Hubby went away recently to the US for business and usually he comes home craving for home cooked chinese stir fries, comfort food like curries and rice…but this time round, his biggest craving was for red velvet cupcakes. Very strange considering he was in the States where there would have been an abundance of them, no?
Anyway, I’m not going to harp on about how I went about making these cupcakes. Recipes are EVERYWHERE but all I can say is, the amount of food colouring that goes in these cakes scare me a little. Originally, the red colour from the cake batter was due to a chemical reaction from the chocolate that was used and the acid from buttermilk. That would have been interesting to watch! I know some people opt out of those tiny bottles or tubes of artificial food colouring and use natural products like beetroot. I’m not THAT health conscious – you gotta be kidding! Easy options are usually the best for me. I admit I’m quite a slacker cook. Chemically coloured cake? Why not!?
The classic combination of red velvet cupcakes and cream cheese frosting was a crowd (well, just hubby actually) pleaser and they were very well received.
I do apologise for the shifty photographs. The lighting was all wrong and I just couldn’t be bothered changing it. I’m so glad the days are getting longer…which means I have more natural light! Can’t. Wait.
This recipe was easy to follow and the cake turned out to be quite delish. However I’m waiting to get my hands on the Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook and then I’ll try their famous cake recipes. Book Depository here I come!
RED VELVET CUPCAKE with cream cheese frosting
from Joy of Baking
1 1/4 cups (125 grams) sifted cake flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoons (10 grams) regular or Dutch-processed cocoa powder
1/4 cup (57 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cups (150 grams) granulated white sugar
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup (120 ml) buttermilk
1 tablespoon liquid red food coloring
1/2 teaspoon white distilled vinegar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
Cream Cheese Frosting:
8 ounces (227 grams) cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup (60 grams) confectioners’ (icing or powdered) sugar, sifted
2/3 cup (160 ml) cold heavy whipping cream (double cream) (35-40% butterfat)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) and line 12 muffin tins with paper cupcake liners.
In a large bowl sift together the flour, baking powder, salt, and cocoa powder.
In the bowl of your electric mixer, or with a hand mixer, beat the butter until soft (about 1-2 minutes). Add the sugar and beat until light and fluffy (about 2-3 minutes). Add the egg and beat until incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the vanilla extract and beat until combined.
In a measuring cup whisk the buttermilk with the red food coloring. With the mixer on low speed, alternately add the flour mixture and buttermilk to the butter mixture, in three additions, beginning and ending with the flour.
In a small cup combine the vinegar and baking soda. Allow the mixture to fizz and then quickly fold into the cake batter.
Working quickly, divide the batter evenly among the 12 muffin cups and smooth the tops with an offset spatula or the back of a spoon. Bake in the preheated oven for approximately 18 – 23 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cupcakes comes out clean.
Cool the cakes in their pans on a wire rack for 10 minutes and them remove from pan. Let cool completely before frosting. Either spread the frosting with a knife or offset spatula, or use a large 1MWiltonopen star decorating tip to pipe the frosting.
Cream Cheese Frosting: In the bowl of your electric mixer, or with a hand mixer, beat the cream cheese until smooth. Add the vanilla and confectioners sugar and beat until smooth. Using the whisk attachment, gradually add the heavy cream and whip until the frosting is thick enough to pipe. Add more sugar or cream as needed to get the right consistency.
Makes 12 cupcakes.