Monday, February 17, 2014

Red Velvet Cupcake Recipe

Ok, so confession time.  I used to only eat Red Velvet Cake or Cupcakes because of the frosting.  However, after a few trial and error recipes in the kitchen, I've got a great recipe that will make you a believer in Red Velvet Cupcakes too.  Keep in mind this recipe is for cupcakes and cupcakes only.  Why you ask?  This recipe is very light, and not the dense, rich and heavy cake that Red Velvet is typically known for.  It is sweet with a hint of cocoa, and is balanced with a frosting that is creamy and has a slight tang.  Best of both worlds if you ask me!

Ingredients for Cake:
  • 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tablespoons buttermilk powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3 cups white sugar
  • 4 eggs, room temperature
  • 1 cup sour cream or plain yogurt
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 - 1 tablespoon red gel paste *you may also use liquid colouring, but will have to use a lot
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
Ingredients for Frosting:
  • 1- 8oz block creamcheese, cubed, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter or salted, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup shortening, room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon clear vanilla extract (this is imitation and used if you want to achieve a white frosting)
  • 1 - 1kg bag or 2lbs powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1/2 tsp salt (omit this if using salted butter)

1.  Preheat your oven to 325F if using dark non-stick muffin pans or 350F for light coloured pans.  Line 2 12-cup muffin pans with paper liners, or grease extremely well with a baking spray.

2.  In your stand mixer with a paddle attachment, or hand-mixer with the beater blades, beat your already softened butter for a minute on high.  Turn the speed down to lower, scrape down the sides of your bowl and add in the sugar.  Beat the butter and sugar on medium speed until it has creamed, or is light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.  While your butter and sugar are creaming, you can sift together your dry ingredients (flour, cocoa, baking soda, buttermilk powder and salt).

3.  Scrape down the bowl, and on medium speed slowly incorporate your eggs one at a time.  Once all the eggs have been incorporated, add in your sour cream, milk, gel paste colour and flavouring.  Mix until thoroughly combined.  At this point your batter will look like a curdled mess.  No worries, it will all come together.  

4.  With your mixer on low, gradually add in the flour mixture and mix until just combined.  Do not overmix your batter.

5.  Fill the wells of your muffin pan 2/3 full and bake for 15-18 minutes.  Remove from the oven when done and let cool.  While your cupcakes are cooling, work on your frosting.  


1.  With your clean bowl, beat the butter on medium speed until smooth, about 2-3 minutes.  Add in your shortening and beat that until the mixture lightens in colour.  Scrape down the bowl and add in the creamcheese cubes a couple of pieces at a time.  You worked hard to create a smooth mixture, you do not want to dump in the creamcheese and end up with chunks and lumps.  While this does not affect flavour, it will affect your the overall look of your piped frosting.  

2.  Once all of the fat (yes, it is ALL fat) is combined, turn your mixer down to low.  Toss in your vanilla and mix.  You will now add in your powdered sugar, 1/2 cup at a time, so as not to create a dust cloud in your kitchen and on yourself.  Trust me, it is not fun to clean, and your kids will laugh at you and tell the story to all of their friends, and their friends parents, and your neighbors and whoever else they think will get a kick out of it.    

3.  Beat your frosting until it is smooth.  It may be a touch thick, and if you need to, thin it out with some milk or cream, 1 tablespoon at a time.  I generally don't as I use this particular recipe because I like that it holds its shape when piped.  If you want a creamcheese frosting to be used as a filling, you may want to try a whipped creamcheese frosting instead.  Go ahead and fill your piping bag and toss that in the fridge and take the time to tidy up a bit.  Your cupcakes still need another 15 minutes or so to completely cool.  Piping frosting on now would result in a soupy mess.

Okay, so your cupcakes have been resting a good half an hour or so by now, and are ready to go.  I used a disposable piping bag and a Wilton 1M tip to achieve a 3 rosette design, but you can pipe any way you like.  Hell, if you want that rustic look, forgo the bag and use the back of spoon and smear on the frosting.  You can even make cupcakes in a jar, and layer it like a trifle.  Whatever you do, just make sure you are having fun doing it.  

1. Feel free to use pure vanilla extract, just know that your frosting may come out a bit yellow tinged.

2.  Don't have buttermilk powder?  Use fresh buttermilk in place of the whole milk for the cake recipe.  Don't have fresh buttermilk or buttermilk powder?  Remove 1/2 tablespoon of milk from your 1/2 cup, and replace that with 1 tablespoon of white vinegar or lemon juice.  Let the mixture sit for 5 minutes before using in your recipe.

Side Note:
My apologies for my absence.  I have been quite the busy bee working away on cookies and other orders in addition to getting ready for the Baker's Market.  The first market date was February 16th, and while I was prepared in terms of baked goods, I was not prepared for the madness!  It was busy, and stressful at times but so much fun!  I will be spending the next few days baking up a storm of more cookies, cupcakes and cakes for the weekend!

Until next time, Happy Baking!

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