Red Velvet Cupcakes

Published January 27, 2013 by jenmatteson

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.

Red Velvet Cupcakes

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.

Red Velvet Cupcakes

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

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
1 egg
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.

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