Dec 8, 2010

Red Velvet Cupcakes

These cupcakes came to be in sort of an interesting way. I often will bake and then send it to work with James so that we don't have tons and tons of baked goods around here. Recently, someone said to James, "I just had a delicious red velvet cake. Think your wife can make that?" It was said as a joke. I took it as a challenge! (Challenge accepted.) I had these cupcakes starred in my Google Reader to make from Annie's Eats, so I went right to that recipe and out these came!

To be perfectly honest, I can't ever remember eating red velvet cake so I have no idea if these taste the way they are meant to. They are definitely moist with just a hint of chocolate, pairing perfectly with the cream cheese icing, but I don't know that they taste the way they should. No one complained to James about them, though, so I call that a success! :)

On an icing note, I increased the amounts by 50% as Annie suggested to make sure that I had enough to ice the cupcakes.

Red Velvet Cupcakes
as seen on Annie's Eats

For the cake:
2 1/2 cups cake flour*
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tbsp. cocoa powder
1 tsp. salt
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
1 cup buttermilk
2 tbsp. liquid red food coloring, or 1 tsp. red gel food coloring
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. distilled white vinegar

For the frosting:
8 oz. cream cheese
5 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
1 tbsp. heavy cream, if needed

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line cupcakes pans with paper liners.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the cake flour, sugar, baking soda, cocoa powder, and salt.
3. In a large bowl, combine eggs, vegetable oil, buttermilk, food coloring, vanilla, and vinegar. Using an electric mixer, beat on medium speed until well incorporated.
4. Mix in the dry ingredients carefully on a low speed. Beat until smooth.
5. Divide the batter evenly into the cupcake pans and bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes about clean, 17-18 minutes. Let cool in pan for 5-10 minutes before transferring to a rack to cool completely.
6. For the frosting: Combine the cream cheese and butter in the bowl of an electric mixer. Beat on medium high speed until well combined and smooth, 2-3 minutes. Add in the vanilla extract until combined.
7. Slowly add the confectioners' sugar until incorporated. Beat until smooth and frost cupcakes as desired.

*For a cake flour substitution: 1 cup cake flour = 7/8 cup all-purpose flour + 2 tbsp. cornstarch.

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