I’ve never been a huge fan of the red velvet cupcake – it’s chocolatey, but not very, and tinted with copious amounts of red food coloring. The chocolate is dialed down to allow the red color to shine through. Everyone else seems to love red velvet cupcakes, though – so I find myself making them more often than I otherwise would. I tend to sneak in extra chocolate though – if you want a more intense chocolate flavor and don’t mind as much about the color, you can increase the cocoa in this recipe from 1-4 tablespoons. If you’re aiming for a redder red velvet cupcake though, keep it down to 1 tablespoon.
This batter can be baked as traditional or mini cupcakes; to bake mini cakes, fill paper-lined mini muffin tins and bake for 15-20 minutes, until the cakes are domed and springy to the touch. This recipe will make 3-4 dozen mini red velvet cupcakes.
Red Velvet Cupcakes
Adapted from Paula Deen, via Food Network
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
1-4 Tbsp cocoa
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
2 large eggs
2 Tbsp red food coloring
1 tsp white vinegar
1 tsp vanilla
Cream Cheese Frosting:
1 8 oz (250 g) pkg cream cheese, at room temp
1/2 cup butter, at room temp
1 tsp vanilla
2-4 cups confectioners’ sugar
Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line 12 muffin pans with cupcake papers.
In a medium mixing bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda and salt. In a large bowl, whisk together the oil, buttermilk, eggs, food coloring, vinegar, and vanilla, add the dry ingredients and mix until smooth and just combined.
Fill paper-lined muffin tins 3/4 full and bake for 25 minutes, until the tops are domed and springy to the touch. Cool completely on a wire rack before frosting.
To make the frosting, beat the cream cheese, butter and vanilla together until smooth. Add half the sugar and beat on low speed until well blended; add more sugar as needed to achieve a spreadable frosting. If it gets too thick, add a spoonful of milk or water. Spoon into a piping bag fitted with a star tip and pipe out onto the cupcakes, or spread on with a knife. Makes about 2 dozen cupcakes.