in the kitchen: red velvet cupcakes

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so i’ve gotta say, i kind of outdid myself today. not that i didn’t enjoy doing it. i used to be baking phenom, but it seems i’ve let it die down a bit. what better holiday then valentines (let it be known here that we don’t go crazy about it in this house. my “present” to josh was a bounty bar.) to get my bum back into baking? i used martha’s recipe, found below, and actually followed it to a T. i figured if it works for martha, it works for me. the only detour i took was in the icing. for the pink color, i used a bit of grenadine (something my grandma alice always did). makes it oh so cute, right? oh and the heart you see in the icing- total accident. i would i could say i was that talented.
i will say, the icing recipe makes.a.lot. like double what i needed. you might consider halving it.

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red velvet cupcakes

(Makes 24)
2 1/2 cups cake flour (not self- rising), sifted
2 tablespoons unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
2 large eggs, room temperature
1/2 teaspoon red gel-paste food color
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons distilled white vinegar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners. Whisk together cake flour, cocoa, and salt.
With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, whisk together sugar and oil 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 whisking well after each. Stir together the baking soda and vinegar in a small bowl (it will foam); add mixture to the batter, and mix on medium speed 10 seconds.
Divide batter evenly among lined cups, filling each three-quarters full. Bake, rotating tins halfway through, until a cake tester inserted in centers comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Transfer tins to wire racks to cool completely before removing cupcakes. Cupcakes can be stored overnight at room temperature, or frozen up to 2 months, in airtight containers.

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cream cheese frosting

8 ounces (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
12 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1 pound (4 cups) confectioners’ sugar, sifted
3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Beat butter and cream cheese with a mixer on medium-high speed until fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Reduce speed to low. Add sugar, 1 cup at a time, and then vanilla; mix until smooth. Frosting can be refrigerated for up to 3 days; before using, bring to room temperature, and beat until smooth.

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