Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Red Velvet Cupcakes with Whipped Cream Cheese Frosting

These were cupcakes I made for a "Dessert Auction" at my church. :) I had made them once before for a ladies' dinner and they were completely gone, all two dozen of them, so I figured if they were such a big hit once, they should do well at the auction. Apparently, I was right. :) They are truly delicious! They have a chocolate flavor really (because of the cocoa in them), but more like a light chocolate than the dark chocolate cake I usually make. The cream cheese frosting is a perfect accompaniment and can be made with less powdered sugar and less cream if you do not need to pipe the frosting.

Red Velvet Cupcakes

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups vegetable or canola oil
1 cup buttermilk (or 2 tbsp white vinegar and the rest milk, to make 1 cup liquid total- let sit 5 min)
2 tbsp liquid red food coloring or 1 tsp gel food coloring
2 tsps pure vanilla extract
2 tsp white vinegar
1 1/2 tsp baking soda

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line muffin pans with paper liners.
In a large bowl, whisk together cake flour, cocoa, and salt; set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat sugar and oil on medium-high speed until combined. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until each is incorporated, scraping down sides of 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 beating until combined after each.

In a small bowl, stir together the baking soda and vinegar (it will foam); add mixture to the batter, and mix on medium speed until combined, about 10 seconds.

Fill the cupcake paper liners 2/3 full. Bake 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in centers comes out clean. Transfer muffin pans to wire racks to cool completely before removing cupcakes. Frost with Whipped Cream Cheese Frosting (recipe below).

Makes 2 dozen cupcakes.

Whipped Cream Cheese Frosting

1 stick unsalted butter (1/2 cup), at room temperature
1 pkg (8oz) cream cheese, at room temperature
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
3 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream (or less if you want to be able to pipe the frosting)

In the bowl of your electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat on medium/high speed butter and cream cheese until light and fluffy, about 3-4 minutes. Add vanilla extract. Mix in to incorporate. Gradually add the powdered sugar and cover your mixer with the protective shield or a kirchen towel after each addition to avoid a cloud of powdered sugar in your kitchen :). Once powdered sugar is fully incorporated, remove the paddle attachment with the whisk attachment and add the heavy whipping cream. Whisk on medium/high speed for 4-5 minutes. Frost your cooled cupcakes and enjoy!

Note: this is a thinner, lighter cream cheese frosting and though it still works for piping on cupcakes and frosting cakes, it is not stiff enough for delicate piping decorations as buttercream or regular cream cheese frosting are.

Recipes adapted from these sources: http://sweetpeaskitchen.com, http://everycraving.com and http://ladybugssweettreats.blogspot.com, http://www.melskitchencafe.com

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