red velvet cupcakes with cream cheese frosting

I have been asked on many occasions – how to make Red Velvet Cupcakes.

I am not a huge cake-person. I would taste what I bake to be sure the bakes are edible, but I rarely order desserts, or sit down to eat cake. I like baking them a lot though. 🙂

Traditionally, red velvet cakes were made with beetroot, hence the deep, red colour, but (I can hear the LAM laughing hysterically right now) I absolutely, 100%, detest beetroot. So if I had to use beetroot, I would never, ever have made these cupcakes.

Thankfully, we have now evolved (some might say degenerated) and beetroot has largely been replaced with red food colouring.

Yay for me, Boo for food purists.

All that aside, red velvet cupcakes are really easy to make. I whipped these up in 15 minutes, baked them, cooled them and frosted them.

Easy, peasy.

To start, I added the vegetable oil, buttermilk, egg, vanilla extract and vinegar in the mixing bowl of a food processor. I used the paddle attachment of the mixer to mix everything.

In the meantime, I sifted flour with baking soda, cocoa powder and salt. I added the sugar to this as well.

This was added to the wet ingredients in 2 or 3 additions.

And finally I added red food colouring. And mixed.

Using an ice cream scoop, I ladled the batter into cupcake liners.

The cupcakes were baked for about 20-25 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the cakes emerged cleanly.

The cupcakes were transferred onto a wire rack to cool completely.

To make the frosting, I whisked cream cheese with unsalted butter.

And vanilla extract.

And finally, the sifted icing sugar. Until I had achieved a consistency that I could use for piping.

All that was left was to frost the cupcakes.

And eat.

Did I not tell you this was really easy? 🙂

Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting
Yields 12
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For the cupcakes
  1. 1 1/4 cups cake flour
  2. 3/4 cups sugar
  3. 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  4. 1/2 tablespoon cocoa powder - I used Valrhona
  5. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  6. 1 egg
  7. 3/4 cups vegetable oil - I used canola oil
  8. 1/2 cup buttermilk
  9. 1 tablespoon red food coloring - I used Wilton Red-Red
  10. 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  11. 1 teaspoon white distilled vinegar - I used white wine vinegar
For the Frosting
  1. 4 oz cream cheese, room temperature
  2. 4 oz unsalted butter, room temperature
  3. 3 teaspoon vanilla extract
  4. 2 1/2 - 3 cups icing sugar, sifted
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 170C. Line a 12-cup muffin tins with paper liners. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, sift together flour, sugar, baking soda, cocoa powder and salt. In a separate large bowl, whisk together the egg, vegetable oil, buttermilk, food coloring, vanilla and vinegar until well combined. (I added food colouring after I had mixed the wet and dry ingredients so that I had better control of the colour.)
  3. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet, scraping down the sides of the bowl as you go.
  4. Distribute the batter evenly between the muffin cups and bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, approximately 20-25 minutes.
  5. Remove from the oven and let cool completely on a wire rack.
  6. For the frosting, use an electric mixer to combine the cream cheese, butter and vanilla extract. Add the icing sugar in batches until well combined.
  7. Spoon frosting into a pastry bag and slowly pipe onto the cupcake, starting from the outside and working your way in a circular motion into the center.
  8. Refrigerate if not eating immediately.
Adapted from Saveur
Adapted from Saveur
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