Red Velvet Cupcakes

Boys and ghouls, the most wonderful time of the year is finally upon us.  HALLOWEEN.  My most favorite holiday of all (sorry Arbor Day) is but 3 days away, and I am SO EXCITED.  I get to dress up for a costume contest at work tomorrow, which obviously means two things – over the top dedication to the costume, and baked goods.  I thought red velvet would lend itself well to a spooky treat for the zombies over at the office, so here we go!

Red Velvet Cupcakes

  • Servings: 2 dozen standard, roughly 60 mini
  • Time: 2hr 30mins
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

INGREDIENTS:

CAKE:
  • 2 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup buttermilk, room temp (or, 1 cup milk with one tbsp vinegar)
  • 2 large eggs, room temp
  • 2 tbsp red food coloring (liquid, not gel, as the gel will clump and make your batter more pinkish)
  • 1 tsp white vinegar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

    Despite all appearances, not a mise en place bowl full of blood...probably
    Despite all appearances, not a mise en place bowl full of blood…probably
FROSTING:
  • 1 pound (2 blocks) cream cheese, room temp
  • 2 sticks butter, room temp
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 4 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar

    Yep.  Basically just butter and cream cheese and happiness.
    Yep. Basically just butter and cream cheese and happiness.
DIRECTIONS:
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line 2 standard muffin pans OR 2-3 mini muffin pans (depending on their size – I used 2 24 spot and a 12 spot) with cupcake papers.
  2. In a medium mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, and cocoa powder.  Once all in the bowl, whisk together.
  3. In a separate large bowl, beat together the oil, buttermilk, eggs, food coloring, vinegar, and vanilla. Add the dry ingredients in thirds to the wet and mix until smooth and combined.

    IMG_0696
    It will come out looking something like this. Good.
  4. Divide the batter evenly among the liners until about 2/3 filled (this goes for the minis as well). Bake in oven for about 20 to 22 minutes for standard cupcakes or 10-12 minutes for mini cupcakes, turning the pans halfway through.

    I used festive black and orange liners because HALLOWEEN HALLOWEEN HALLOWEEN HALLOWEEN
    I used festive black and orange liners because HALLOWEEN HALLOWEEN HALLOWEEN HALLOWEEN
  5. Test the cupcakes with a toothpick for doneness – you want a few moist crumbs to remain when it is inserted into the middle and removed. Remove from oven and let cool in the tins for 5 minutes, then move to a cooling rack to cool completely before frosting.

    60 mini cupcakes. Not pictured: me rethinking all of my decisions.
  6. For frosting: In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese, butter and vanilla together until smooth (about 2 minutes). Add the sugar a cup at a time on low speed and beat until incorporated.  Once all sugar has been added, increase the speed to high and mix until light and fluffy or desired consistency is reached.

    YUP.
    YUP.
  7. Frost using the tip of your choice or a flat knife.
    I whipped up some red gel frosting and used some store-bought sugar axes to up the spooktacular, but it is very much optional.
    I whipped up some red gel icing and used some store-bought sugar axes to up the spooktacular factor, but it is very much optional.

There you have it mummies and deadies, a red velvet recipe (and GREAT cream cheese frosting recipe!) that can be used at any time of year.  Happy haunting!

-Nicole

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