Monday, February 4, 2013

Classic Red Velvet Cupcakes

I have very strong feelings about the red velvet craze sweeping the nation these days.  I'm just not okay with it.
Please let me explain myself.  Red velvet, real red velvet, is delicious.  It's slightly tangy (thanks to vinegar or buttermilk in the batter) but smooth and deep with flavor.  It's got a kick of cream cheese or cooked roux frosting.  It's goes down easy.  BUT.  BUT, people have lost their dang minds with red velvet in 2013.
Red Velvet Whoopie Pies?  Ok fine, it's like cupcakes, inside out.  Red Velvet Scones?  Ehhh alright, I guess.  Red Velvet Puppy Chow?  huh?  Red Velvet Popcorn?!  No, absolutely not.  Red Velvet Popcorn is a thing I saw on Pinterest with my own eyes, America.  And it has to stop.  And I don't mean to bash the blogger who came up with Red Velvet Popcorn.  Mad props girl cuz that's creative!  And I really mean that because people love Red Velvet anything.  Buuuttt it's sorta not really Red Velvet.  It's just red food coloring.

And by no means do I mean to claim that I'm using some old-school beet juice to color my Red Velvet. Heck no, it's 2013 after all.  But I do use a touch of cocoa and a classic acidic ingredient to create a true red velvet.  I guess what I'm saying is, red food coloring alone does not Red Velvet make.

Sometimes I make a single jumbo cupcake for myself.  Normal, yes?

And why I've chosen Red Velvet cupcakes to make a statement about my values, I do not know.  I think because truly good Red Velvet should be distinguished from boxed mixes or a few drops of food dye.  I'm nothing if not passionate.  And a little crazy.  

Here's the recipe!  


4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg
2 1/2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
3 tablespoons red food coloring
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons distilled white vinegar

For frosting:

1/2 stick of butter (4 tablespoons), at room temperature
1 8 oz. package of cream cheese, at room temperature
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract


1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a standard cupcake pan with liners of your choice.

2.  On med-high speed, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes.  Turn the mixer to high and add the egg. Be sure to scrape down the bowl and beat until well incorporated.

3.  In a separate small bowl, mix together the cocoa powder, vanilla extract and red food coloring to make a thick paste.  Add the paste to the batter and mix on medium speed until completely combined. Scrape the bowl to evenly distribute the color if necessary.  

4.  Reduce the mixer speed to low and slowly add half of the buttermilk, then add half of the flour and mix until combined.  Scrape the bowl and repeat the process with the remaining milk and flour. Beat on high until smooth.

5.  Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the salt, baking soda and vinegar.  Turn to high and beat for about 2 minutes until completely combined and smooth.

6.  Divide the batter evenly between the cupcake liners and bake for about 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.  Cool for 10 minutes in the pan and then remove cupcakes from the pan and place them on a cooling rack to cool completely before frosting.

To make the frosting: 
With your mixer, whip the butter and cream cheese on high speed for about 5 minutes, scraping the bowl down as necessary. Reduce the speed to low and slowly add the powdered sugar until all is incorporated, scraping down the bowl as needed.  Add the vanilla and mix to combine. Increase the speed to medium high and whip for 3-4 minutes until the frosting is light and fluffy.  Frost as desired.  

Recipe from Baker Chick


  1. Love your blog! It's nice to see someone else who enjoys baking as much as I do! Definitely giving these cupcakes a go!! Keep it up :) Here's mine if you fancy a gander!

  2. A reader from the UK?! You've made my day! And by the way, your Little Devil Brownies look absolutely amazing. Oreos in anything is always right.