Months ago, my friend Amber asked me to find her a good Red Velvet cupcake recipe. I'm not sure I'd even eaten a Red Velvet cupcake before. I just knew that they were red. After a little sleuthing I learned some interesting things about Red Velvet cake. In World War II, when foods were being rationed, chocolate was scarce. So, in order to color their cakes, beet juice was used - leading to the deep red color. Nowadays, we have chocolate and red dye in every grocery store, but the cake still stands. The chocolate in this recipe is used more as a leavening agent, and when mixed with the buttermilk and vinegar, it adds to the rich, red, velvet-y color.
So, after my research, I can now present you with what I believe is - by far - the best Red Velvet cupcake recipe I've ever had. Even better than Sprinkles. And the frosting - oh, the frosting! - is divine!
You'll notice when you read through the recipe that some of the measurements are in weight, not volume. Do NOT just convert it to cups. It must be measured out. Kitchen scales come in all different forms, but it's not too hard to find a cheap one at any grocery/superstore/kitchen store. This is a key reason why these cupcakes are so amazing. The ingredient measurements are perfect, and so worth the extra effort.
16 ounces all-purpose flour
1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
13 ounces granulated sugar
1 1/4 cups buttermilk
2 tablespoons red food coloring (a 1oz bottle is the perfect size)
1 1/4 teaspoons vinegar (white or apple cider both work)
1 1/4 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 tablespoons cup water
For the cream cheese frosting:
3/4 pounds cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 pound butter, room temperature
1 pound powdered sugar, sifted
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1. Preheat oven 350 degrees F. Sift together flour, baking soda, salt, and cocoa powder into a bowl and set aside.
2. In a mixer fitted with paddle attachment, mix oil, sugar, and buttermilk until combined. Add eggs, food coloring, vinegar, vanilla, and water; mix well. Add the dry ingredients a little bit at a time and mix on low, scraping down sides occasionally. Mix until just combined. Be sure not to over mix, or the batter will come out tough.
3. Line a cupcake pan with paper liners, scoop the batter into the liners and bake at 350 degrees F for 15-18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center or a cupcake comes out clean. Let cool.
For the cream cheese frosting:
Whip the butter and cream cheese together in a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment until creamed. Gradually add powdered sugar to the mixture and scrape down the bowl as needed. Add the vanilla and mix until combined.
The frosting can be used right away, or stored in the refrigerator up to a week.
Frost cooled cupcakes with the cream cheese frosting.
This recipe will make about 30 regular sized cupcakes, 16 jumbo cupcakes (cook 22-24 minutes), or 60 mini cupcakes (cook 10-12 minutes).
Now...go make these! They are HEAVENLY!
recipe adapted from the Food Network