Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Icing

I saw Red Velvet Cupcakes on And Then I Do The Dishes and they looked delicious!! They seemed perfect for Valentine's Day and great for my constant sweet tooth craving! That and a little encouragement from my friend, Sue, and I decided to make red velvet cupcakes from scratch!

I used the recipe from Brown Eyed Baker (see below) although I have to admit I was skeptical because the recipe called for vinegar. What kind of cupcake has vinegar? Some of you may be laughing at this but I hoping that I'm not alone.

Anyway, after doing a little research, I realized I knew nothing about red velvet cake, aside from the fact that it was red.

Apparently traditional red velvet cake (or in my case cupcake) recipes have a few common ingredients – white vinegar, buttermilk, baking soda and cocoa. The reaction of the vinegar and buttermilk was believed to reveal the red from the cocoa. Historically they used to be known for the fine crumb and the rich taste of cocoa and brown sugar. Recipes have since added red food coloring to enhance the color and they are more known for their red color more than the taste.

I think this is why I was caught a little off guard when I first tasted the cupcake. It tasted very different than the Betty Crocker box mix I was used to. With my new appreciation for this type of cake, I have to say, this recipe is supreme!! And the icing is delicious! My family loves them and my son can't get enough about the cream cheese icing.

I followed the below recipe almost to a 't'. The only exception is that I ran out of food coloring so I only used one ounce versus the three ounces the recipe requires. I don't have any 'in progress' photos because my mixer is faulty and only has one speed – super high, create a mess and fling food all over the kitchen speed. Which could be why I ran a little short on cake mix and why my cupcakes were a little smaller than they should have been. {I opted to only fill the liners a little over half way than to short myself a cupcake or two}.

For anyone interested in creating a decorative icing design, I used a 1M tip open star decorative tip. I started from the outer edge of the cupcake outlining the cupcake and working my way in.

Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting (courtesy the Brown Eyed Baker)

Yield: 12 cupcakes

Prep Time: 15 minutes | Bake Time: 20 minutes

For the Cupcakes:
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
¾ cup granulated sugar
1 egg
2½ tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
3 tablespoons red food coloring
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup buttermilk
1 cup + 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon baking soda
1½ teaspoons distilled white vinegar

For the Cream Cheese Frosting:
4 ounces butter, at room temperature
4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
2½ cups powdered sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a standard muffin/cupcake pan with liners.

2. On medium-high speed, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Turn the mixer to high and add the egg. 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 to the batter and mix on medium speed until completely combined. You may need to stop the mixer to scrape the bottom of the bowl, making sure that all the batter gets color.

4. Reduce the mixer speed to low and slowly add half of the buttermilk. 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. Again, reduce the mixer speed to low and add the salt, baking soda and vinegar. Turn to high and beat for another couple of minutes until completely combined and smooth.

6. Divide the batter evenly between the cupcake liners and bake for about 20 minutes, or until a thin knife or skewer inserted into the center of the largest cupcake comes out clean.

7. Cool for 10 minutes and then remove cupcakes from the pan and place them on a cooling rack to cool completely before frosting.

8. To make the frosting: Using the whisk attachment, 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. Add the vanilla and mix to combine. Increase the speed to medium high and whip for a few minutes until the frosting is light and fluffy, scraping the bowl as necessary.

*Note: This recipe can be doubled to make an 8 or 9-inch layer cake.

(Recipe adapted from Joy the Baker, originally from The Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook)

Ok, so I have a question. For foil liners, are you supposed to remove the inner white liner?




Linking to: WhipperBerry
shabby creek cottage The Shabby Nest The Girl Creative

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  1. Sue says:

    Bravo! They look sooo delicious. You did a great job and thank you for your comments. I am happy you and your family discovered the real taste of Red Velvet. Sue

  2. Ani says:

    I have been thinking about how I want to try to make red velvet from scratch. They are my husbands favorite. I didn’t have any idea it called for vinegar either, and would also be weirded out by it. These look soooo good though, and I’m definitely going to have to make some!

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