Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Red Velvet Cupcakes

If you know me at all, you know I love any excuse for baked goods… Valentine’s day was no excuse. And red velvet screams valentine’s day to me. I had never had a red velvet cupcake until I moved to Manhattan and for some reason, maybe all the cupcake chains, red velvet seemed to be everywhere. I fell in love… but I must admit, having it again recently I decided it’s really just an excuse for delicious cream cheese frosting. The cake is kind of mediocre. It has a good texture but the flavor is average. I think I might prefer a really good chocolate cake with cream cheese frosting instead…. There’s always next time.

Until then, happy belated valentine’s day!

2 ½ cups flour
1 ½ cups sugar
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cocoa powder
1 ½ cups vegetable oil
1 cup (room temp.) buttermilk
2 large (room temp.) eggs
2 Tbls. red food coloring
1 tsp. white vinegar
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Frosting:1 lb cream cheese (softened)
1 lb butter (softened)
4 cups confectioners sugar
2 tsp. vanilla extract


Preheat over to 350 degrees. Line cupcake tins or grease and flour three 9” cake pans.

In a large bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, baking soda, slat and cocoa powder. In another bowl, whisk together the oil, buttermilk, eggs, food coloring, vinegar and vanilla. (vinegar, oil, food coloring... it's like a science experiment!)

Using a stand mixer, mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until just combined and smooth. Pour into cupcake tins or cake pans.

Cook cupcakes 18-20 mins. Mini cupcakes 13-15 mins. And cakes about 30 mins. (I started with mini cupcakes - bite size is so cute and guilt-free. But after filling one tray of 24 I grew tired and made the rest normal size).

For frosting, mix cream cheese, butter and sugar on low speed until incorporated. Increase speed to high and mix until light and fluffy. Reduce speed and add vanilla. (I sift confectioners sugar to make sure the frosting is nice and smooth. Additionally I used a slightly different variation of cream cheese and butter based on what I had in the house, I don’t even know the exact proportions, but I think this is a matter of preference – cream cheese, butter and confectioners sugar in any combination make delicious frosting!)


  1. I'm with you on this. Without the food coloring, it's just a chocolate cupcake, right? Vinegar is an interesting touch, though.

    By the way, I just purchased a Kitchenaid and should be arriving any day now!

  2. There's only 1 tsp of cocoa - so it's not too chocolatey. I have no idea what the vinegar is about but it is in all the red velvet recipes...

    Yay for a kitchenaid. I love, love, love mine! I long for a big suburban kitchen so I can just leave it out all the time.