I had every intention of blogging last weekend, but I got a little tied up with these red velvet cupcakes. A friend that I teach with had asked me to make red velvet cupcakes and wedding cake sugar cookies for her sisters cocktail wedding reception. I was beyond excited to take on the challenge.
I enjoyed that this project gave me an excuse to learn how to pipe frosting on cupcakes, instead of just frosting with a spatula by hand. I bought the Ateco 6-piece pastry tube set and did a few practice tries before I took to the actual cakes.
The bald cupcake: I thought I was close to the edge on these, but turns out I wasn't. They look bald, and skimpy on the frosting.
Now just a few notes on the actual cupcakes. As I researched out and found a few recipes I wanted to try, I found a lot of talk about using butter verses oil in the recipe. As you can see above, mine were a little oily, as I went the oil route in the recipe. But I found the oil recipes to be much more moist than the butter recipes, and no one likes dry cake. I did double up on the cupcake liners, and cooled them on a paper towel on top of my cooling rack. By the time I packaged them up they weren't greasy on the bottom at all. But do note that the cake its self wasn't oily to the taste, just moist and delicious! The recipe I ended up using comes from Cake Man Raven. He was featured on a Throwdown episode and I found his recipe again on the blog The Way the Cookie Crumbles, who does a great comparison of other red velvet recipes. This recipe was by far the easiest to make, very simple and straight forward.
Yields 24 cupcakes
2 1/2 c. cake flour
1 1/2 c. sugar
1 tsp. baking soda
1 TBSP cocoa powder
1 tsp. salt
1 1/2 c. vegetable oil
1 c. buttermilk
2 TBSP (1 oz.) red food coloring
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. white distilled vinegar
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.
Cream Cheese Frosting:
For the frosting:
8 oz. cream cheese
5 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2½ cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
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.
(Note: I used a lot more frosting when I used the piping bag than when I hand frosted. You may want to double or make a batch and a half.)
Source: Cake Man Raven, adapted from Annies Eats, and The Way the Cookie Crumbles