Monthly Archives: August 2008

Red Velvet Cupcakes

I had never heard of red velvet cake (RVC) until a few months ago (I must have been living under a rock!) and at first I thought it was a bit tacky. I also didn’t like the idea of all that food coloring being added (although I understand that RVC can also be colored with beets or strawberries). But eventually my curiosity won and I had to make these for myself.

After reading a post at Bake & Destroy about Magnolia Bakery’s RVC recipe I decided that this would be the recipe I would use. I am so glad I chose this recipe, so thank you Bake & Destroy for posting your review of these!

Red Velvet Cupcakes

I used Magnolia Bakery’s cream cheese frosting recipe as well, and topped them with RVC crumbs. I had to hurry to take these photos because the cream cheese frosting was quickly melting into a goopy mess!

But, wow, these cupcakes are fantastic! So moist and delicious, and the red color is perfect for my tastes.

Red Velvet Cupcakes

Red Velvet Cupcakes

3 1/3 cups cake flour (not self-rising)
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
2 1/4 cups sugar
3 large eggs, at room temperature
6 tablespoons red food coloring
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
1 1/2 teaspoons cider vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Grease and lightly flour three 9 x 2-inch round cake pans, then line the bottoms with waxed paper.

To make the cake: In a small bowl, sift the cake flour and set aside. In a large bowl, on the medium speed of an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar until very light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.

In a small bowl, whisk together the red food coloring, cocoa, and vanilla. Add to the batter and beat well.

In a measuring cup, stir the salt into the buttermilk. Add to the batter in three parts, alternating with the flour. With each addition, beat until the ingredients are incorporated, but do not overheat.

In a small bowl, stir together the cider vinegar and baking soda. Add to the batter and mix well. Using a rubber spatula, scrape down the batter in the bowl, making sure the ingredients are well blended and the batter is smooth.

Divide the batter among the prepared pans. Bake for 30-40 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Let the layers cool in the pans for 1 hour. Remove from the pans and cool completely on a wire rack.

When the cake has cooled, spread the frosting between the layers, then the ice top and sides of the cake with frosting.

Makes one 3-layer 9-inch cake. (Or about three dozen cupcakes.)

* I cut the recipe into thirds and ended up with 11 cupcakes. For help with recipe calculations, visit this page.

* I made my own buttermilk by adding 1 tablespoon of white vinegar to 1 cup of milk, then let it sit for 5 minutes.

* I used regular white vinegar instead of cider vinegar.

Cream Cheese Frosting

1 pound (two 8-ounce packages) cream cheese, softened and cut into small pieces
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened and cut into small pieces
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
5 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar

In a large bowl, on the medium speed of an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and butter until smooth, about 3 minutes. Add the vanilla and beat well. Gradually add the sugar, 1 cup at a time, beating continuously until smooth and creamy. Cover and refrigerate icing for 2 to 3 hours, but no longer, to thicken before using.

Makes enough for one 2- or 3-layer 9-inch cake.

*I cut this recipe in half and was able to use most of the frosting for my 11 cupcakes.