Sunday, October 4, 2009

Red Velvet Cupcakes

It really was a busy baking week for me - as Friday was my coworker Elise's official last day at work, I wanted to bake something special to mark the day. I had already baked a joint chocolate cake of sorts on Wednesday for her and for Janice, but Janice had gotten the brunt of the attention as that was her last day. So I decided to try making Red Velvet Cupcakes for the first time - I was quite pleased with how the recipe came out (courtesy of Beantown Baker):

Red Velvet Cupcakes
  • 2 1/2 c. cake flour
  • 1 1/2 c. sugar
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 TBSP cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 c. vegetable oil
  • 1 c. buttermilk
  • 2 TBSP (1 oz.) red food coloring
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp. white distilled vinegar

I was equally pleased and alarmed at how red the batter looked:

  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Sift together flour, sugar, baking soda, cocoa, and salt into a medium bowl.
  • Beat eggs, oil, buttermilk, food coloring, vanilla, and vinegar in a large bowl with an electric mixer until well combined.
  • Add dry ingredients and beat until smooth, about 2 minutes.
  • Scoop batter into cupcake pans (I ended up with 25 cupcakes).
  • Bake cakes until a toothpick inserted in the center of each cake comes out clean, 25–30 minutes (this recipe was originally developed for cakes, so I would try baking for 15 - 20 minutes).
  • Let cupcakes cool completely.
The cupcakes were still a nice shade of red after coming out of the oven:

I ended up going with a basic Cream Cheese Frosting recipe from but instead of the four cups of powdered sugar, I only used two cups as that was all I had left in the house! Luckily, the frosting still tasted good and had enough sweetness to balance out the cream cheese tang:

I decided to cover up my sloppy frosting job with some shaved chocolate - what you're seeing is the result of one Hershey's kiss grated with my hand dandy citrus grater - I love that they add some visual interest without any chocolate flavor to distract from the frosting:

The resulting cupcake was nice and moist and my coworkers raved about them as well:
But I have a confession to make. Yes, the cupcake was good but it wasn't anything special. It just didn't have any strong discernible flavor as far as I could tell. It wasn't a chocolate cake but it didn't have that subtle flavor that white cake has. It looked pretty and I feel like people liked it a lot because it was an interesting color and the fact that it came topped with tons of cream cheese frosting. Who doesn't love cream cheese frosting? But it was surprisingly easy to make, so I file this recipe away as a definite keeper.


Jen said...

Yours look great. I agree that I don't understand the fascination with red velvet... I guess just seeing cake so bright is appealing to some.

bcallegra said...

Agreed and I guess it is fun to take your first bite and see all the color peeking out!

Anonymous said...

i'm not much for chocolate (as you well know), but your cream cheese frosting is DIVINE!!! they look fabulous!! :)