Red Velvet Whopper- the cupcake

How do I describe the taste of Red Velvet cake?  Well, it’s not vanilla cake,  but it’s certainly not all chocolate.  Red Velvet cake, for lack of a more creative vocabulary, tastes like sweet red cake.  Without rich and decadent frosting, this cake is light, moist, quite tasty and yes, red.  My favorite Red Velvet cake is relentlessly smothered in brown sugar cream cheese frosting.  The recipe for both just a jump away.

Buttermilk Red Velvet

adapted from Demolition Desserts

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8 Tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temp

1 cup plus 2 Tablespoons granulated sugar

2 large eggs, at room temp

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

2 cups cake flour

2 Tablespoons cocoa powder

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

3/4 cup buttermilk

scant 2 Tablespoons Red Food coloring

1. Preheat the oen to 325.  Sift together flour, cocoa, baking powder and baking soda.  Add the kosher salt after sifting and set aside.  Measure out the buttermilk and red rood coloring.  Add the die to the buttermilk for easier incorporation later.

2. Cream the butter and the sugar using an electric mixer, until the mixture is pale and fluffy.  Add the eggs one at a time, letting the eggs beat for 1 mintue in between additions.  Scrape down the bowl in between additions.

3.  Add the dry ingredients alternately with the wet ingredients.  Start by adding one third of the flour mixture.  Mix just to incorporate.  Add half of the buttermilk.  Add another one third of the flour mixture.  Mix to incorporate.  Add the last half of buttermilk, followed by the last third of flour.

4. Spoon into paper lined cupcake pans.  Check the cupcakes after 12 minutes.  Makes 12 cupcakes.

The cupcake recipe should be doubled for the amount of frosting the below recipe produces. The make 24 cupcakes, or a two layer 8-inch or 9-inch round cake, double the cake recipe above, and use the frosting recipe below as is.

Brown Sugar Cream Cheese Frosting

1 1/2 cups butter, softened

8oz cream cheese, softened

1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2-4 tablespoons milk

4-6 cups powdered sugar

depending on desired consistency

Cream the butter and cream cheese together in an electric mixer.  (Be sure that the two are at room temperature.  Cold cream cheese or butter can make your frosting lumpy.)  Add the brown sugar and vanilla extract, and beat for about 2 minutes.  Turn off mixer and add 2 cups of powdered sugar.  Turn the mixer on a low speed so the sugar doesn’t fly out of the bowl.  Slowly add more sugar alternately with the milk until you reach your desired consistency.  I like my cupcake frosting to be slightly more thick than cake frosting, so it can hold its shape on the cupcake.

43 thoughts on “Red Velvet Whopper- the cupcake

  1. I made these for Valentine’s this year for the first time. I agree… it’s tough to pin a flavor on them. I personally enjoyed the cupcakes with frosting much more than without. Yours look very pretty :)

  2. I know! I’ve tried pancakes every time they’re around my whole life because I want to like them sooo badly, but it just hasn’t happened. Don’t worry, I know it’s just wrong :)

  3. Steph- Your cream cheese frosting question is a great one! I used to have that problem until I figured out what was going on. I’ll write a whole post about it tonight!
    Melody- I must admit that Red Velvet isn’t my favorite flavor cake. This recipe is good- not great, not horrible. I think to make is close to great I would add the shaved chocolate that kate and stephanie talk about, and I would also use sour cream along with the mil. Maybe 1/4 cup sour cream, and 1/2 cup milk (plain, not buttermilk). I really like the way that sour cream tenderizes a cake. Good luck with yours!

  4. I’m glad someone else has discovered the shaved chocolate. I probably use about as much as Stephanie- I actually just coarsely chop squares of semisweet chocolate and it shatters into bits- you want to be able to see them in the cake but not feel them when you eat it. I tried chocolate chips once and they were too big. You want that delicious chocolate flavor without affecting the texture. I do a pretty standard cream cheese frosting which gets whipped a LONG time. (maybe 6 minutes in my kitchenaid?) This is definitely my go-to cake and always get devoured at parties.

  5. What did you think of this recipe Joy? I have wanted to try it since I have been disappointed in the past with some other red velvet recipes, but I would love to know your opinion before I do. Thanks!

  6. i love the halvsies swirled frosting! makes me think of the smurfs! and the brown sugar in it is a great touch.

    have you ever had cream cheese frosting split while making it? this happens to me every once and awhile, and i can’t figure out why.

  7. Nikki- I can understand you now being a big fan of Red Velvet… but pancakes!? Now that’s just crazy!!

    Stephanie and Kate- I love the idea of shaved chocolate in Red Velvet! I’ve never tried it, so I didn’t include it in this recipe, but what a great idea! It must be just delicious! Thanks for the suggestion!

    Deborah- I would definitely do what Kate and Stephanie suggested and use cocoa powder and shaved chocolate together in the batter! Yum!

    Tammy- I use liquid food coloring. I think a paste would be a bit too think, like you said.

  8. Red velvet cake isn’t something we have in NZ. I would love to try your recipe. Do you use paste food colouring or liquid? I would imagine that the paste is a bit thick?

  9. I’m with Kate! I do both the cocoa and shaved chocolate and it’s delicious! I usually put 1/4 cup of cocoa and shave about 4 or so ounces of chocolate. Hands down my favorite cake!

  10. So adorable! I put cocoa in my red velvet, but I’m not really a red velvet fan so I don’t know that my opinion is valid. I feel for red velvet like I do for pancakes … I want to like them so bad, but I just don’t like them.

  11. I not only put cocoa in my red velvet cake, but I have started adding shaved chocolate, and it is the best red velvet cake ever. I probably put about 1/4 c cocoa.

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