One glimpse at the photo in this post will tell you everything you need to know: these are indeed brilliant red velvet cupcakes. This is my second try at red velvet, because my first batch turned out far less red and far more dry than I’d been expecting. My first recipe called for butter, 3/4 cup of Dutch-process cocoa, and apple cider vinegar, while this recipe uses oil, one teaspoon of regular unsweetened cocoa, and regular white vinegar. I also suspect that my first batch sat in the cupcake pans too long after cooling, but whether it’s the ingredients or the process, I’ll probably never be sure.
This recipe, which is adapted from Christy Jordan’s Southern Plate “Phenomenal Red Velvet” recipe, is certainly my preference. Not only are these cupcakes a vibrant red, they’re very moist. I suspect that the vegetable oil, not butter, in the recipe gives them an extra boost of liquid, and it certainly helped that I pulled them from their pans immediately after baking. These are certainly another recipe I wish I could eat, but until late April, the Sugar Fast will remain in effect!
Note: this recipe yielded 24 miniature cupcakes and 7 regular-sized cupcakes.
Red Velvet Cupcakes II
- 1 1/4 cup flour
- 1 heaping teaspoon cocoa powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup buttermilk
- 3/4 cup vegetable oil
- 1 egg
- 1/2 teaspoon white vinegar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/2 ounce red liquid food coloring (just use have of the 1-ounce bottle)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cupcake pans with paper liners.
Combine flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt in a small bowl; set aside.
In a mixing bowl, combine sugar, buttermilk, vegetable oil, egg, and vinegar. Beat on low, then medium speed, until combined.
Add flour mixture and beat on low speed until combined.
Add vanilla and red food coloring, beating until combined; the batter will be on the thinner side, which is fine.
Fill cupcake liners about three-quarters full; I used a 1-inch cookie scoop to fill the miniature cupcake liners and a two-inch cookie scoop to fill the regular-sized ones. Bake miniature cupcakes for 8-10 minutes and regular-sized cupcakes for 18-20 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean. Remove from pans to cool on wire racks almost immediately after baking; I let mine sit in the pans for just about 30 seconds to a minute. Cool completely before frosting.
Cream Cheese Frosting II (adapted for a smaller batch)
- 2 tablespoons butter, softened
- 4 tablespoons cream cheese, softened
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 3/4 cups powdered sugar
In a mixing bowl, cream together butter and cream cheese for 1-2 minutes, until well-combined. Add vanilla and beat until combined.
Add powdered sugar, about 1/4 cup at a time, beating well until incorporated.
Fit a piping bag with a large star tip and pipe frosting onto cooled cupcakes. Store in the refrigerator.