Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Icing

What a fun Christmas treat!

All that unnatural food coloring makes these quite pretty...

The recipe calls for 1 ounce (1/8 cup) of red food coloring. always, if you don't have that on hand, use what you have.  It will just not be quite as red!  No biggie.

Wouldn't these be precious for Valentine's Day iced with varying shades of pink and sprinkled with candy hearts?

This recipe generates the most moist and flavorful red velvet cake I've ever tasted.  But I am aware that some people have no desire and/or time to make cakes from scratch.

You can still make these cute cupcakes! 

Just go get some of this:

Tell them the wacky from-scratch lady sent you!

(You can make the cupcakes ahead of time and freeze them. Bring them to room temperature (make sure they aren't "sweating") before you frost them.)

Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Icing
makes 28 cupcakes

1/8 cup (1 ounce) red food coloring
3 1/2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter at room temperature
1 3/4 cup sugar
2 large eggs
3 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter at room temperature
1 cup (8 ounces) cream cheese at room temperature
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon vanilla or mint extract
green food coloring, optional
7-8 crushed peppermint candy canes for garnish, optional

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease muffin tin or line with baking papers.

In a small bowl, stir the food coloring and cocoa powder together to make a smooth paste.  Set aside.  Using an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and the sugar on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.  Add the eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition, then add the cocoa paste while continuing to beat.  Reduce mixer speed to medium and beat the batter for about 4 minutes.  In medium bowl, sift together the flour, salt, and baking soda.  Stir the vanilla into the buttermilk (this can be done in the measuring cup).  Add the flour mixture in 3 increments alternately with the buttermilk in 2 increments, starting and ending with flour.  Beat on medium speed just until ingredients are combined.  Add the sour cream and vinegar and beat on low speed until combined. 

Fill the muffin cups with about 1 tablespoon of batter.  Bake for 20-25 minutes, just until cupcakes feel firm to the touch and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.  Do not overbake or the cupcakes will dry out.  Remove from the oven and let cool in the pan for about 5 minutes.  Then unmold onto a wire rack and let cool completely before frosting.

In the large bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter, cream cheese, and powdered sugar on medium-high heat until light and fluffy.  Add vanilla or mint extract, if using.  (At this point, if you are going to color or flavor the icing and you want some to remain white, divide the icing.  Mix in green food coloring and mint extract, if desired.)

Crush the candy canes (I put them between pieces of waxed paper and whacked them with a meat mallet.  This way candy didn't fly everywhere.)  Sprinkle the pieces on top of the cupcakes, if desired.



Unknown said...

I felt terrible for making a box cake for the wacky-from-scratch lady's baby shower... but then you said you liked it, and I realized cake from scratch is not my gift, and it's ok to use the box. :)

these are adorable! makes me want to put on a pot a tea!

btw, I need your help. A lady in Mylon's office gave me a house warming gift. It's a kitchen thing and I have no idea what to do with it. It is stoneware that makes 6 little bundt cakes. I need to make her something and send it to work with Mylon. Any ideas?

Ginny said...

Hey S-

The gift: red velvet mini bundt cakes with cream cheese icing and topped with crushed peppermints! :) From the box!

Or crush some "Candyland" candy on top. That would be more appropriate...

Katie @ minivan diva said...

I have to confess that I cheat and use a box mix often. I love the green frosting with the crushed up peppermints.