Friday, April 13, 2012

Red Velvet Cupcakes

I adore red velvet. Adoration might not even be a strong enough word. This is absolutely pure love-a forever and ever I do kind of love.This recipe for red velvet cupcakes is divine. I had my go-to recipe for red velvet cupcakes, and was extremely hesitant to try another one. If  it ain't broke why fix it? Boy am I glad I did though! I found this recipe on Annie's Eats. Surprise, surprise! I love her blog and can't seem to get enough. Amazing photos and just an overall beautifully done site. Do you give photography lessons? Annie are you listening?

Ok- back to the cupcakes! Red velvet if you are somehow unfamiliar to this delicious dessert it is a buttermilk based cupcake with a hint of cocoa, and of course red food coloring added in! According to history, during World War II, because foods were being rationed bakers used boiled beets to enhance the color of their cakes and also to help retain moisture.  I know some people shy away from the food coloring and still prefer to use the beet method. No beets for me please.  The thought of beets somehow doesn't sit well with me, and frankly food coloring is just plain easier.  A full 2 oz. is used in this recipe and I think the final color on these cupcakes is spot on. 
Frost these with cream cheese frosting and you will surely, sinfully, be grabbing more than one.
P.s. Annie suggests using clear vanilla extract to get an even more pure color.  Having none, I stuck with my favorite brand of pure vanilla extract.

P.p.s I only made one batch of the frosting and was only able to frost half of the cupcakes. What can I say I'm a girl who likes her frosting. If you like frosting as much as I do I would double the recipe. I ended up freezing my "naked", aka unfrosted, cupcakes. Can't let those beauties go to waste!

Red Velvet Cupcakes
Adapted from Annie's Eats
For the cake:
2½ cups cake flour
1½ cups sugar
1 tsp. baking soda
2 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:*
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. (I used a large, unlabeled star tip to frost these cupcakes.)

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