Saturday, September 25, 2010

Red Velvet Cupcakes

After hosting a Cupcake Bootcamp, I came home with cupcakes on the brain (naturally). Even after being surrounded by cupcakes all day, I figured I could play in the kitchen for a little while and make a nice batch with my nephew. He and I had fun making these Red Velvet Cupcakes from scratch... and I got a kick making him be Mr. Popular for a day...


Even though making cupcakes from a box mix is easy and convenient, I definitely like making them from scratch too. One of my favorite cupcake flavors is red velvet. It's essentially a chocolate cake that tastes like chocolate and vanilla and has red food coloring added for it's unmistakable color. The recipe comes from that Southern belle, Paula Deen. Her recipe is a classic Southern version and from my understanding, Southerners love red velvet cake. The usual suspects are combined - flour, sugar, baking soda and salt, along with cocoa powder. As for the wet ingredients, it's a little more interesting where oil, buttermilk, eggs, vinegar, vanilla extract and red food color are combined. There aren't too many cake recipes I've made involving vinegar, which makes red velvet pretty unique. As for frosting these cupcakes, I went with the ever favorite cream cheese frosting. These cupcakes will make everyone like you more than they already do! In fact, when my nephew took these cupcakes to church the next day, everyone flocked to him the minute he was holding the cupcake tray. I don't think he was expecting to be 'Mr. Popular'!


Red Velvet Cupcakes
recipe from Paula Deen

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cocoa powder
1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
1 cup buttermilk, room temperature
2 large eggs, room temperature
2 tablespoons red food coloring
1 teaspoon white distilled vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Frosting:
1 pound cream cheese, softened
2 sticks butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 cups sifted confectioners' sugar


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 (12-cup) muffin pans with cupcake papers.


In a medium mixing bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, and cocoa powder. In a large bowl gently beat together the oil, buttermilk, eggs, food coloring, vinegar, and vanilla with a handheld electric mixer.

Add the sifted dry ingredients to the wet and mix until smooth and thoroughly combined.


Divide the batter evenly among the cupcake tins about 2/3 filled. Bake in oven for about 20 to 22 minutes, turning the pans once, half way through. Test the cupcakes with a toothpick for doneness. Remove from oven and cool completely before frosting.


For the Cream Cheese Frosting:
In a large mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese, butter and vanilla together until smooth. Add the sugar and on low speed, beat until incorporated. Increase the speed to high and mix until very light and fluffy.