My Red Velvet Cupcake is a glorious handful of joy. It’s one of my favorite cakes in portable form, and it’s slathered with an amazing buttercream frosting!
Oh Red Velvet, how I love thee.
Seriously, I do.
Red Velvet cake, in cake form or cupcake form, is probably my favorite cake of all times.
Oh sure, I adore Chocolate cake and Carrot cake and Lemon cake but Red Velvet Cake is not only delicious, it sparks a wee bit of magical, childlike delight, deep in my soul.
I think it’s probably because it’s like a present.
You see a cake and your brain registers, “YUM”!
Then it’s cut open and you see that magnificent, rich, red color, and the little kid in you says, ” Oh my gosh! I can’t believe it! Wow!!!!”
And then you are forever hooked on the magic that is, and can only be, Red Velvet Cake!!!!
Do ya feel me out there?
Oh, I think I can almost see you guys nodding your heads with me and I think I might have heard someone shout out an Amen!
Okay, so I guess, Red Velvet Cake might make me get a little carried away with myself.
I tell you, it’s the magic of the dang cake.
So now, let’s get down to business, and talk about this particular recipe.
It’s from the Cook’s Illustrated Holiday Baking magazine.
Well, here is the cover recipe for Red Velvet Cake.
This is a really wonderful recipe.
The cake was moist and very tender.
The color was fabulous.
My one, very slight, disappointment was that the recipe only had 2 tablespoons of cocoa.
I, personally, like a little more chocolate in my Red Velvet but I think I may be in the minority on that point.
Usually, 4 tablespoons is where I’m happiest.
Since this was the first time I tried this recipe, I wanted to make it exactly as written.
Next time, I’m bumping up the cocoa.
All in all, this Red Velvet Cake ranked in my all-time top 3, and that’s saying a lot cuz while I haven’t posted any other recipes yet, I’ve made more of these cakes than I can count.
It’s that magic thing!
I hope you try this.
Christmas is one of the many perfect occasions for this beauty.
If you give it a whirl, I’d love to hear what you think about it and how it rates for you in the Red Velvet world.
Source: Cook’s Illustrated
Red Velvet Cupcakes
- 2 1/4 Cups All Purpose Flour
- 1 1/2 Teaspoon Baking Soda
- Pinch Salt
- 1 Cup Buttermilk Well Shaken
- 1 Tablespoon White Vinegar
- 1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
- 2 Large Eggs
- 2 Tablespoons Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
- 1-1 Ounces Bottle Red Food Coloring
- 12 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter at Room Temperature
- 1 1/2 Cups Sugar
- 16 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter at Room Temperature
- 4 Cups Powdered Sugar
- 16 Ounces Cream Cheese at Room Temperature, Cubed
- 1 1/2 Teaspoons Vanilla Extract
- Pinch Salt
- FOR THE CAKE:
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour 2-9 inch cake pans or line cupcake pans with liners.
- In a medium bowl mix flour, baking soda, and salt.
- In another bowl add buttermilk, vinegar, vanilla and eggs and whisk to combine.
- Sift cocoa into a small bowl the mix with food coloring until it forms a paste.
- Beat butter and sugar together, in a standing mixer, set on medium, for 2 minutes. Scrape down bowl.
- Add 1/3 of the flour mixture and beat on medium speed just until it's incorporated. Add 1/2 the buttermilk mixture and beat on low until combined. Scrape down the bowl. Add 1/3 of the flour mixture and beat on medium until incorporated. Add the rest of buttermilk mixture beat on low until combined. Add last 1/3 of the flour mixture and beat on medium until just combined. Scrape down the bowl.
- Add the cocoa paste mixture and beat on medium until incorporated. Scrape down the bowl and make sure the bottom of the batter is incorporating as well. Give the batter a final good stir with a rubber spoonula to mix completely and pour into prepared pans.
- Bake cake/cupcakes in preheated oven about 25 minutes for cake and 20 minutes for cupcakes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. ( I had to bake my cupcakes more like 24-25 minutes but my oven is wonky and doesn't seem to hold the temp correctly.) Cool cakes in pans 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely, at least 30 minutes. ( I skipped this step and left the cupcake in the pan and refrigerated overnight. I pulled them out the next day to frost and it worked perfectly for me.)
FOR THE FROSTING:
- In a standing mixer, beat butter and sugar on medium until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add cream cheese, 1 piece at a time, and beat until incorporated. ( Are you kidding me? Yah, I just plopped all the softened cream cheese in-full blocks-not cut up in and had no problems ;0 ) Beat in vanilla and salt. ( don't skip the salt- it doesn't make the frosting taste salty it heightens all the other flavors. IMHO). Spread or pipe on completely cooled cakes. If frosting seems a bit too soft to pipe well, pop it in the fridge a few minutes to firm it up a little.
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Dr. Katy Roth says
The Best Recipe I have used for red velvet by far. In addition, I have made GREAT amazing chocolate cake (subtract the red food coloring) using this recipe.
Recently, I had cupcakes that were catered and these were better by far! Highly recommend!!!
So happy to hear that Dr. Katy! I adore these too!! <3
Since REAL Red Velvet cake does not have cream cheese frosting, this is not for me! The cake is the right recipe, but cream cheese frosting on red velvet cake is a BIG no no! Who ever started that never had the real thing, I guess.
The sauce and also icing could be prepared while you are waiting for the
cupcakes to cook.
Woow, great cupcakes! They are awesome. Your website is wonderful!
From Russia with love:)
Lynn Y says
How the heck are you? It’s lovely here in Roseville–the cherry trees are all in bloom!
I just made these as mini-cupcakes. They were nice and moist, and I liked that this recipe calls for less food coloring than others I’ve made. I doubled the cocoa, but still wanted more chocolate flavor, so will probably triplenthe cocoa next try. Thanks for the recipe!
Vera Zecevic-Cupcakes Garden says
Hi Kathleen! I saw many Red Velvet Cupcakes , but your look so gorgeous,I’m delighted with them so I featured these on my blog hopping that you will agree with that. If you don’t, please contact me and I’ll remove it.
It doesn't get better than a good red velvet cupcake and this one, my dear, looks perfect 🙂
I think I will make these for Christmas for the gkids. They look delicious. I have to take a bake break, I did so much for our party last Sunday, I need to step away from the oven! 🙂
That is one gorgeous looking cupcake! I am digging Cooks “best ever” special publication and now I think my wife would like this one.
I'm embarrassed to say that I have never made these…nor have I tasted them before! Isn't that just a crime? I've been meaning to..just haven't ever gotten around to it. When I decide to finally whip up a batch, I will use this recipe!
Perfectly beautiful about sums these up. They sound delicious as well. I hope you've had a great weekend. Blessings…Mary
I saw that cover at the bookstore last night, and I was drooling. I need to try this recipe ASAP. Red Velvet has a special place in my heart too. It is by far my favorite cupcake! Thank you so much for sharing! Have a good Sunday afternoon.
I have GOT to make these! I love that deep red and the cream cheese frosting is perfect!