Saturday, December 17, 2011

Red Velvet Cupcakes

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Classic Red Velvet cupcakes with smooth vanilla cream cheese frosting. Get creative and add some peppermint extract to the frosting for Christmas, sprinkles them with heart confetti sprinkles for Valentine's Day or an anniversary, even top them with a blueberry for 4th of July!

After my huge success making my Red Velvet Rose Water Cupcakes on the special champions episode of the Food Network's Cupcake Wars, one of the producers of the show asked me to provide some red velvet minis for a Parisian wedding shower she was hosting. I created some cute fondant toppers to fit the color scheme and decor. For the party, my cupcakes were displayed on a stand next to Cupcake Wars judge, Florian Bellanger's famous macaroons!

These classic cupcakes are simple to make and the frosting is phenomenal! For the cupcakes, simply sift the dry ingredients together to remove any lumps in the cocoa powder (if your dry ingredients are not well sifted you will have streaks or lumps of cocoa powder in your cake).

Beat in butter and oil.

Add half of the wet ingredients and beat for about a minute until smooth.

Add the rest of the wet ingredients until incorporated.

Scoop batter into pan and bake.

Top cooled cupcakes with cream cheese frosting and decorate!

Red Velvet Cupcakes

Yield: 20 standard cupcakes 
Note: To make a two layer cake, double the recipe and prepare batter as directed. Grease two 8-9" cake pans, and bake in preheated oven for 30-35 minutes.


Red Velvet Cupcakes:
  • 1 1/4 cup cake flour
  • 3/4 cup granulated white sugar
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder, dutch processed
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk, room temperature (click here to learn how to make buttermilk substitute)
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon red food coloring
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon white vinegar
Cream Cheese Frosting:
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup/4 oz) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 (8 ounce) block of cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • pinch salt
  • 2-4 cups powdered sugar, sifted


For the cupcakes:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a cupcake pan with baking cups. In a large bowl, sift together flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Beat in softened butter and oil on medium speed until the mixture resembles moist crumbs, about 1 minuteIn a measuring cup, whisk together buttermilk, egg, food coloring, vanilla and vinegar. Slowly add half of the wet ingredients to the flour/butter mixture and beat about 1 minute until batter is smooth. Scrape down sides of bowl. Slowly add remaining wet ingredients and beat about 30 seconds until incorporated.

Immediately distribute all of the batter between the baking cups. Bake standard size cupcakes for 16-20 minutes and minis for 8-10 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Cool completely on a wire rack before frosting.

For the frosting:
With an electric mixer, beat butter on medium speed until smooth, followed by the cream cheese  (make sure they are both at room temperature so you do not get lumps in your frosting). Add vanilla and salt. Gradually beat in powdered sugar until incorporated. Beat on medium speed for about 3 minutes, until smooth and creamy. Pipe or spread on top of cooled cupcakes.
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  1. will anything happen to the cupcakes if i use regular flour because i can't find cornstarch.

  2. The cupcakes will not be as soft, light and fluffy. If you only have all-purpose flour, I suggest using only 3/4c. Be sure to email in a photo so we can feature you! I would love to know how they turn out! Good luck.

  3. can i use powdered food coloring?

  4. can i use a gluten free flour instead of cake flour?

  5. Powdered food coloring should work just fine :)

  6. I have never tried the recipe using GF flour, but I don't see why it wouldn't work... be sure to email in a photo and let us know how they turn out so we can feature you!

  7. can i use beet juice?

  8. Hi, I'm new to your website and your videos....I see that you focus on smaller serving recipes which is great but if I want to use your recipes to yield a more traditional amount (i.e. 1-2 dozen) do I do the simple the math of doubling/tripling everything?