Saturday, June 11, 2011

How To: Red Velvet Cupcakes

I’ve always wanted to bake Red Velvet Cupcakes! Why? Because one, they’re red. I mean, how cool is that? Two, their prestigious rep is unfailing. I haven’t come across a bad review about them. And three, they’re red! That should be reason enough to bake these little suckers. My friend Dannah hopped over to my house and helped with baking. (And boy, do I LOVE baking with my friends!)

I’ve actually almost come to a point where I despised, and gave up hope of baking cupcakes. Since all my passed cupcake endeavors have failed to reach the amazing fluffiness that I was looking for, I was in a really sad place. But I got inspired to bake these little cups of heaven when I tasted a Red Velvet cupcake from this workshop I went to. They were amazingly fluffy and the frosting was just the best thing ever. And I just thought, I had to make this. And so I did!
I searched, and searched, and googled for the perfect recipe for me to take on. And I stumbled on Magnolia’s Red Velvet Cupcake Recipe. Everyone who’s baked the recipe seemed to be buzzing with excitement about it. I couldn’t resist. I printed out the recipe and Baked away. And now, this is definitely my Go-To cupcake recipe. I seriously hope you’d love it as much as I do. Bakenjoy!

Red Velvet Cupcakes

3 1/2 cups cake flour (not self-rising)
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
2 ½ cups sugar
3 large eggs, at room temperature
6 tbsp red food coloring
3 tbsp unsweetened cocoa
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
1 1/2 tsp cider vinegar
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 batch Creamy Vanilla Frosting 

Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and lightly flour 2 cupcake pans (24 cupcakes).

To make the batter: In a small bowl, sift the cake flour and set aside. In a large bowl, whisk or on the medium speed of an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar until very light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. In a small bowl, whisk together the red food coloring, cocoa, and vanilla. Add to the batter and beat well.

In a measuring cup, stir the salt into the buttermilk. Add to the batter in three parts alternating with the flour. With each addition, beat until the ingredients are incorporated, but do not overbeat. In a small bowl, stir together the cider vinegar and baking soda. Add to the batter and mix well. Using a rubber spatula, scrape down the batter in the bowl, making sure the ingredients are well blended and the batter is smooth.

Divide the batter among the prepared pans. Arrange the oven racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven and bake the cupcakes, switching positions of the pans halfway through baking, until a tester comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Cool the cupcakes in the pan 10 minutes, then remove from the pan and cool completely on a rack before icing. To ice, mound about 1/4 cup of frosting on top of each cupcake and use an icing spatula to make a swirl on top. If desired, decorate with colored sprinkles.

Creamy Vanilla Frosting

6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups milk
2 cups (4 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

In a medium-size saucepan, whisk the flour into the milk until smooth. Place over medium heat and, stirring constantly, cook until the mixture becomes very thick and begins to bubble, 10-15 minutes..

In a large bowl, on the medium high speed of an electric mixer, beat the butter for 3 minutes, until smooth and creamy. Gradually add the sugar, beating continuously for 3 minutes until fluffy. Add the vanilla and beat well.

Add the cooled milk mixture, and continue to beat on the medium high speed for 5 minutes, until very smooth and noticeably whiter in color. Cover and refrigerate for 15 minutes (no less and no longer—set a timer!). Use immediately.

You can also use Cream-Cheese Frosting instead of Buttercream. 

Happy Saturday!

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