Red Velvet Cupcakes

These cupcakes are the perfect Valentine’s Day treat.  They’re festive, delicious and individually portioned for guilt-control.  I topped these with two different frostings – a classic cream cheese frosting and a flour based whipped vanilla frosting (the same one I used for the Devil Dog Cupcakes).  Both were delicious, it’s just a matter of preference.  If you like cream cheese frosting, by all means, go for that one. You don’t have to make these for a Valentine… it’s totally acceptable to make them for yourself just because.    

INGREDIENTS

CUPCAKES

  • 2 1/2 cups cake flour
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/2 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2 tbsp (1 oz.) liquid red food coloring (I used the gel food coloring and kept adding until the color was just right)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp distilled white vinegar

CREAM CHEESE FROSTING

  • 10 oz. cream cheese, chilled
  • 6 1/2  tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3 1/4 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • 4 tsp clear vanilla extract

WHIPPED VANILLA FROSTING

HOW TO MAKE IT

CUPCAKES

  • Line cupcake pans with paper liners
  • In a medium bowl, combine the cake flour, sugar, baking soda, cocoa powder and salt; whisk to blend
  • In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the eggs, vegetable oil, buttermilk, food coloring, vanilla and vinegar – beat on medium speed until well blended
  • Slowly add in the dry ingredients on low speed and beat until smooth, about 2 minutes
  • Divide the batter evenly between the prepared liners (I use an ice cream scooper to make sure they’re all the same size)
  • Bake at 350°F, rotating the pans halfway through baking, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 18 minutes
  •  Let cool in the pans 5-10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely

CREAM CHEESE FROSTING

  • Combine the cream cheese and butter in the bowl of an electric mixer
  • Beat on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes
  • Add in the confectioners’ sugar and mix on low speed just until incorporated
  • Increase the speed to medium-high and beat 2-3 minutes more
  • Blend in the vanilla

WHIPPED VANILLA FROSTING