Birthday traditions in our house consist of getting your favorite meals and birthday dessert on your special day. We all have our favorite meals either cooked or eaten out and whatever kind of cake or in this case, cupcakes we would like. As the girls get older, their meals get more gourmet. From tacos to sushi for my youngest who turned 20 today. From a Pocahontas marbled cake to Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting. Favorite meal was the French toast I made for breakfast/lunch (she slept in) and then off to a local sushi restaurant for dinner and home for cupcakes. It was a very nice day with family.
These Red Velvet cupcakes are dramatic in color with their bright red color and topped with cream cheese frosting. The cupcakes have a mild chocolate flavor and are so moist. The mild chocolate flavor comes from adding a small amount of cocoa powder to the batter and buttermilk gives it an extra moist touch. If you are not familiar with buttermilk it has a nice thick creamy texture with a rich tangy buttery taste that makes baked goods tender. I don’t care for it to drink but to bake with, oh my! The recipe also calls for one teaspoon of vinegar mixed with one teaspoon of baking soda – don’t leave out the vinegar. You don’t taste or smell it in the batter or the finished product. It just enhances the flavor and makes the cupcake even more light and fluffy. I cheated with the frosting this time and used a store-bought can only to save time but I often use this Homemade Cream Cheese frosting.
Red Velvet Cupcakes (or Cake)
- 2 1/2 cups sifted cake flour
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 tbsp cocoa powder
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter softened
- 1 1/2 cups granulated white sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 2 tbsp liquid red food coloring
- 1 tsp white vinegar
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tub of canned cream cheese frosting or 1 batch of homemade cream cheese frosting
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. If making cupcakes: Line muffin pan with cupcake paper liners and spray nonstick spray into each one. If making a two layer cake: Butter two - 9 inch round cake pans and line the bottoms of the pans with parchment paper. Set aside.
- In a medium mixing bowl, whisk (or sift) together the flour, salt, and, cocoa powder. Set aside.
- In bowl of your stand mixer, or with a hand mixer, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy (about 2-3 minutes).
- Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, as needed. With the last egg, add the vanilla and beat well till combined.
- In a glass measuring cup or bowl, whisk the buttermilk with the red food coloring. Be careful not to splatter as the red color will stain.
- With the mixer on low speed, alternately add the flour mixture and buttermilk to the butter mixture, in three additions, beginning and ending with the flour. This will ensure all the ingredients are combined well. Scrap sides of bowl as needed.
- In a very small cup combine the vinegar and baking soda. Allow the mixture to fizz and then quickly fold, by hand, into the cake batter. (this would be a good step for kids to do as they’ll love the fizzy part)
- To make cupcakes: fill each muffin cup about 2/3 to 3/4 fill. Bake for 15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cakes comes out clean. Let cool in pan for 5 minutes; then remove and cool on a wire rack completely before frosting.
- To make a two layer cake: divide the batter evenly between the two prepared pans and bake in the preheated oven for 25 -30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cakes comes out clean. Cool the cakes in their pans on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Place a wire rack on top of the cake pan and invert, lifting off the pan. Frost when cake is completely cool.