Sunday, January 23, 2011

Red Velvet Cupcakes

My {southern} brother-in-law introduced our family to red velvet cake when he started dating my sister. It was something his grandmother made for him growing up. I've only had this cake with cream cheese frosting. That's what sold me on this. The cake is good, but the frosting, amazing.

Red Velvet Cupcakes
Makes 30-36


For the cake:
3 1/2 cups cake flour (not self-rising)
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
2 cups sugar
3 large eggs, at room temperature
6 tablespoons red food coloring*
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
1 1/2 teaspoons cider vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

For the cream cheese frosting:
12 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
2 (8 oz.) packages cream cheese, softened
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 to 4 tablespoons milk
8 cups powdered sugar

To make the cake: Arrange the oven racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line cupcake pans with cupcake liners.
In a small bowl, sift the cake flour and set aside**. In a large bowl, on the medium speed of an electric mixer, cream the butter for 2 minutes. With the mixer on, add the sugar slowly and beat until very light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. In a small bowl, whisk together the red food coloring, cocoa, and vanilla. Add to the batter and beat well.

In a measuring cup, stir the salt into the buttermilk. Add to the batter in three parts alternating with the flour. With each addition, beat until the ingredients are incorporated, but do not overbeat. In a small bowl, stir together the cider vinegar and baking soda. Add to the batter and mix well. Using a rubber spatula, scrape down the batter in the bowl, making sure the ingredients are well blended and the batter is smooth.

Divide the batter between the cupcake liners, filling each about 2/3-full. Bake the cupcakes, switching positions of the pans halfway through baking, about 20 minutes total or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool the cupcakes in the pan 10 minutes, then remove from the pan and cool completely on a rack before icing.

To make the cream cheese frosting: Beat cream cheese, butter and vanilla in bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until well combined. Gradually add powdered sugar. Add milk by tablespoonful until frosting reaches desired spreading consistency.

Fill a pastry bag fitted with a decorative tip with the frosting and frost cooled cupcakes as desired. (I used a Wilton 1M tip)

*I do not use the full 6 tablespoons of food coloring called for. Seems like overkill to me. I usually half it and still get a nice red color (my pictures are faded a bit by blogger...)
**A lot of times, I skip the sifting. Not a big difference if you want to skip this step.

Source: Magnolia's via Epicurious, Frosting: Pillsbury


  1. Looks fantastic! I will give this a whirl.

  2. yum yum. you make the best cupcakes everrr.

  3. how's about i knit you one boy sweater for each batch of these that you make me? everybody wins.

  4. i'll have one for you at the next mops meeting.



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