If there is one thing that my sister loves, it’s red velvet cupcakes- I honestly think she would have one every day if she could! They aren’t my absolute favourite recipe, but when her birthday rolls around it’s hard to think of anything that would be better to give her than a batch of homemade red velvet cupcakes. We even got her a red velvet cupcake candle to go with them!
Now, if you’ve never had a red velvet cupcake before, they are actually a rich and dense chocolate cupcake. The “red velvet” name comes from the reddish colour that they have when baked. For a little history lesson- the red that now comes usually from food colouring used to occur naturally as a chemical reaction between the buttermilk and the unprocessed cocoa powder used in the original recipes. If you’re not into adding food colouring to your cupcake batter, you can still achieve this “red” look by using a more reddish cocoa powder- sometimes called “ruddy red” cocoa powder, to get a reddish tint to yours! That seems like enough of a history lesson to me, now onto the recipe:
RED VELVET CUPCAKES
Makes about 16 cupcakes
– 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
– 1 teaspoon baking powder
– 1 teaspoon salt
– 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
– 2 oz. red food coloring (if you use the “ruddy red” cocoa powder you can leave out the food
dyes and you’ll get a warm red/brown color)
– 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
– 1 1/2 cups sugar
– 2 eggs
– 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
– 1 cup buttermilk
– 1 teaspoon white vinegar (you can also use cider vinegar)
– 1 teaspoon baking soda
1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and line your cupcake pans with liners.
2. In a small bowl combine your flour, baking powder and salt. In a smaller bowl combine your food colouring (if you are using it) and cocoa powder- try to get all of the lumps out.
3. Beat the butter and sugar together with a mixer until they are light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes.
4. Beat in your eggs, one at a time, then beat in the vanilla and red cocoa mixture. Add about 1/3 of your flour mixture until combined, then half of your buttermilk. Beat in another 1/3 of your flour and the rest of your buttermilk. Add the remaining flour mixture and beat until well combined.
5. In a small bowl, mix together the vinegar and baking soda (be careful to use a big enough bowl as it will fizz!). Add this mixture to the cupcake batter and stir well to combine.
6. Fill your liners about 3/4 full, and bake your cupcakes for about 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into them comes out clean.
7. Cool your cupcakes completely before frosting.
I would normally use a plain cream cheese frosting, as is the tradition for red velvet cupcakes, but since her birthday is so close to Christmas, I decided to give them a more holiday feel by adding some peppermint extract (feel free to leave it out if you’d like to go the more traditional route though 🙂 )
PEPPERMINT CREAM CHEESE FROSTING
– 1 package of cream cheese
– 1/2 cup unsalted butter
– 2-3 cups icing sugar (depending upon how sweet you’d like it!)
– 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
– 1-2 teaspoons peppermint extract
1. With a mixer, combine your cream cheese, butter and vanilla.
2. Add your icing sugar, about 1/2 cup at a time, mixing to combine until your desired sweetness level is achieved.
3. Add your peppermint extract and mix with a spoon until combined.
And there you have it, an easy recipe for a crowd pleasing red velvet cupcake! As usual I have attached some pictures of mine below, if you try the recipe out let me know how it goes, or post your pictures on the facebook group at facebook.com/Theittybittybakery!
Happy eating! xo