4 c. cream cheese
1/4 c. butter
2 c. powdered sugar
1 t. vanilla
1 T. milk

In a mixing bowl with an electric mixer, combine all the ingredients until the desired consistency is reached. Transfer to piping bag and put in fridge until ready to use.

Arguably, my favorite part of baking cupcakes is thinking up the garnish. For the garnish for these cakes, I really wanted some red sprinkles to bring out the color of the cakes. Unfortunately, I did not have red sprinkles. I did, however, have some raw sugar.

To make your own colored sprinkles:
1 T. raw sugar
one drop of desired food coloring

Drop the color in the sprinkles and stir quickly to coat the sugar.

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When the cupcakes are cool, pipe the icing and garnish with your colored sprinkles & chocolate shavings!

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