Sunday, December 21, 2014

12 Days of Christmas Desserts - Day #5 - Red Velvet Cupcakes

To me, there is nothing more festive than a delicious Red Velvet Cupcake with Cream Cheese Icing!  I've made several different versions of red velvet cupcakes, and this recipe is hands down the best one!  These cupcakes are RED, which is important since some red velvet cupcakes tend to be more brown in color (and you don't want that for your Christmas Table)!  I make a lot of recipes using cake mix as a short cut - but this is one recipe that is 100 percent worth making from scratch!

Your Shopping List for the Red Velvet Cupcakes:
  • ½ cup (one stick) butter, softened (I use regular salted butter...I never use the unsalted stuff even when I am baking...I think that the extra salt gives it better flavor)
  • 1 ½ cups white sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 ½ tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 2 ounces red food coloring (I use two McCormick bottles of Red food coloring...yes 2 whole can find them by the Vanilla and other flavor extracts in the baking aisle)
  • 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2 ounces water
  • 1 teaspoon white vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

What You Need for the Icing:
  • 2 8 oz. packages cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup (two sticks) butter, softened (again I like salted butter, I think the flavor is better)
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Now Let's Make the Cupcakes
  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees
  2. Line two cupcake pans with cupcake liners (this recipe will make 24 regular size cupcakes)
  3. Cream butter and sugar together in the bowl of a stand mixer until soft and fluffy 
  4. Add eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition
  5. In a separate bowl stir together the cocoa powder and food coloring - add the colored mixture to the butter mixture
  6. In a small mixing bowl whisk together the flour and salt 
  7. Slowly add the flour mixture into the wet mixture, beating on low until combined
  8. Add the vanilla, buttermilk, and water to your batter and mix until combined
  9. In another bowl combine the white vinegar and baking soda (it will fizz up).  Then, fold this into your batter 
  10. Divide batter evenly among cupcake cups
  11. Bake for approximately 20 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean
  12. Cool for 10 minutes in the pans, transfer cupcakes to wire racks to cool completely

Now Let's Make the Icing
  1. Blend together softened cream cheese and softened butter
  2. Add powdered sugar and vanilla extract
  3. Blend until smooth - you can add a little more or less powdered sugar to achieve the thickness of the frosting you would like
  4. Frost your cupcakes and enjoy!  

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