While it is safe to say we all like a dessert that will create a moment of utter bliss when we take that first bite, there are those times that all we want are tried and true classics that evoke nostalgia for a certain time and/or place or simply cannot be beat – i.e. a chocolate chip cookie, a yellow cake (or cupcake) with chocolate frosting or a chocolate cake (or cupcake) with vanilla frosting and more recently red velvet!
I cannot say for sure what makes Red Velvet so special. Is it the bold red color? The flavor that is somewhere along the lines of chocolate thanks to the addition of cocoa powder? Or maybe it’s the creamy cream cheese frosting? Who knows, all I know is that it’s delicious!
I began making the cupcakes by beating together butter and sugar until it was light fluffy.
In then mixed in eggs, buttermilk, vanilla extract and a fluid ounce of red food coloring, which essentially gives this cake its name. But, I should note that there are recipes out there – like this one and this one – that use beets instead to obtain that vivid red color. One more thing, if you wanted to make a red velvet cake in other colors you could simply just swap out the red food coloring for whatever color you wanted; i.e. a purple velvet cake, pink velvet cake, green velvet cake, etc…
By hand I then stirred in baking soda and vinegar and finally flour, cocoa powder and salt which I had combined in another bowl. I chose to incorporate these ingredients into the mixture by hand so I wouldn’t accidentally overbeat the batter which would turn out dense and dry cupcakes as opposed to the light and fluffy ones these turned out to be.
I then divided the batter among paper lined cupcake tins and baked them in a 350 F preheated oven for twenty minutes.
After the cupcakes had cooled it was time to frost them. I opted to frost them with a Cream Cheese Frosting as I think it’s the best flavor to enhance the flavors of the red velvet cake. I have had them with buttercream frosting and it’s just not the same.
I also sprinkled a few of the cupcakes’ with red velvet cake crumbs and they turned out tasting just as good as they looked!
Makes 20 Cupcakes
1/2 cup butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup buttermilk
1 fluid ounce red food coloring
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon salt
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line two muffin pans with 20 paper baking cups.
2. In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Mix in the eggs, buttermilk, red food coloring and vanilla. Stir in the baking soda and vinegar. Combine the flour, cocoa powder and salt; stir into the batter just until blended. Spoon the batter into the prepared cups, dividing evenly.
3. Bake in the preheated oven until the tops spring back when lightly pressed, 20 to 25 minutes. Cool in the pan set over a wire rack. When completely cooled frost.
2 – 8 ounce packages cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
In a medium bowl cream together the cream cheese and butter until creamy. Mix in the vanilla, and then gradually stir in the confectioners’ sugar.