Sunday, May 29, 2011

Red Velvet Cupcakes

My Mom recently had a Birthday and I offered to make her Birthday dessert. I was eager to try my hand at red velvet cake and this was the perfect occasion. I asked her if she wanted a cake or cupcakes and she chose Birthday cupcakes! Awesome! Cupcakes are easy, transportable and always well received.

I've never eaten red velvet cake before. I always had this preconceived notion that it would taste 'funny'... as if there was an absurd ingredient in it or something. Who knows. I was wrong. I was so wrong. These were phenomenal. They were perfectly moist and oh so delicious. Oh, and that cream cheese frosting? It was TDF (to.die.for). Definitely the perfect companion for my new beloved red velvet.

Annie never lets me down. I found this red velvet recipe on her website and it was perfect.

The batter is a beautiful, deep red color!
Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting
Source: Annie's Eats
Yield: about 24 cupcakes

For the cake:
2½ cups cake flour
1½ cups sugar
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tbsp. cocoa powder
1 tsp. salt
2 large eggs
1½ cups vegetable oil
1 cup buttermilk
2 tbsp. (1 oz.) liquid red food coloring
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. distilled white vinegar

For the frosting (see note at end)
8 oz. cream cheese
5 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2½ cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted

Preheat the oven to 350° F. Line cupcake pans with paper liners. In a medium bowl, combine the cake flour, sugar, baking soda, cocoa powder and salt; whisk to blend. In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the eggs, vegetable oil, buttermilk, food coloring, vanilla and vinegar. Beat on medium speed until well blended. Mix in the dry ingredients on low speed and beat until smooth, about 2 minutes.

Divide the batter evenly between the prepared liners. Bake, rotating the pans halfway through baking, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 18 minutes. Let cool in the pans 5-10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

To make 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, about 2-3 minutes. Mix in the vanilla extract. Gradually beat in the confectioners’ sugar until totally incorporated, increase the speed and then beat until smooth. Frost cooled cupcakes as desired. In my picture I used a Ziploc bag with a hole snipped at the end. My Mom doesn't have piping bags on hand (not many people I know do) and I didn't think to bring one with.

*Annie recommends to increase the quantities by 50% to make more frosting. This will allow you to have more frosting on your cupcake and if you're swirling it by using a large star tip, you'll want to have the additional frosting. You may end up with some frosting leftover, but hey, you'd rather have that than to be short frosting, right?

I had these cute edible decorations left from Christmastime and I used those to decorate a few of the cupcakes. Although they are edible, I don't think they're desirable. I don't know about you but when I'm eating a cupcake, I really don't want to bite into a hard crunch. I think they're really pretty on these cupcakes though. It really makes them look elegant; like little pearls.

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