Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting + Video
YAS - red velvet cupcakes with cream cheese frosting!! It's about time. Cuz c'mon, red velvet's a classic.
Truth is, I try to stay away from food dyes and never bake with any. But red velvet cupcakes are my one exception. Because they're awesome. Also because you can't really make a red velvet cupcake without any red coloring. Well, I could use beets. I've seen that done before. But I don't know, that feels slightly sacrilegious. I mean, have some respect for the cupcake, okay?
But we don't have just any red velvet cupcakes here. These are soft and moist and fluffy and flavorful red velvet cupcakes. And they're easily the best red velvet cupcakes I've ever made. And you know what else I made? A video. Just for you. To show you how to make the best red velvet cupcakes. And cream cheese frosting. And decorate the best red velvet cupcakes. With the cream cheese frosting. Here it is:
Or, watch it on Youtube.
These red velvet cupcakes succeed in having the perfect amount of chocolate flavor while still maintaining an intense red color. Not an easy feat, but these cupcakes manage it very well all the same.
And, to complement the most perfect cupcake base (soft, moist, fluffy, flavorful - remember?), there's the traditional cream cheese frosting piled on top. Yep, the same frosting I slathered on the cinnamon rolls last week and the coconut cupcakes I posted a few months back. What do you want me to say - this frosting is incredible. So I keep going back to it. I have to.
You can choose to frost these cupcakes like I did in the video - spiraled on with a star tip - or simply smear on a generous dollop of the frosting with a spatula. And then you can decide if you want to sprinkle some cupcake crumbs over the frosting to achieve the really classic red velvet cupcake look. Or leave it bare.
So many terribly difficult decisions. I guess that's the one major pitfall of having free choice - having to decide how to decorate your red velvet cupcakes.
This recipe will produce 14 to 16 regular sized cupcakes. I chose to make 12 regular cupcakes and then a tray of mini ones. Cuz everything is better in mini. You can also make a few cupcakes and then pour the rest of the batter into a round pan or a loaf pan. Then you get red velvet cupcakes and red velvet cake. Um, magic?
Just use a little common sense and bake the batter for less time if you're making mini red velvet cupcakes and more time if you're making a red velvet cake. And regular time if you're making regular red velvet cupcakes. When a toothpick inserted has a few moist crumbs, it's ready.
What's really important, though, is the fact that whatever mold and size you end up baking these cupcakes in, they're red velvet. With cream cheese frosting. In the end, that's all that matters. Consider this a life lesson.
Red velvet cupcakes with cream cheese frosting
Adapted from Averie Cooks
Yield: 14-16 cupcakes
1 cup sugar
2/3 cup buttermilk (or regular milk + 1 teaspoon vinegar)
3 tablespoons plain yogurt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup oil
1 1/2 cups flour
3 tablespoons cocoa
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2-3 tablespoons red food coloring (may need an entire bottle)
Cream Cheese Frosting:
2 sticks (8 oz.) butter, softened
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 cups confectioner's sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 F. Line 14-16 muffins molds with cupcake liners.
Whisk together sugar and egg. Add in buttermilk, yogurt, vanilla extract, and oil and whisk well.
Stir together dry ingredients and mix with wet till just combined. Add in 2 tablespoons of red coloring and whisk. If mixture looks too dark or not red enough, add another tablespoon. You want a rich red color. Keep in mind that the batter will look more red than the finished, baked cupcake will.
Fill liners 2/3 full and bake for 18-20 minutes*, or until a toothpick inserted comes out with a few moist crumbs. Once cooled, top cupcakes with cream cheese frosting either by smearing it on or piping it (see video). Top with the crumbs of one of the cupcakes if desired.
*Note: If making mini cupcakes, start checking after 11-12 minutes for doneness.
On a completely unrelated note, would you look at that, it's my favorite time: