Friday, February 19, 2010

Red Velvet Cupcakes

I really don't intend to go this long between posts, but keeping up with my boys and not being a night-owl, means there are only so many hours of daylight to bake and blog.  So here's hoping your Valentine Week was filled with love!

Mine was.  Red roses, homemade love cards, dinner out, and sweet treats.  I decided it was time I made a Red Velvet Cake.  The Pioneer Woman has one in her new cookbook. Bakerella has pops on her blog. The CakeJournal lady has a more healthy version and there's also the Best Cupcake Recipes blog too, along with The Joy of Cooking cookbooks splendid tips.  So I need to land somewhere on my own with a little inspiration from each of these fantastic ladies.  

Read on to see what I came up with. I hope you'll try it out too.

What you'll need:
  • 2 ½ cup minus 5 Tb flour sifted
  • 1 HEAPING teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder, (**OR** if you use unprocessed cocoa you can leave out the food dyes and you'll get a warm red/brown color)
  • 1/2 ounce red food coloring (see my notes on red food coloring) , **OR*    4 ounces beet juice instead of food coloring
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 ½ cups sugar
  • 2 eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar + ricemilk enough, to = 1 cup, mix and let stand 10 minutes before using.  BTW, what you just made is DF buttermilk.
  • 1 teaspoon white vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
Here's what you do:
  • Preheat oven to 325 convection or 350 standard degrees.
  • Line muffin tins with cupcake liners and-or grease cake pan.
  • Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt into a medium bowl and set aside. This is how I sift my ingredients.

  • If using food color or beet juice, in a smaller bowl, mix food coloring and/or beet juice and cocoa powder to form a thin paste without lumps and set aside. Smooth with no lumps is what you want to achieve....but I didn't.
I do not like red food color and the thought of using 2 bottles of it in a cake churns my stomach! Two bottles! Seriously, that's what every recipe I browsed said to use. I just couldn't do that. I used about 1/2 jar {.5 oz] of red food color gel mixed with the cocoa. It looks gross, and left a few small lumps in my batter I couldn't get out, but when all is mixed & done, it just looks like flecks of chocolate in the cake.

  • In a large bowl, beat butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, about three minutes.
  • Beat in eggs, one at a time, then beat in vanilla and the red cocoa paste, scraping down the bowl with a spatula.
  • Add one third of the flour mixture to the butter mixture, beat well, then beat in half of the rice-buttermilk.
  • Beat in another third of flour mixture, then second half of rice-buttermilk.
  • End with the last third of the flour mixture, beat until well combined, making sure to scrape down the bowl with a spatula.
  • In a small bowl, mix vinegar and baking soda. This is kinda fun; it will fizz up, much to the delight of your kids. Add the vinegar mixture to the cake batter and stir well to combine.
  • Fill cupcake cups with cake batter until they are a little under 3/4 full. No more because you want them to bake and rise flat-even to the top of the liners. These were too full.

I ended up with 24 mini cupcakes and 1 DeMarle flower mold which I cut into 4 hearts.

  • Bake at 325 convection for approximately 8 minutes for mini cupcakes and 18 minutes for the flower mold.
  • Bake at 350 standard oven for 10-30 minutes depending on pan size, rotating pans halfway through.
  • The cakes are done when you are able to pat the tops and the cake springs back up. If it sinks down they are not ready.

 I decorated my cupcakes with an Italian Meringue Buttercream Frosting, and for the heart cakes I used a Buttercream Frosting which I posted a while ago.

Happy baking to you from one joyfully tired mom!

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