Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting - Close up
I had a red velvet craze a few months ago when they got trendy (everywhere). I used to read blogs and look at pictures of red velvet cupcakes trying to imagine what these insanely red-colored cakes would taste like. I decided to bake a batch for my friend’s birthday because I was falling in love with a cake that I’ve never tasted before!

I really wanted these cupcakes to taste delicious so I looked up recipes and read many reviews online. I am not a fan of food coloring in general, so I tried to reduce the amount as much as possible (that’s why the cupcakes turned out to be burgundy in color rather than a bright red). The cupcakes were extra moist and light. Just perfect with the super-rich cream cheese frosting!

My frosting recipe is not very thick because I don’t like overly sweet icing, but you can always add more sugar if you prefer a stiffer consistency. The frosting can be either piped or smeared on the cupcakes with a spatula.

Ingredients: Adapted from Martha Stewart
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
4 tablespoons cornstarch, sifted
2 tablespoons unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder, sifted
1 teaspoon salt
1+1/4 cups sugar
1+1/2 cups vegetable oil
2 large eggs, room temperature
3 teaspoons liquid red food color
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk*
1+1/2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons distilled white vinegar
*You can substitute buttermilk by placing 1 Tablespoon of white vinegar or lemon juice in a 1 cup measuring cup. Then add enough milk to bring the liquid up to one cup. Wait for 5 minutes before using it.

Directions:
Preheat oven to 180C/350F. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners.
Whisk together cake flour, cocoa, and salt.
With an electric mixer on medium speed, whisk together sugar and oil until combined. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until each is incorporated, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Mix in food color and vanilla.
Reduce speed to low. Add flour mixture in three batches, alternating with two additions of buttermilk, and whisking well after each. Stir together the baking soda and vinegar in a small bowl (it will foam); add the mixture to the batter, and mix on medium speed 10 seconds.
Divide batter evenly among lined cups, filling each 3/4 full. Bake for 25 minutes, until a cake tester or toothpick inserted in the center, comes out clean. Transfer tins to wire racks to cool completely before removing cupcakes.

Cream Cheese Frosting:
1/2 cup (110g) butter, almost room temperature
8 oz. (225g) cream cheese, cold
1 teaspoon natural vanilla extract
3 cups powdered confectioners sugar, sifted
2 Tablespoons heavy cream

Blend butter and cream cheese in a large mixing bowl, about 30 seconds.
Add vanilla extract and powdered sugar and blend on low speed until combined. Increase to medium speed and beat until it begins to get fluffy.
Slowly add the heavy cream.
Beat until fluffy, about 1 minute.
Use at once or keep refrigerated for a few days.

 Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting and green lebanese cedar trees

For the Lebanese Independence Day! 

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