Sunday, May 2, 2010

Red Velvet Cupcakes

It's my friend Becca's birthday! We celebrated over the weekend and I surprised her with these red velvet cupcakes topped with brown sugar cream cheese frosting. Becca loves chocolate—she's a self-proclaimed chocoholic.

Last year I surprised her with a triple chocolate cake. I wanted to do something different and then I remembered that she loves red velvet cupcakes. We had a chocolate, vanilla, and red velvet cupcake tree at our wedding. Becca didn't know there were red velvet and she took a chocolate one instead. She was so disappointed when she found out later. She wasn't disappointed with these cupcakes, and neither was I. After I arrived at the bar, I found out it was another friend's birthday, too. And it just so happens that Amanda loves red velvet as well. Happy birthday girls!

These were quite honestly the most perfect cupcakes I ever made. They were tender and moist with the perfect amount of tang from the buttermilk. The sweet icing perfectly complemented the cake.

Red Velvet Cupcakes with Brown Sugar Cream Cheese Icing
Cupcakes: adapted from Cake Man Raven as seen on Cathy's Kitchen Journey
Icing: adapted from Joy the Baker as seen on Beantown Baker

Red Velvet Cupcakes
2 and 1/2 cups cake flour (I used AP and replaced 5 tablespoons with cornstarch)
1 and 1/2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cocoa powder
1 cup of buttermilk
2 eggs
1 teaspoon white vinegar
1 and 1/2 cups vegetable oil
2 tablespoons (1 oz.) red food coloring
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a cupcake tin with 24 cupcake liners.

Whisk together flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, and cocoa powder and set aside. In another bowl beat together buttermilk, eggs, vinegar, vegetable oil, food coloring, and vanilla on medium speed until blended. Slowly add flour mixture and beat until combined.

Fill liners about 3/4 full and bake for 16 - 20 minutes. Cool completely before frosting.

Brown Sugar Cream Cheese Icing
1 stick butter, room temperature
8 oz cream cheese, room temperature
1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
pinch of salt
4 cups powdered sugar
2 - 4 tablespoons water (or milk)

Cream together the cream cheese and butter. Add brown sugar, salt, and vanilla and beat until incorporated. Add powdered sugar one cup at a time and water until desired consistency is reached. Beat well.

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