Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Red Velvet Cupcakes for Valentine's Day

Oh my goodness, it is practically March, and this is my first post for the year! Honestly, I have not been doing a whole lot of baking or crafting lately. Shocking, I know. I won't get into the details, and instead will share the yummy red velvet cupcake recipe I found for Valentine's Day.

This is the second red velvet recipe I have tried. The first came from Martha Stewart's Cupcakes book. While it was decent and makes a more rust-colored cupcake, it was not nearly as good at the one I found on the Grin and Bake it Blog...and of course it's an ATK recipe! The frosting came from allrecipes.com.

I got some very nice reviews after this batch (I got two dozen out of this). Hope you do too!

By the way, the photos are by Ms. P. Thank you, Ms. P. for making my cupcakes look so pretty.

Red Velvet Cupcakes
from the Grin and Bake It Blog

1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
Pinch salt
1 cup buttermilk
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons natural, unsweetened cocoa powder
2-4 tablespoons liquid red food coloring*
1 1/2 cups sugar

Adjust an oven rack to the middle position, and preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Whisk the flour, baking soda, and salt together. Whisk the buttermilk, vinegar, vanilla, and eggs together. Mix the cocoa and food coloring to make a paste*.

With an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar on medium-high until light and fluffy, about three minutes. Scrape down the bowl as necessary. Add 1/2 of the flour mixture and beat on low until combined, about 30 seconds.

Add 1/2 the buttermilk mixture and beat on low until combined, about 30 seconds. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Repeat, ending with the buttermilk mixture. Add the cocoa powder-food coloring mixture, and mix on medium until completely incorporated, about 30 seconds. Using a rubber spatula, give the batter a final stir.

Divide the batter evenly into cupcake pans. Bake about 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the centers come out clean, about 20 minutes. Remove the oven, and cool completely before frosting.

*Instead of regular food coloring, I used Wilton's red food coloring gel. You need only about 1/2 teaspoon to get a dark red color. I also tried to mix it with the cocoa powder, but the gel is quite thick, and you can just add it in when you are using the hand-mixer.

Cream Cheese Frosting
from allrecipes.com
2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 cups sifted confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

In a medium bowl, cream together the cream cheese and butter until creamy. Mix in the vanilla, then gradually stir in the confectioners' sugar. Store in the refrigerator after use.