My Favorite Red Velvet Cupcakes
God sure does have a clever sense of humor, wouldn’t you say!?
Here’s how I know: I’m dating a faaaaantastic man who… doesn’t know the difference between a pie and a cake… a muffin and a cupcake.
Funny, right? This has to be a joke… right?
Ok. To be fair. It’s not that he doesn’t know the difference… it’s just that he mixes them all up all the time. Maybe it makes me a little crazy. Maybe it goes a little something like this:
Me: Simon, what do you want for your birthday?
Simon: A giant pie!
Me: A pie? You mean you don’t want a big ol’ chocolate cake?
Simon: Oh! Wait! No…. I want a cake. Wait… cakes are the big, multi-layered things with all the frosting. Yes. I want that.
Me: Cake. Not pie. Cake. Ok.
Me: Hey Simon! What do you want for breakfast?
Me: You mean muffins, right?
Simon: Ooh yea. Muffins. Yeaaaaah. They have the same shape! It’s confusing.
Me: I know.
Ok… maybe these two conversations are a bit of an exaggeration. But seriously friends… they’re not that much of an exaggeration. This happens to me, and I don’t see an end in sight. Very funny God. Luckily I have a very keen sense of humor too. Ha.
Perhaps making up for his mix-ups, Simon is one hell of a cupcake decorator. Seriously.
Now, I’d like to introduce you to my absolute favorite Red Velvet Cupcake recipe with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting. Wait… muffins. No, cupcakes. No… definitely cupcakes. I know this.
Believe it or not, I haven’t always been the biggest fan of Red Velvet Cupcakes. I thought they always tasted, well… red.
This Red Velvet Cupcake recipe comes from The Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook. All of the cupcakes I’ve tried from this book so far have been a tremendous success. What makes this recipe so lovely, is the hearty but not overpowering amount of cocoa powder. It’s just enough to tint the cupcake a sultry brownish-red and to tone down the red flavor that always turns me off. Buttermilk works to make the cupcakes just the right softness and combined with Cinnamon Cream Cheese frosting… shut up… so good!
This recipe makes one dozen cupcakes. Double the recipe and you’ll have either two dozen cupcakes, or enough batter to make 2 9-inch layer cakes. Brilliant!
My Favorite Red Velvet Cupcakes
recipe from Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook
makes one dozen cupcakes, double recipe to make 2 9-inch layer cakes
4 Tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
3 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
2 Tablespoons red food coloring
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 cup plus 2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons distilled white vinegar
Place a rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fit with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about three minutes. Turn mixer to high and add the egg. Scrape down the bowl and beat until well incorporated.
In a separate bowl mix together cocoa, vanilla and red food coloring to make a thick paste. Add to the batter, mixing thoroughly until completely combined. You may need to stop the mixer to scrape the bottom of the bowl, making sure that all the batter gets color.
Turn mixer to low and slowly add half of the buttermilk. Add half of the flour and salt and mix until combined. Scrape the bowl and repeat the process with the remaining milk and flour. Beat on high until smooth.
Turn mixer to low and add baking soda and white vinegar. Turn to high and beat a few more minutes.
Spoon batter into a paper lined cupcake baking pan and bake at 350 F for 20-25 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the center cupcake comes out clean.
Let rest in the pan for 10 minutes, then place them of a cooling rack to cool completely before frosting.
Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting
adapted from Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook
double recipe to frost a 2 layer 9-inch cake
2 1/3 cups powdered sugar, sifted
3 Tablespoons butter, room temperature
4 ounces cream cheese, cold (I used room temperature)
scant 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Beat the powdered sugar, cinnamon, and butter together in the bowl of a stand mixer fit with a paddle attachment. Mix on medium-slow speed until it comes together and is well mixed.
Add the cream cheese all at once and beat on medium to medium-high until incorporated.
Turn the mixer to medium-high and beat for 5 minutes, or until the frosting becomes light and fluffy.
Do not over-beat as the frosting can quickly become runny.