A Sarcastic Appetite

Red Velvet Cupcakes
May 3, 2010, 8:25 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Occasionally, I get a hankering to make a complicated dessert in the middle of the week – like after dinner’s been made and cleaned up. It’s a stupid idea, since it usually means the kitchen’s covered in flour until well past 11, but it often yields good results. Like, ahem, these red velvet cupcakes. They’re delicious, and they store surprisingly well. I kept the cream cheese frosting separately in a piping bag in the fridge and frosted as needed…which was maybe too often.

Regardless, if you’re a red velvet fan, then you probably have all sorts of opinions about how to give these cakes their signature hue. Apparently people get riled up about this; some use cocoa powder, some supposedly use Coca Cola, and Martha claims some people use beet juice. his little number requires good old red food coloring, and it does the trick just fine. Of course, since it was late and I was tired, I managed to get red food dye all over my kitchen, but I suppose it’s better than counters covered in flour. Right? Right?

Red Velvet Cupcakes

From Martha Stewart’s Cupcakes. Makes 12.

1 1/4 c. cake flour, not self rising, sifted

1 tbsp. unsweetened Dutch process cocoa powder

1/2 tsp. salt

3/4 c. sugar

3/4 c. vegetable oil

1 large egg, room temp

1/4 tsp. red gel-paste food coloring (which is more concentrated than the liquid)

1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

1/2 c. buttermilk

3/4 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. white vinegar

Preheat oven to 350º. Line a standard 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners. In a bowl, whisk together the cake flour, cocoa, and salt.

In another bowl, beat the sugar and oil until combined with an electric mixer. Add the egg, then mix in the food coloring and vanilla. Add the flour in three batches, mixing on low, and alternating with two additions of buttermilk. In a small bowl, stir together the baking soda and vinegar (it will foam); add it to the batter and mix on medium speed for 10 seconds.

Divide the batter among the 12 cups, filling each about 3/4 full. Bake, rotating the tin halfway through, until a tester comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Transfer to wire racks to cool completely. Frost with cream cheese frosting.

Cream Cheese Frosting

Makes 2 cups

1 stick unsalted butter, softened.

6 oz. cream cheese, frosted

2 c. confectioner’s sugar, sifted (I obviously could not be bothered with the sifting and suffered no ill effects. Just beware of lumps.)

1/4 tsp. vanilla extract

With an electric mixer, beat the butter and cream cheese in a large bowl until fluffy. Add the sugar, 1/2 c. at a time, and then vanilla, beating well the whole time. Mix until smooth. Pour into a Ziploc bag and snip a corner off to pipe onto cupcakes. Keep refrigerated.

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