Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

I know I'm well behind the red velvet craze, but I never quite saw the appeal. From what I understood, red velvet cake is a chocolate flavored cake that is colored red. (Yes, yes, I know that original red velvet cakes needed no food coloring.) But, since I'm a generally curious person, especially when it comes to things like cupcakes, I thought I would give them a shot.

I was definitely pleasantly surprised by these cupcakes - they were moist and just sweet enough and well - it might also have been the frosting that kept me coming back.
I sprinkled the cupcakes with these little edible pearls I bought, that are very cute. Now I just have to find other uses for them.
I was a little..concerned when it came to the food coloring part of this adventure. The little Wilton tub marked "red" was just about empty, so I reached instead for the one that was labeled "burgundy." Then I was sure I would end up staining the mixer bowl and the utensils and probably my clothing and always my hands - but I mostly averted these issues. And I was quite happy with the end color - those these photos are a bit off. Probably shouldn't have used a yellow tablecloth.
Tip of the Day: Gel food colorings, which are becoming very popular, are great in some situations because they don't add liquid to your recipe the way that other food colorings do. This can be crucial in some icings where the consistency is key. Here, you can use either.


2/3 cup canola oil
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
2 tablespoons red food coloring or 1/3 teaspoon red gel food coloring dissolved in 2
tablespoons of water
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons flour
2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa
1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 cup buttermilk
2/3 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon white vinegar

Cream Cheese Frosting:
8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 stick (1/4 cup) butter or margarine, softened
1 1/2 cups confectioners sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla

Beat the oil and sugar together until well blended. Add in the egg and beat until combined, then mix in the food coloring. Add in the vanilla.
Gradually mix in half the flour, then half the buttermilk, then the remaining flour, cocoa and salt, then the remaining buttermilk.
In a small dish, mix the baking soda and vinegar together (hello, 7th grade science class), then add to the batter and beat for 10 seconds.
Divide the batter evenly among paper-lined cupcake cases. The recipe makes about 12 cupcakes.
Bake at 350 F for 18 to 22 minutes, until test done.

Beat the cream cheese and butter together until well blended. Add in the sugar and beat to combine. Add in the vanilla. Refrigerate 20 to 30 minutes before using.


  1. Cream cheese frosting is my favorite. I should try this one. Maybe by weekend my kids will love tot eat cup cakes with cream cheese frosting. They are not fond of cheese frosting when we are buying in the market. I hope that if I make the cup cake with cheese frosting they would love it.

  2. Red velvet cupcakes are truly one of the best cupcakes of all times. My mom is looking for some recipe of this cupcake better suggest this one. Thanks for sharing this recipe.

  3. Hi, I just try your recipe and the cake was very well
    thanks :D