Red velvet cupcakes have a moist and tender crumb with a subtle chocolate flavor which comes from using just a tablespoon of cocoa in this recipe. The buttermilk (which you can easily make at home too) makes them really light and fluffy. For me, the best part is the cream cheese frosting. I used the recipe from Joy of Baking. For the cupcakes , I followed the recipe as given but for the cream cheese frosting frosting I increased the sugar to one and a half cups. I’m not a fan of super sweet frostings but I felt that just half a cup of sugar with a block of cream cheese made the frosting taste salty. I also increased the vanilla by half a spoon.
1 tablespoons (10 grams) regular or Dutch-processed cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 cup (57 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cups (150 grams) granulated white sugar
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup (120 ml) buttermilk (To make buttermilk at home mix 1/2 cup milk with 1/2 tablespoon lemon juice or white vinegar. Let it stand for 5-10 minutes before using)
1 tablespoon liquid red food color
1/2 teaspoon white distilled vinegar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) and line 12 muffin tins with paper cupcake liners.
I2 )n a large bowl sift together the dry ingredients (flour, cocoa,baking powder, salt)
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).
4) Add the egg and beat until incorporated. Scrape downthe sides of the bowl.Add the vanilla extract and beat until combined.
5) 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.
6) In a small cup combine the vinegar and baking soda. Allow the mixture to fizz and then quickly fold into the cake batter.
7) 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.
8) Cool the cakes in their pans on a wire rack for 10 minutes and then remove from pan. Let cool completely before frosting.
Cream Cheese Frosting:
8 ounces (227 grams) block cream cheese, room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cup (60 grams) icing sugar, sifted
2/3 cup (160 ml) cold heavy whipping cream (double cream)
In the bowl of your electric mixer, or with a hand mixer, beat the cream cheese until smooth. Add the vanilla and icing sugar and beat until smooth. Using the whisk attachment, gradually add the heavy cream and whip until the frosting is thick.
One reason why I had resisted this cake for so long was because the idea of using so much food coloring didn’t really appeal to me. I had read about people’s attempts to use beet juice instead of artificial red color but they have not been successful in getting the bright red color that these cakes/cupcakes are known for. I guess it’s OK to use food coloring once in a while, since it is approved by the FDA. Even in my cake decorating ventures I try not to go overboard with food colors .