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
- 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
- 1 pound (2 blocks) cream cheese, room temp
- 2 sticks butter, room temp
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 4 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar
- 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.
- In a medium mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, and cocoa powder. Once all in the bowl, whisk together.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Frost using the tip of your choice or a flat knife.
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!