Monday, August 5, 2013

Red Velvet Cupcakes

As if those Chocolate Toffee Cupcakes with Whiskey weren't enough...  I thought it would be only fair to have a kid-friendly batch of cupcakes at the party as well.  Although there was hardly enough whiskey in those to intoxicate a bee, but you know.  Any excuse for more cupcakes.

And so it had to be Red Velvet.  Because everyone seems to love red velvet, except me, that is.  It's not that I dislike it, really - it tastes nice and all - but it's just not chocolate.  Or almond.  Or lemon.  All of those are far superior to red velvet, in my opinion.

But I can't deny how pretty it looks, with the striking red cake against creamy white cream cheese buttercream.  Very festive, really, which is why I thought blueberries would keep the red and white palate from being overly Christmasy, seeing as how it was only July.

And since I decorated the chocolate toffee cupcakes all exactly the same, I thought I would see just how many different looks I could create for the red velvet...

Simply swirled buttercream with blueberries.

A single fresh raspberry with red and white sprinkles.

A few cake crumbs.

Spiky buttercream that looked like little snow caps, with red sugar.

Pretty stars and hearts cake cutouts.

And although it's way too early to be thinking about Christmas baking yet, I sort of can't help it, since I'm picturing these with pretty little Christmas tree cutouts and a snowy dusting of powdered sugar...

One Year Ago:   Coconut Milk-Poached Orange Roughy with Curry Potatoes
Two Years AgoChocolate Pecan Skillet Cookie

Red Velvet Cupcakes

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 3/4 cups sugar
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 bottle (.75 ounces) Americolor Super Red gel food coloring
Cream Cheese Buttercream:
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 4 1/2 - 5 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons meringue powder
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • milk, if needed
  • cake crumbs and cake cutouts
  • sprinkles and sparkling sugar
  • fresh berries

Bake the Cake:
Preheat the oven to 350.  Line muffin tins with 30 paper cupcake liners.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, salt, and baking soda.  In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, oil, buttermilk, vinegar, vanilla and red food coloring.  Add the wet ingredients to the dry and whisk vigorously for several minutes until smooth and well blended.  Fill the cups 2/3 full.

Bake cupcakes for 18-20 minutes, until the tops spring back and a toothpick comes out clean.  Cool cupcakes in the pans for two minutes, then remove and set on wire racks, covered loosely with a clean kitchen towel and cool completely.

Make the Frosting:
In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the butter and cream cheese on medium speed for 2 minutes.  Gradually add the powdered sugar and meringue powder, mixing on low to combine.  Add the vanilla.  Increase speed to medium and beat for several minutes until smooth and creamy; add milk if needed to reach the desired consistency for spreading or piping.

Pipe the buttercream onto the cupcakes and garnish as desired.  For the cake cutouts, I sliced the rounded tops off a few cupcakes and used cookie cutters to cut shapes.  Then I frosted the cupcake and topped it with a cutout.

Recipe from Curly Girl Kitchen

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