Bright Red Velvet Cupcakes

I’m in the mood to reminisce.  This past weekend my Aunt Judy celebrated her 60th birthday.  I helped her celebrate her nostalgia-themed party with these Bright Red Velvet Cupcakes.  Before we get to the cake, let’s jump back some 20something years and visit Joy and Judy, circa 1985.

My Aunt Judy is gorgeous.  Know how I know?  Because in this picture she makes the mid 80’s look damn good.  And if you can rock the 80’s and still look classic and chic, you’re doing something right.

I’m feigning coy.  At 4, I knew darn well how cute I was.

Even from the tender age pictured above I marveled at how my Aunt could have a closet solely dedicated to shoes.

That deck that Judy and I are standing on would eventually collapse as my Dad walked across it one day.

Before that collapse, I would crawl under that deck exactly one time.  I thought I heard kittens. Turns out there were kittens under the deck, but there were also spiders.  I don’t function rationally around spiders.  I do ridiculous things to get away from them.  Yea… I only did that once.

The palm tree behind us.  I would grow up to think it a good idea to grab onto a large palm frawn and swing several feet off the ground like Tarzan.  Turns out that’s not a good idea, because those palm frawns break.  And as I lay on the ground after what felt like a tremendous fall, I thought, “Oh!  Tarzan swung from vines!”.   Good thing I didn’t grow up around any vines. I surely would have broken my body.

Happy Birthday Judy, and many more!

Now let’s talk cupcakes…

From time time I change up my Red Velvet Cupcake recipe.  Sometimes I like the red to have a little more pop, other times I like the Red Velvet to have a sexy chocolate character.

The frosting, as is with most of my Red Velvet creations, is Brown Sugar Cream Cheese Frosting.

Bright Red Velvet Cupcakes

adapted from Gourmet Cookbook and makes 2 dozen cupcakes

Print this Recipe!

2 cups all-purpose flour

3 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

10 Tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

1 cup sugar

2 large eggs

1  teaspoon vanilla extract

scant 1 cup milk

1 Tablespoon red food coloring

Put a rack in the center of the oven and preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Line a muffin tin with cupcake liners and set aside.

Sift together flour, baking powder and salt into a bowl.  Set aside.

Beat together butter and sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer at medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes.  Beat in eggs one at a time, beating for 1 minute in between each addition.  Beat in vanilla.  Reduce speed to low and add flour mixture alternately with the milk and red dye in 3 batches, beginning and ending with the flour mixture and beating until just incorporated.

Bake at 350 for 15-18 minutes, or until the cakes a pick inserted in the center of the cakes comes out clean.  Let cool for 10 minutes then remove cupcakes from muffin tin and let cool on a wire rack.

Frost with Brown Sugar Cream Cheese Frosting.


63 thoughts on “Bright Red Velvet Cupcakes

  1. Joy, hi from Indiana. The 1980s photo of you and my dear friend Judy (we had much fun together then and still do)is great, and you write beautifully. I am going to have to try the cupcakes (anything with chocolate is okay with Jerry)and maybe some of your other recipes as well. While I love to cook, baking is not my forte, so it will take your beautiful pictures and great verbage to motivate me.
    You ARE a joy,
    Susie Z

  2. Thanks Joy for the photo and the memories. You are truly a gem! Eveyone loved the cupcakes, especially the birthday girl–me!
    Love ya, Aunt Judy

  3. Good point about the 80s! I love the vibrant color of these cupcakes.

    Your memories are sweet. Great thing you were scared off by spiders and didn’t spend too much time under that deck!

  4. These cupcakes are so cute! I’ve never had red velvet cake, but I’m very curious about it.

    Has there been a winner picked for the May Cupcake Hero yet?

  5. I love the old photo and the storys that go with it!
    Somesay I’ll have to try red velvet cake. Beleve it or not, I have never made one.

  6. Hello,

    I’ve been enjoying reading your blog. Your stories and recipes have been delightful. I haven’t yet had an opportunity to make any of them but I have bananas ripening on my counter, so, guess what? It’s banana cupcakes A LA Joy the Baker! I’m topping them with your brown sugar cream cheese frosting! Is it thick enough to pipe? I’m learning how to pipe frosting(Wilton). Any helpful hints?

    I also wanted to make sure it was okay that I added you to my blog list.?

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