Red Velvety Goodness

Red velvet cake has always been somewhat of a mystery to me. What is it exactly? Is it chocolate? Is it vanilla? My friend Kelly and I used to work together and we would frequent a restaurant that had the best red velvet cake. She knew the manager so we would often partake of FREE red velvet cake (the best kind).

I’ve never made red velvet cake before. I take that back. I once made it from a mix so that doesn’t count. A couple at my work is getting married soon and our department threw a luncheon for them last week. Being the cupcake fanatic that I am, I decided to make red velvet cupcakes for the luncheon. Being red and all they were very festive (not to mention delicious!).

I used Paula Deen’s recipe from the Food Network for the cupcakes. I did not use her cream cheese frosting recipe; I used the one I previously posted that topped my pumpkin ginger cupcakes.

Red Velvet Cupcakes
Makes 24 cupcakes

2 ½ cups all purpose flour
1 ½ cups sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cocoa powder
1 ½ cups vegetable oil
1 cup buttermilk, room temperature
2 large eggs, room temperature
2 tablespoons red food coloring
1 teaspoon white distilled vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line pans with muffin liners.

In a medium mixing bowl, sift together flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, and cocoa powder. In a large bowl gently beat together the oil, buttermilk, eggs, food coloring, vinegar, and vanilla with a mixer (handheld or stand). Add the sifted dry ingredients to the wet and mix until smooth and thoroughly combined. The batter matches my mixer!

Divide the batter evenly among the cupcake tins, about 2/3 filled. Bake in oven for 20-22 minutes, turning pans once half way through. Test cupcakes with a toothpick for doneness. Remove from oven and cool completely before frosting.

Frost with cream cheese frosting. If you like a lot of frosting, I suggest making a double batch. A single batch will get the job done in a pinch, but the extra frosting makes them taste THAT much better. Then garnish with chopped nuts or toasted coconut if desired. I left mine plain.

So is it worth it? All I can say is, oh my goodness. These were the best cupcakes I have ever made completely and totally from scratch. They had a beautiful red color and the frosting was whipped to perfection. This frosting recipe is seriously my favorite now. I didn’t get to bring any of them back home from work so that’s a good sign that they were good.

The recipe was very simple. Mix dry, mix wet, mix them together, pour in pan and bake. I do better with these types of recipes rather than the standard cake batter recipe that requires creaming the butter and sugar together. These would be perfect to take to a holiday party. I love cupcakes because they are already packaged in individual servings. No messy cake cutting necessary. People can just pick them up and eat them, even without a fork or a plate.

I will be adding this recipe to my arsenal. I’m already planning on making it again this weekend for some friends, including my friend Kelly. As the red velvet cake expert I’ll let her be the judge.


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