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Sunday, August 5, 2012

Red velvet cupcakes

The 30th birthday bash for my friend L was last night.  We went to a great dinner, and then to a fantastic bar for drinks afterwards.  I brought the treats to the bar....mini cupcakes and chocolate covered Oreo pops (that post will be up in the next few days).

L's two favorite desserts are tiramisu and red velvet cake, so those cupcakes were givens for the party.  I also made some "Death by Oreo" cupcakes; as I stated last night "no self-respecting woman would show up with cupcakes and not bring chocolate ones." 

So I set out to make the cupcakes the night before and that day.  Three types of mini cupcakes, three different icings.  Three different piping tips.  Several washings of the kitchenaid bowl and attachments.  Two loads of dishes run.  But it was worth it - in taste, in presentation, in everything!

I made the tiramisu mini cupcakes and "Death by Oreo" cupcakes before.  I thought I had made red velvet cupcakes on here before, too, but a quick search through older posts proved me wrong.  Check the above links for the other two cupcakes, and below for the red velvet ones.  FYI, I halved the red velvet recipe and got 48 minis and 4 full-sized cupcakes.

I'm also posting a picture of all the cupcakes together:

Red Velvet (mini) Cupcakes

Ingredients (for the full batch):

3 1/2 cups cake flour (not self-rising)
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
2 cups sugar
3 large eggs, at room temperature
6 tablespoons red food coloring (I use gel coloring, and use less than the recipe calls for as it is very strong food coloring)
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
1 1/2 teaspoons cider vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

(their recipe uses a vanilla icing, but - in case you didn't know - red velvet (at least in my opinion, but I'm not the only one) should have cream cheese icing, so look below for that recipe)


Preheat oven to 350°F.
Grease and lightly flour three 9- by 2-inch round cake pans, then line the bottoms with waxed paper.
Or use cupcake papers if making cupcakes or mini cupcakes.

In a small bowl, sift the cake flour and set aside.
In a large bowl, on the medium speed of an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar until very light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.
Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. In a small bowl, whisk together the red food coloring, cocoa, and vanilla.
Add to the batter and beat well.

In a measuring cup, stir the salt into the buttermilk.
Add to the batter in three parts alternating with the flour.
With each addition, beat until the ingredients are incorporated, but do not overbeat.
In a small bowl, stir together the cider vinegar and baking soda.
Add to the batter and mix well.
Using a rubber spatula, scrape down the batter in the bowl, making sure the ingredients are well blended and the batter is smooth.

Divide the batter among the prepared pans. Bake for 30-40 minutes (my mini cupcakes took about 8 minutes), or until a cake tester inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.
Let the cupcakes cool.
Ice the cupcakes with:

Cream Cheese Icing
(this is originally from Epicurious but I can't find the original recipe anymore.  Since I make it all the time, I've somewhat memorized it....see below)


3 8-oz packages of cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 stick of butter, room temperature
3-4 cups of powdered sugar (I think the original recipe called for 4 cups, but I usually go by taste, because I don't like it too sweet)
Vanilla to taste (I used 1 tsp)


Blend together cream cheese and butter
Add vanilla and incorporate
Add powdered sugar, half to 1 cup at a time, to taste.

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