Usually when I see red velvet cupcakes I think of valentine’s day–it’s probably the bright red color. But when I look at these cupcakes now, I think of Christmas. =) They really would be perfect for a Christmas party, but let’s get through Thanksgiving first before we get all excited about Christmas, ok?

A few weeks ago, I was working on a group project with Lauren when we decided to take a break and make some cupcakes. I had been wanting to make red velvet for a while and I knew Lauren liked them  so it was the perfect opportunity. I had all the ingredients too–impressive I know, but what can I say–I love to bake ;). I know you’ll read through the ingredient list and question the vegetable oil over butter, but the oil really helps to keep the cupcakes super moist. You won’t miss the butter at all–I promise! The cupcakes had a really unique flavor, almost like a sugar cookie–yum! I may or may not have eaten a couple right out of the oven uniced, but they were even better with the cream cheese frosting. This recipe will make a lot of cupcakes, so I would suggest halving it unless you have a lot of friends to share with. Enjoy!

Red Velvet Cupcakes
For the cake:
2½ cups cake flour
1½ cups sugar
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tbsp. cocoa powder
1 tsp. salt
2 large eggs
1½ cups vegetable oil
1 cup buttermilk (or 1 cup milk + 1 tbsp lemon juice)
2 tbsp. (1 oz.) liquid red food coloring
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. distilled white vinegar

For the frosting:
6 oz. cream cheese
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 tsp. vanilla extract
6 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted

Preheat the oven to 350° F.  Line cupcake pans with paper liners.  In a medium bowl, combine the cake flour, sugar, baking soda, cocoa powder and salt; whisk to blend.  In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the eggs, vegetable oil, buttermilk, food coloring, vanilla and vinegar.  Beat on medium speed until well blended.  Mix in the dry ingredients on low speed and beat until smooth, about 2 minutes.
Divide the batter evenly between the prepared liners.  Bake, rotating the pans halfway through baking, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 18 minutes.  Let cool in the pans 5-10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

To make the frosting, combine the cream cheese and butter in the bowl of an electric mixer.  Beat on medium-high speed until well combined and smooth, about 2-3 minutes.  Mix in the vanilla extract.  Gradually beat in the confectioners’ sugar until totally incorporated, increase the speed and then beat until smooth.  Frost cooled cupcakes as desired. Yield: about 30 cupcakes
*adapted from Annie’s Eats

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Categories: Cupcakes

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