Monday, September 19, 2011

Red Velvet Cupcakes


Red velvet cupcakes are kind of a mystery to me. Sure, they are delicious but what is with all the red food dye? Couldn't they be green or blue or any other color? I tried researching this and so far I haven't come across an answer to my liking. Oh well, I guess they wouldn't be Red Velvet Cupcakes. So I went ahead and dyed mine red too, but I think I would have eaten these in any color because they were so good. Unbelievably light and moist, with just a hint of cocoa flavor. And I think I have found my new favorite cream cheese frosting. It had the perfect balance of tang, sweetness, and creaminess. I loved the cake and my husband loved the frosting, so put these together and you really can't go wrong! 

Red Velvet Cupcakes
Servings: 24 cupcakes

Cupcakes:
2 1/2 cups cake flour
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tbsp. cocoa powder
1 tsp. salt
2 large eggs
1 1/4 cups canola or vegetable oil
1 cup buttermilk
2 tbsp. (1 oz.) liquid red food coloring
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. white distilled vinegar

Cream Cheese Frosting*:
8 oz. cream cheese, chilled
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
3 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
1 tsp. vanilla extract

To make the cupcakes, preheat the oven to 350°. Line two cupcake pans with liners. Sift the cake flour, sugar, baking soda, cocoa powder, and salt together. Set aside. Using an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the eggs, oil, buttermilk, red food coloring, vanilla, and vinegar together on medium speed until well blended. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula as necessary. Slowly add in the dry ingredients and mix on low speed just until incorporated.

Fill the cupcake liners ~2/3 full. Bake for 17-19 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let the cupcakes cool in the pan for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

To make the frosting, using an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment or hand held mixer, beat the chilled cream cheese and butter together until light and fluffy. Add the confectioners' sugar and vanilla and beat, starting on low speed and increasing to medium speed, until a smooth frosting forms. Frost the cooled cupcakes as desired.

* This makes enough for a thin layer of frosting so if you like a lot of frosting, increase the amount. 

Source: cupcakes from The Way the Cookie Crumbles, originally from Apple A Day and www.saveur.com; frosting adapted from Smitten Kitchen

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