This Wednesday I will be back in Louisiana for the first time since November 2010 and I will be baking at sea level again (Yeah!). Every year for my mom and grandmother’s birthday, I make them red velvet cupcakes, and this year will be no different. My mother is an expert judge in red velvet cupcakes; therefore perfection is a must.
I have searched for the perfect red velvet cupcake, and it was a difficult task. While watching Cupcake War (I know I am obsessed), Florian Bellanger said a red velvet cupcake should be colored mostly from the cocoa powder, not just from food coloring. So, I found awesome cocoa powder, and pretty great recipe.
Recipe courtesy of the Food Network
Red Velvet Cupcakes:
- 2 1/2 cups flour
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 eggs
- 1 1/3 cups vegetable oil
- 3/4 cup buttermilk, room temperature
- 2 tablespoons red food coloring
- 1 tablespoon white distilled vinegar
- 1/2 tablespoon vanilla extract
- Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line muffin pans with line regular-size cupcake pans with 24 regular cupcake liners.
- In mixing bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, baking soda, cocoa powder, and salt.
- In another mixing bowl, stir together the eggs and oil.
- In a mixing cup, mix together the buttermilk, food coloring, vinegar, and vanilla extract and lightly whisk.
- Gradually add the dry ingredients and buttermilk mixture to the egg mixture, starting and ending with the dry ingredients. We are trying to make a dark brown, red cupcake color, so add more cocoa powder, if the red is not deep enough.
- Then add the batter to the mini cupcake liners until they are 3/4-full and bake for 13 to 14 minutes, or until done. Alternately, fill the regular-size cupcake liners and bake 22 minutes, or until done. Let the cupcakes cool completely.
Cream Cheese Frosting:
- 8 ounces cream cheese
- 1 cup or 2 sticks unsalted butter
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 4 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1 Tablespoon orange zest
- 1 Tablespoon orange juice
- 4 cups confectioner’s sugar
- Combine the cream cheese, butter,in a large mixing bowl and blend for 2 minutes.
- Add salt, vanilla, orange zest and juice, blend to combine.
- Add confectioner’s sugar, one cup at a time. Once all sugar is added mix for 2 minutes.
Assembly of Cupcakes:
- With desired pastry tip, fill pastry bag, save one cupcake without frosting.
- Pipe on cupcakes.
- Crumble saved cupcake and sprinkle over cupcakes. Enjoy!