I’ve only tried red velvet cake once in my life. It was on my last birthday at an adorable and well-known bakery in Chicago. The cream cheese frosting was yummy but I wasn’t impressed with the cupcake itself. If you’re not wowed then it really isn’t worth the calories, right?
Red velvet cake is the quintessential Valentine’s Day dessert. Every year the box mixes seem to sell out quickly; it has become really trendy. I wanted to be a part of it. When it took me 3 grocery stores to find red food coloring I thought to myself, “these better be worth it”.
The chic bakery cupcakes had nothing on mine, and I practically made a dozen for the price I paid for one. They were fluffy and moist. And the cream cheese was a perfect match for the cake. I’m officially in love with red velvet.
Hop on the bandwagon and make these for your sweetie
Note: We opted for mini cupcakes therefore reduced our baking time to 12-15 minutes. Ours were ready in 12 minutes. Recipe as shown makes 1 dozen standard cupcakes; we got 2 dozen minis and several standard size ones too.
For the Cupcakes
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
¾ cup sugar
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
2½ tablespoons red food coloring
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup buttermilk
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon baking soda
1½ teaspoons distilled white vinegar
For the Frosting
1 stick butter, at room temperature
4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
2½ cups confectioners’ sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
For the Cupcakes:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Turn mixer to high and add the egg. Scrape down the bowl and beat until well incorporated.
In a separate bowl mix together cocoa powder, vanilla and red food coloring to make a thick paste. Add this to the batter, mixing until completely combined. You may need to stop the mixer to scrape the bottom of the bowl, making sure that all the batter gets color.
Turn mixer to low and slowly add half of the buttermilk. Add half of the flour and mix until combined. Scrape the bowl and repeat the process with the remaining buttermilk and flour. Beat on high until smooth.
Turn mixer to low and add salt, baking soda and vinegar. Turn to high and beat a few more minutes.
Divide the batter evenly into the lined pan and bake for 20-25 minutes (12-15 for minis), or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let the cupcakes cool in the pan for 5-10 minutes, and then place on a cooling rack to cool completely.
For the Frosting:
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the butter and cream cheese on medium-high speed until well incorporated and smooth, about 3 minutes. Scrape the bowl down as necessary. Add the vanilla and mix to combine. Reduce the speed to low and gradually add the confectioners’ sugar until all is incorporated. Increase the speed and whip until the frosting is light and fluffy, scraping the bowl as necessary.
Source: adapted from Joy the Baker, originally from Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook