Holiday Baking #13: Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

Monday, December 13, 2010

A guest post from my friend Heather P. (read more about Heather at the bottom): 

As crazy as it may sound, I never had a red velvet cake until about 2 years ago.  I'd never heard of it before and wasn't really sold once I tasted it.  Since then, I've had a few more chances to taste red velvet cake and have definitely become a fan.  Except for the time a friend made them for me from a cake mix.  Just let me advise you to stay away from the red velvet cake mix - it's no where near as good and actually tastes kind of strange.  
So, on to the recipe.  I got this from a great food blog called  She has lots of great recipes, but I particularly liked that this recipe had been tested against at least 4 other red velvet cupcake recipes to see which was the best.  So, here's the winner - enjoy!

Click here for printable recipe.

Yield: about 24 cupcakes

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

1 tsp. distilled white vinegar

8 oz. cream cheese
5 Tbs. 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, whisk or sift together the cake flour, sugar, baking soda, cocoa powder and salt; whisk to blend.  I whisked it, but then ended up sifting it all together, since my cocoa was still lumpy.

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, about 3/4 full.  I like to use a cookie dough scooper, so that the portions are all the same.  Bake, rotating the pans halfway through baking, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 18 minutes (but check early so that you don't overbake!).
Let cool in the pans 5-10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. 


NOTE: I tripled the frosting recipe because I was making it for a double recipe of  cupcakes, so the pictures show more ingredients than you would normally have.  I
f you like lots of frosting, or like to pipe it to look fancy, you may want to increase the frosting quantity by 50% for a single recipe of cupcakes.

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.  

Sift confectioner's sugar.  

Gradually beat in the confectioners’ sugar until totally incorporated, increase the speed and then beat until smooth.

Fill a pastry bag with frosting.  I used a large star tip I purchased at "Bake It Pretty".  It was a big search to find really large frosting tips, since most stores don't carry them.  While this kind of cream cheese frosting was rather soft and wouldn't stand up like I would have liked, it was very tasty and I didn't want to mess with the powdered sugar to cream cheese ratio.

Decorate with little red sprinkles or any other decoration that strikes your fancy.

Then give most of them away so you don't eat them all.  They have a lovely, unique flavor that's hard to resist!


About Heather: 

With 5 young children at home, Heather is a busy mom!  She's one of the best cooks I know and being a fellow Minnesotan means I always have someone to practice my Northern accent with (Yah, sure.  You betcha).   I'm thrilled that Heather was able to share this delicious recipe with us today and having sampled one of these beautiful cupcakes myself, I do have to chime in that it was the best red velvet cake I'd ever had!     Thanks Heather!

Come back every day through December for a new holiday goody recipe! 
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Recipe Shoebox


K December 13, 2010 at 4:05 PM  

These look amazing! Thanks for the recipe Heather!

Bon-Bon December 13, 2010 at 6:02 PM  

I looooove red velvet anything! My Shellie has a great recipe, too. Thanks for sharing yours, Heather.

teresa December 13, 2010 at 7:58 PM  

what gorgeous cupcakes, well done!

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My name is Lara and while I'm definitely not a gourmet cook, I do love preparing tasty, healthy meals for my family. Finding new recipes to try and sharing the ones we've already fallen in love with is a passion I've had since college and the reason why I've started this blog! With five kids, I'm usually in a hurry, so you'll find most of these recipes kid friendly and simple to make.

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