Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Classic Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

 Being interested in a career in the culinary world, it's often easy to get caught up in all of the new, inventive flavor combinations and techniques. My favorite thing to do is add my own twists to classics, but this week I was reminded that sometimes it's important to go back to basics!
 I got an "emergency" phone call one night last week, from a friend of my cousin's, who needed a last-minute box of goodies for her boyfriend (a certain unnamed cookie company messed up her bouquet order delivery date). With the liberty to fill a box with whatever I thought he would like, plus the excitement of an early-morning delivery of a box of sugar to the gym where he works, how could I say no?
I made my choices pretty quickly - this guy likes chocolate, so brownies (salted, of course!) were a given; and who doesn't like peanut butter? Cookies it was. I wanted something additional that screamed "birthday," so I decided to go with a classic, rainbow-sprinkled red velvet cupcake. Until I realized I didn't have a go-to recipe!
  I went back to a few different recipes I've used as a basis for variations in the past (did you know red velvet cake and orange marmalade are a match made in heaven?!), and was able to find a great one I hadn't made in years. It's my favorite, and I think it's a wonderful go-to.
 The cupcake is tender, fluffy, and not too sweet. The frosting provides a great sweet touch, and is the perfect consistency for spreading or piping simply (if you want to get crazy with the decoration, just add in a little extra sugar to get a thicker mixture). So, emergency missing recipe crisis averted - on to the next twist!
All packed and ready for delivery!
Classic Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting
(from Food Network)

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cocoa powder
1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
1 cup buttermilk, room temperature
2 large eggs, room temperature
2 tablespoons red food coloring
1 teaspoon white distilled vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 (12-cup) muffin pans with cupcake papers.
In a medium mixing bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, and cocoa powder. In a large bowl gently beat together the oil, buttermilk, eggs, food coloring, vinegar, and vanilla with a handheld electric mixer. Add the sifted dry ingredients to the wet and mix until smooth and thoroughly combined.
Divide the batter evenly among the cupcake tins about 2/3 filled. Bake in oven for about 20 to 22 minutes, turning the pans once, half way through. Test the cupcakes with a toothpick for doneness. Remove from oven and cool completely before frosting.

Cream Cheese Frosting
                                                        1 pound cream cheese, softened
                                                              2 sticks butter, softened
                                                             1 teaspoon vanilla extract
                                                          4 cups sifted confectioners' sugar

In a large mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese, butter and vanilla together until smooth. Add the sugar and on low speed, beat until incorporated. Increase the speed to high and mix until very light and fluffy.
Spread or pipe onto cooled cupcakes. Decorate as desired.

1 comment:

Ramin said...

Hi Sophia
I am a food writer working on a cookbook about teen chefs for RODALE press. Would love to chat with you and share more. You can email me at