Saturday, July 31, 2010

Red Velvet Cupcakes

I have never made Red Velvet cupcakes, but I have tried them and I much prefer a regular chocolate cupcake. I was recently prompted by a friend for a recipe to make them and I was ashamed to say that I didn't have one because I haven't made them! (thus this photo is by Con Poulos and not mine like all of the others and I'll add mine when I've made them) In an attempt to limit the amount of red dye commonly used in these classic treats I decided on Martha Stewart's version. However if the fire truck red color is desired these would need a lot more dye! I also found that beets are a great way to get the color naturally and is how Red Velvet were originally made. Cream cheese frosting is the traditional topping, but I plan to experiment with both cream cheese and a creamy vanilla frosting I found in More from Magnolia by Allysa Torey that does not use cream cheese. As an after note I was in William Sonoma and they were giving samples of their red velvet box mix. I'm usually biased to cake mixes and veer as far a way from possible, but it was pretty good and would be quick and easy in a pinch!
Red Velvet Cake Recipe:
2 1/2 cups cake flour (not self-rising), sifted
2 tablespoons unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
2 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon red gel paste (or a 1.5 oz. bottle of liquid coloring)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and line muffin tins with paper liners
2. Whisk cake flour, cocoa powder, and salt together and set aside
3. With an electric mixer on medium- high speed whisk sugar and oil until combined. Add eggs one at a time mixing until blended after each addition. Mix in vanilla and food color.
4.  Reduce mixer speed to low. Add flour mixture in 3 batches alternating with 2 additions of buttermilk. Stir together the baking soda and vinegar seperately (it will foam!) and add to batter mixing for exactly 10 seconds.
5. Divide batter evenly among cups (3/4 full) and bake rotating half way through. Bake until tester comes out clean about 20 minutes. Cupcakes only keep at room temperature for a few days and will keep in a freezer for 2 weeks  (I recommend taking any that you don't use right away and freezing for later)
6. To finish use a small spatula to spread the frosting across the top. They will keep in frosted in the refrigerator for a few days. Serve room temperature.

Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe:
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter room temperature
12 ounces plain cream cheese room temperature
4 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1. Beat butter and cream cheese together on an electric mixer until fluffy. (2-3 minutes)
2. Reduce speed to low and add confectioners' sugar a 1/2 cup at a time beating until combined after each addition. Stir in vanilla.

Creamy Vanilla Frosting Recipe:
(I cut this recipe in half because in full it makes enough for a 3 layer 9 inch cake) I recommend making the cake or cupcakes in advance as this frosting requires time and planning.
3 tablespoons flour
1 cup milk
1 cup (2 sticks) butter
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1. In a medium saucepan over medium heat whisk flour and milk until smooth and stir over heat until it becomes thick and begins to bubble (10-15 minutes). Cover with wax paper and cool to room temperature for 30 minutes
2.  Beat butter in a large mixing bowl for 3 minutes at high speed gradually add sugar and beat for an additional 3 minutes. Add vanilla, beat well.
3. Add cooled milk mixture and beat on medium high for 5 minutes until very smooth. Mixture should be noticeably whiter in color. Cover and refrigerate for exactly 15 minutes. (No more, no less- set a timer!) Use immediately.


  1. Thank you so so much for posting this! I still haven't satisfied my craving for red velvet, but this might do the trick!
    I'm a little intimidated by making my own frosting, but it'll feel good knowing I did it myself.
    Thanks again! I'm picking up the ingredients tomorrow and making them first thing Monday afternoon :)

  2. These look delicious! I'm totally making these this week.

    P.S., you won an award on my blog. You can read that post @