Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Reddish Velvet Cupcakes

Even after my previous red velvet fiasco, I was still curious about the hype. The fiasco cake tasted good, but was just really dry. After comparing it to other recipes, I noticed that most recipes with a similar amount of flour called for 1.5 cups of butter, oil, or shortening. Significantly more than the 0.5 cup in the recipe I tried.

So when I found a food blog that compared different recipes, I bookmarked it for future reference. Her favorite recipe was from Apple a Day, so who was I to argue? I made miniature cupcakes with about a tablespoon of batter in each liner and baked for 12-13 minutes. The cakes were light and fluffy, and the perfect size to pop in your mouth. I cut down the icing recipe because I only wanted to use 8 oz of cream cheese, but it was still more than enough to ice all the cupcakes. Especially since a few got eaten before the icing was made. After icing them, I stored them in the refrigerator, and the cupcakes seemed dry after that. So eat them quickly after baking.

I'm still weirded out about food coloring, but since I was sharing these cupcakes, I wanted them to be at least reddish, so I added a squirt of food coloring. Not a lot, just enough to make it reddish. And if you'd like to know why I don't care for food coloring, especially red food coloring, go here.

Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting
Source: Apple a Day, who adapted it from a www.saveur.com

Makes 1 8-inch 3-layer cake

For the cake:
2½ cups cake flour
1½ cups sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1½ cups vegetable oil
1 cup buttermilk
2 tablespoons (1 oz.) red food coloring
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon white distilled vinegar

For the frosting:
12 ounces cream cheese, softened
12 ounces butter, softened
1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
3 cups confectioners’ sugar
1½ cups chopped pecans (optional)

1. For the cake: Preheat oven to 350°.

2. Sift together flour, sugar, baking soda, cocoa, and salt into a medium bowl.

3. Beat eggs, oil, buttermilk, food coloring, vanilla, and vinegar in a large bowl with an electric mixer until well combined. Add dry ingredients and beat until smooth, about 2 minutes.

4. Divide batter evenly between 3 greased and floured 8″ round cake pans.

5. Bake cakes, rotating halfway through, until a toothpick inserted in the center of each cake comes out clean, 25-30 minutes. Let cakes cool 5 minutes, then invert each onto a plate, then invert again onto a cooling rack. Let cakes cool completely.

6. For the frosting: Beat cream cheese, butter, and vanilla together in a large bowl with an electric mixer until combined. Add sugar and beat until frosting is light and fluffy, 5-7 minutes.

4. Put 1 cake layer on a cake plate, level off with a serrated knife, and spread one-quarter of the frosting on top. Set another layer on top, level, and repeat frosting. Set remaining layer on top, level, and frost top and sides with the remaining frosting. Press pecans into the sides of the cake, if desired. **Tip: after leveling cake, turn it upside down to reduce numbers of crumbs. I also did a crumb coat on the outside, let it set for ten minutes, then finished with remaining frosting.

5. Chill for 2 hours to set frosting.


Anonymous said...

Those look really yummy!

Anonymous said...

Oh and thanks for the link on red food coloring. I'll never look at it the same again.

nital said...

I know! I initially disliked food coloring just because it seems silly and unnecessary, but now that I know what's in it....bleh!

Anonymous said...

Are they cupcakes or 8-inch 3-layer cake? What is the recipe of cupcakes?

nital said...

The original recipe is posted and was for a layer cake. I made up the batter exactly as directed, and then baked in mini-cupcake pans for about 12 minutes.