Red Velvet Cupcakes

Everyone loves a good red velvet cupcake.  It never fails that whenever I asked people what their favorite dessert is, the red velvet cupcake is almost always a top contender.  I have always found this interesting because at the heart of it, this cupcake is simply a chocolate cupcake with cream cheese frosting and a whole lot of red food colouring.  But somehow, whether it’s because of the regal colour or because of the deliciously genius cream cheese + chocolate pairing, the red velvet transcends its regular chocolate peers.  Which is why I was a little disappointed these didn’t come out as red as I’d like them to be.  But nonetheless, I made these for two friends – one who just completed step 2 CK and the other who turned 24 – two occasions definitely deserving of a celebration :)

Red Velvet Cupcakes:
Adapted from Basil Kitchen

Ingredients:

Dry Batter Ingredients
2 cups sifted cake flour + 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
2 TBSP unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp salt

Wet Batter Ingredients
1 cup buttermilk (or 1 cup whole milk + 1 tbsp vinegar, let stand for 5 minutes)
2 large eggs + 1 egg white
1 cup canola oil
1 1/2 TBSP red food coloring (I used this and it ended up not really coming out very red, so I would actually recommend increasing this 2-3 tbsp)
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 tsp distilled white vinegar

Chocolate Ganache
4 oz unsweetened chocolate baking bar
1/4 cup heavy cream

Cream Cheese Frosting (makes 4 cups)
8 oz cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup unsalted butter,  softened
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
4 1/2 cups confectioners powdered sugar
1 TBSP heavy whipping cream, very cold

Cupcake instructions:

1. Preheat oven to 350F and line cupcake tins with liners.

2. Combine all the dry batter ingredients in a large bowl.  In a separate large bowl, use an electric mixer to combine all the wet batter ingredients.

3. Make the chocolate ganache by coarsely chopping chocolate.  Add the heavy cream and microwave for 30 seconds at a time, mixing between each reheating until it’s all melted.  Add the ganache to the wet ingredients and beat with an electric mixer until smooth.

4. Add wet ingredients to dry, 1/3 at a time, mixing until batter is smooth.

5. Fill cupcake liners a little more than 3/4 full with batter (I ended up making 26 out of this recipe).  Bake for ~20-25 minutes or until the center doesn’t move when you rock the tray.  Allow them to cool completely before frosting

Instructions for frosting:

1. Beat cream cheese and butter together until smooth.  Add vanilla.

2. Add icing sugar 1 cup at a time until well incorporated.

3. Add 1 tbsp of very cold heavy cream. Beat until well mixed

4.  Chill in the refrigerator until the cupcakes are cooled enough for icing.


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