August 7, 2012

Red Velvet Cupcakes

My gf B, that I have known for 14 years, is getting married later this year. (hooray!) Among the preparations for her bridal shower, making the dessert was one of my tasks. Since she means so much to me, I couldn’t refuse to make her favorite cupcake for one of her many special occasions this year. I can’t think of a better reason to finally succumb to the pressure of never making red velvet before.

I used my chocolate cake recipe as a jumping off point, and after some trial and error came up with a light and fluffy red velvet cupcake that was my compromise to the overly dyed versions out there. It is a luxuriously deep, rich red that while not photogenic, looks and tastes great. I paired it with my cream cheese frosting that mirrors the creamiest of cheesecakes. Yeah, I licked the spatula and everything else it was on clean.

Red Velvet Cupcakes
1 C all-purpose flour
heaping 3/4 C sugar
2 T cocoa powder*
1 t baking soda
1/2 t baking powder
1/2 t salt
1/2 C buttermilk
1/4 C vegetable oil
1 egg
1 t vinegar
1/2 t vanilla
0.5 oz red gel good color (I use Wilton’s no-taste red gel)

Heat oven to 350ยบ F. Line one standard 12-cup muffin pan with liners.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt and set aside.

In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, vegetable oil, egg, vinegar, vanilla, and red food color.

Pour the liquid mixture into the dry mixture. You can mix the batter by hand or with a mixer, just be mindful not to overmix. Fill the cupcake liners 1/2 to 2/3 full. Bake for 13-15 minutes, until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Recipe can be doubled.

*I use Hershey’s Special Dark Cocoa, which is a blend of natural and Dutch-processed cocoas and possibly why the color turns out so deep. If you make these with regular cocoa, please let me know how the color turns out!

Cream Cheese Frosting
6 oz cream cheese, room temperature       
3 T unsalted butter, room temperature   
1 C confectioners sugar
3/4 tsp vanilla

Using a stand mixer, beat the cream cheese until smooth. Add in the butter and beat until well combined. Add the confectioners sugar in two additions, beating well after each one. Add in the vanilla and mix until well combined. If the consistency is a little soft for your decorating needs, pop it in the refrigerator for about 15 minutes. Decorate away!


  1. Yay! The cupcakes were amazing! Totally worth the wait!

    1. I promise not to make you wait another 6 years before I make them for you again!