Red Velvet Cupcakes

red velvet cupcakes
Hi there...

Where to start?  What to say about the last month and a half?  I could start by saying I am taking my resolution from my pancake chat really seriously.  I have slowed down big time in some ways or at least I'm trying to savor time.  My version of "savoring" mostly involves naps and trying to do spontaneous things that might get a little harder come April.

But let's get real... mostly sleeping.  I have been trying really hard to share these cupcakes with you for the last month and a half, but somehow a nap has won out each and every time I had the chance.  I discovered the goodness of these on New Year's morning at about 7:00 am when I woke up wide eyed and ready to go.  I was up till 2 with the best of the them, but it's amazing how much more of a morning person I have become when I have been cut off from cocktails.  I knew it would be awhile till I could stir anyone to have breakfast with me after a late ringing in of the new year so I thought what better time to test out a red velvet cupcake recipe I had been dying to try?  Because that's what most of you wake up feeling compelled to do, right?  Ha.

All this to say, I fell in love, but when it came time to retest and take a few pics, I have chosen naps each and every time.  Until now...

And what do you know... just in time for the big V day.  That's all I will say about that.  You either embrace the day and want to work these cupcakes into your celebration or you would rather not hear about such a day and in that case, you should always know that Thursdays are special enough on their own to make cupcakes.
red velvet cupcakes 2
I happen to love red velvet cake, which makes me a tad picky on the subject.  I like a good dense and cocoa a'plenty cake with a smooth and sweet cream cheese icing.  This recipe had it all.  Hope you are having a lovely February.

From my little kitchen to yours... Enjoy.

Red Velvet Cupcakes
Adapted from “The Confetti Cakes Cookbook” by Elisa Strauss via the New York Times 2/14/07 via Smitten Kitchen
Makes: about 35 cupcakes
A note about buttermilk: Using real buttermilk is my preferred way to make this recipe.  However, if you really don't want to buy a jug, you can make your own using regular milk and vinegar.  Measure out 1 1/4 cup of regular milk.  Remove 1 1/2 tablespoons of the milk and discard.  Add 1 1/2 tablespoons of distilled white vinegar and stir.  Let sit for 10 minutes and use in place of buttermilk.
3 1/2 cups cake flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa (not Dutch process)
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 cups canola oil
2 1/4 cups granulated sugar
3 large eggs
6 tablespoons (3 ounces) red food coloring or 1 teaspoon red gel food coloring dissolved in 6 tablespoons of water
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1 1/4 cup buttermilk (or milk and vinegar mixture... see recipe note)
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 1/2 teaspoons white vinegar
Cream Cheese Frosting
2- 8 ounces packages of cream cheese, room temperature
1 cup (2 sticks) butter room temperature
6 cups confectioner’s sugar, sifted
2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cupcake pan with cupcake liners.  Place teaspoon of butter in each of 3 round 9-inch layer cake pans and place pans in oven for a few minutes until butter melts. Remove pans from oven, brush interior bottom and sides of each with butter and line bottoms with parchment.

Whisk cake flour, cocoa and salt in a bowl.  Place oil and sugar in bowl of an electric mixer and beat at medium speed until well-blended. Beat in eggs one at a time. With machine on low, very slowly add red food coloring. (Take care: it may splash.) Add vanilla. Add flour mixture alternately with buttermilk in two batches. Scrape down bowl and beat just long enough to combine.

Place baking soda in a small dish, stir in vinegar and add to batter with machine running. Beat for 10 seconds.  Fill each cupcake liner 3/4 the way full.  Bake for 15 minutes.  Baking times can vary greatly on your oven and how full you fill each cupcake.  Start checking at 12 minutes and leave in the oven until a toothpick inserted in the cupcake comes out clean.  Allow to cool completely.

While the cupcakes bake, make the icing.  Place cream cheese and butter in a medium bowl. With a handheld electric mixer, beat until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add sugar and vanilla. Beat, on low speed to combine. If too soft, chill until slightly stiff, about 10 minutes, before using.  Frost cupcakes with your preferred method.  You can put the icing in a piping bag fitted with a tip or simply pile on a couple of tablespoons of icing and smooth.  

1 comment:

  1. Ok Ashlea, these cupcakes look amazing and I am sure they are !
    I have your hair ties ready to preview

    "talk" to You soon, Cheryl