Red Velvet Cupcakes II

red velvet iiOne 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

Ingredients

  • 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)

Preparation

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)

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 4 tablespoons cream cheese, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 3/4 cups powdered sugar

Preparation

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.

 

 

Red Velvet Cupcakes

red velvet cupcakesI’ve been known to eat my fair share of cupcakes on Super Bowl Sunday.

Mike likes to tell the story of how, when the Steelers lost to the Green Bay Packers a few years ago, I ate six cupcakes. Though he makes it sound as if I tucked in to a half-dozen cupcakes at once, the truth is that I did eat six cupcakes. Throughout the day. Not all at once. And it’s not like I make a habit of such things. Anyway…

Red velvet cake is often thought of as Southern, perhaps due to the red velvet armadillo groom’s cake in Steel Magnolias, but its origins are debatable. Some say it was invented at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York, while others believe it to be a concoction by Lady Eaton, wife of Canadian department store magnate Sir John Craig Eaton. In any case, most traditional American cookbooks feature a recipe for it. This one is an adaptation from the Back in the Day Bakery cookbook.

Red Velvet Cake

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups cake flour
  • 3/4 cup Dutch-process cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 4 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs, at room temperature
  • 1/2 ounce liquid red food coloring*
  • 1/2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk, at room temperature

*I used 1 2/3 bottles of red food coloring, the kind that come in the four-pack of red, green, blue, and yellow. Nearly every recipe I found called for liquid, not gel food coloring.

Preparation

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two 12-cup muffin tins with paper liners.

In a medium bowl, sift together cake flour, cocoa powder, and baking soda; set aside.

In a mixing bowl, cream together butter, vegetable oil, and sugar on medium speed for 5 minutes, until very thick and light in color.

Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each.

Add food coloring, cider vinegar, and vanilla and beat on medium speed for 2 minutes.

Add flour mixture and buttermilk alternatively, starting and ending with the flour mixture and beating on medium speed, scraping the sides of the bowl as necessary, until combined. Once the last addition of the flour mixture is added, beat on medium speed for another 2 minutes.

Using a 2-inch cookie scoop, scoop batter into prepared tins, filling about half full.

Bake for 18-20 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean.

Cool completely before frosting.

Cream Cheese Frosting II

Ingredients

  • 4 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 3 to 3 1/2 cups powdered sugar

Preparation

In a mixing bowl, cream together butter and cream cheese for 1-2 minutes, until combined. Add vanilla and beat on medium speed for 5 minutes.

Add powdered sugar, one cup at a time, mixing well after each addition. If you’d like your frosting to be a bit sweeter, add the remaining 1/2 cup of powdered sugar.

Fit a piping bag with a large plain tip and pipe frosting onto cupcakes.

Store in the refrigerator, but bring to room temperature before serving.