What can I say about Red Velvet Cupcakes, other than YUM!!!! Ok, aside from the cream cheese frosting (which I have already expressed my obsession with on other posts) – the cake is just so moist and delicious, I could just go on and on. These are definitely on the short list of my all time favorite treats.
Last year for the dessert frenzy at an auction, I made my first (in many years) red velvet cake. I was worried that it wouldn’t be fancy enough, so I decorated it with berries, and piped the frosting in a nice design – and it was a huge hit. The table that selected it just happened to sit right next to our table, and they devoured it. Fortunately I was able to secure a small sliver just to try it. There was only one problem – I didn’t have enough food coloring, so the cake was a mild chocolate pink. It never got that really deep dark red color. I apologized to the table, but they didn’t care – in fact, they liked that they weren’t ingesting huge amounts of red dye into their bodies. Recently I saw this recipe in Cooking Light – and of course because it was red velvet, I had to try it. Instead of the 2 sticks of butter I used last year for the cake, I used 6 tablespoons for the 24 cupcakes (I only have 2 cupcake pans, so I made mine extra-large) – and let me tell you, I could not taste the difference. These cupcakes were fabulous – and the icing – oh my goodness what a treat. You can also lighten up the frosting a bit by using light cream cheese – but I had regular cream cheese in the house, so that’ s what I used. The cupcakes had the perfect amount of frosting to cake ratio in my opinion. And this time, I had the right amount of food coloring, so the cake was the beautiful deep dark red that it is supposed to be. It was a match that was definitely meant to be. This recipe is a keeper – in fact, I can’t wait to make them again.
- Cooking spray
- 10 ounce cake flour (about 2 1/2 cups)
- 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- 2 large eggs
- 1 1/4 cups non-fat buttermilk
- 1 1/2 teaspoons white vinegar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons red food coloring (about 1 ounce)
- 5 tablespoons butter, softened
- 4 teaspoons non-fat buttermilk
- 1 (8-ounce) block cream cheese, softened
- 3 1/2 cups powdered sugar (about 1 pound)
- 1 1/4 teaspoons vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350°.
To prepare the cupcakes, place 24-30 (depending on how big you want your cupcakes to be) paper muffin cup liners in muffin cups; coat with cooking spray.
Weigh or lightly spoon cake flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine cake flour, unsweetened cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl; stir with a whisk. Place granulated sugar and unsalted butter in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until well blended (about 3 minutes). Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Add flour mixture and 1 1/4 cups nonfat buttermilk alternately to sugar mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Add white vinegar, 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla, and food coloring; beat well.
Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups. Bake at 350° for 20 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan 10 minutes on wire rack; remove from pan. Cool completely on wire racks.
To prepare frosting, beat 5 tablespoons butter, 4 teaspoons nonfat buttermilk, and cream cheese with a mixer at high speed until fluffy. Gradually add powdered sugar; beat until smooth. Add 1 1/4 teaspoons vanilla; beat well. Spread frosting evenly over cupcakes.
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