March 5, 2010

{recipe} Red Velvet Cupcakes

Test Recipes: Week 2!

I have come across a gazillion recipes for Red Velvet cakes, cupcakes, cookies, etc.  And it seems all of them have amazing ratings.  So I decided to try it out.  Basically, it's chocolate cake with red food coloring.  Since there are SO MANY recipes for Red Velvet whatever out there, I decided to go with Miss Know-It-All Marth Stewart for my first attempt.  While these cupcakes were definitely yummy, I didn't think they were anything spectacular.  I rated this recipe GOOD.  Actually, the cream cheese frosting was my favorite part (I think I would eat compost if it were covered in cream cheese frosting...num num).


2 1/2 cups cake flour (not self- rising), sifted
2 tablespoons unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
2 large eggs, room temperature
1/2 teaspoon red gel-paste food color**
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons distilled white vinegar
**(Gel paste is more concentrated color than liquid.  Use 1 to 1.5 oz. liquid food color if substituting.  I didn't see Martha's helpful hint until after the first pan of cupcakes was already in the oven.  So half my cupcakes turned out brown, and the other half looked red like they should and learn.)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners. Whisk together cake flour, cocoa, and salt.  With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, whisk together sugar and oil until combined. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until each is incorporated, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Mix in food color and vanilla.  Reduce speed to low. Add flour mixture in three batches, alternating with two additions of buttermilk, and whisking well after each. Stir together the baking soda and vinegar in a small bowl (it will foam); add mixture to the batter, and mix on medium speed 10 seconds.  Divide batter evenly among lined cups, filling each three-quarters full. Bake, rotating tins halfway through, until a cake tester inserted in centers comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Transfer tins to wire racks to cool completely before removing cupcakes. Cupcakes can be stored overnight at room temperature, or frozen up to 2 months, in airtight containers.  To finish, use a small offset spatula to spread cupcakes with frosting. Refrigerate up to 3 days in airtight containers; bring to room temperature before serving.
I couldn't believe how RED the batter actually was.  It looks like lava...
Don't forget the Cream Cheese Frosting!  This is now my go-to recipe for CCF :)  Except I made half a recipe and it was more than enough.
8 ounces (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
12 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1 pound (4 cups) confectioners' sugar, sifted
3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Beat butter and cream cheese with a mixer on medium-high speed until fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Reduce speed to low. Add sugar, 1 cup at a time, and then vanilla; mix until smooth. Frosting can be refrigerated for up to 3 days; before using, bring to room temperature, and beat until smooth.
My coworkers get to reap some of the benefits to my test recipes.  Especially the sweets.  I just don't need 24 cupcakes tempting me at my apartment.  Especially if they have cream cheese frosting.... :P

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