Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

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Happy Mother’s Day! Hope all the mom’s, mothers-in-law, and grandmas out there were spoiled today. I slept in (my indulgence on most weekends) and woke up to a beautiful bouquet of flowers my daughter picked out and a homemade latte prepared exactly how I like it. It was a perfect, lazy morning.

We spent the afternoon in Stamford to celebrate with Chuck’s mom and sister, who was in town with her family for the weekend. My mother-in-law loves red velvet cupcakes, so it only made sense that I made these for her.

I received this recipe as part of a class I took at the International Culinary Center in New York City this past Fall. Previously, I was using this recipe from the Cake Man Raven. Both Chuck and I were fans of his red velvet cake and would stop by his former storefront in Fort Greene whenever we were in the area. However after trying the ICC recipe, we’re both officially converts.

The major differences between the two recipes are: types of flour (ICC: cake flour vs CMR: all-purpose), types of fat (ICC: butter vs CMR: vegetable oil), and amount of cocoa powder (ICC: 3tbsp vs CMR: 1tsp). So what does this all mean? They’re both amazing cakes but I think mostly due to the cake flour, the ICC cake has the better texture. It’s lighter and definitely has the more refined, tender crumb. I also found the cocoa flavor in the CMR cake somewhat lacking (we were always adding more) and prefer how it’s more prominent in the ICC cake. Red velvet is a chocolate cake, after all.

If you are a red velvet fan, try this. It may become your go-to recipe. If you’re looking for an amazing cream cheese frosting, which is honestly my favorite part of this cupcake :), you can find the recipe I used here.

Ingredients

  • 322g cake flour, sifted
  • 170g butter, softened
  • 457g granulated sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 6tbsp liquid food coloring*
  • 3tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1.5tsp vanilla extract
  • 1.5tsp salt
  • 363g buttermilk
  • 1.5tsp white vinegar
  • 1.5tsp baking soda

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350º
  2. Cream the butter and sugar until very light and fluffy
  3. Gradually add the eggs, beating well after each addition
  4. In a small bowl, whisk together the red food coloring, cocoa powder, and vanilla
  5. Add the red food coloring, cocoa, and vanilla mixture to the butter mixture and beat well
  6. Add the salt to the buttermilk
  7. Add the buttermilk to the batter alternating with the flour in three stages, scraping down after each addition
  8. Mix the baking soda with the vinegar (I had visions of my fourth grade volcano science project when I did this, haha)
  9. Mix until combined
  10. Fill cupcake or pan
  11. Bake 18-20min for cupcake and 28-30min for cake, when toothpick/fork/knife inserted comes out clean

This yields about 30 cupcakes

Notes

*So if you’re 100% set on having a brilliantly red cake, use the full 6tbsp of food coloring. I toned it down a bit and used about 2tsp for two reasons: 1) I ran out of red food coloring and didn’t want to make my very awesome husband, who’ll pretty much do anything for me, run out on a Saturday night just for red food coloring and 2) As my daughter is getting older and eating more, I’ve become more aware of unnecessary additives and dyes in foods and have been trying to minimize the use of them.

 

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