From some reason, Nate thinks that red velvet is my favorite cake ever. Guess what? It isn’t. I think it might be his. It’s quite funny whenever we see it somewhere or on a menu, he says, “Red velvet cake, honey! You love that! Do you want to get some?” To be fair, I think he thinks this because of a date we had a few years ago, which happened to be Cinco de Mayo. We didn’t really plan for it, but since it was, we went to a little Mexican place in St. Paul that I like. It’s somewhat close to actual Mexican food, not super Americanized Mexican food. We got free tequilla shots for each drink we ordered! I guess that’s not such a positive thing, seeing as though I’m not really a tequilla fan, but hey, free shots? Okay. Anyway, after dinner, we went to a nearby restaurant to have dessert and a bottle of wine. Both were amazing, but the red velvet cake? Wow. It was so good. I couldn’t stop talking about how I was having a love affair with it! So, again, to his credit, he continues to think it’s my favorite.
Anyway, red velvet is on my 30 Before 30 list, and I really need to get crackin’ on that list if I want to finish it up before my birthday (July). Lots of seafood left after this – I’m surly not complaining! I decided to make mini cupcakes for a ladies night at my house.
I stopped at the grocery store on my way home from work, got everything on my list and headed home. After getting in some comfy clothes, I went to work. When I took out my mini muffin pan, I quickly realized that I forgot to get cupcake wrappers. UGH. I was already in my pjs, made myself a cocktail and was not about to go out in the below zero cold again just to get them. So I went without. Not like it’s that big of a deal, but I feel like the outside would have been a bit more soft had I used them.
When looking for recipes, I first consulted my friends on my What’s Cooking board. I was directed to The Way the Cookie Crumbles for a red velvet cake comparison. My goodness, this was quite an extensive comparison. I can’t imagine how many cupcakes she must have had in her house after trying them all! After reading through, I settled on her adapted recipe from her favorite. I did half the entire recipe, and I have to remind you that I’m not a baker, therefore, not a very good decorator. I must say, the recipe was not disappointing in the least! The cake was light and fluffy, with a slight hint of the cocoa powder, and the frosting was tangy and creamy, though not super rich. Fantastic!
Red Velvet Cupcakes
Source: Adapted from The Way the Cookie Crumbles
Servings: Makes 36 mini cupcakes
For the cake:
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 tbsp red food coloring
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp white distilled vinegar
For the frosting:
6 oz cream cheese, softened
6 oz butter, softened
3/4 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl, sift together flour, sugar, cocoa powder and salt.
2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat egg, oil, buttermilk, food coloring, vanilla and vinegar until well combined. Slowly add dry ingredients and beat until smooth, about 2 minutes.
3. Prepare muffin tin with a light spray of olive oil, or use muffin wrappers. Fill tins with about 1 tbsp of batter. Bake for 10 minutes, or until just cooked through. Be carefull not to over cook as the cake will lose its moisture and fluffiness. Turn out onto a wire rake to cool.
4. In bowl of a stand mixer, beat together cream cheese and butter until well combined. Add vanilla and confectioners’ sugar and beat until light and fluffy, about 5-7 minutes.
5. Pipe frosting onto each cupcake. Refrigerate for 2 hours to set frosting.