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3 Dishes Recipe Review: Red Velvet Cupcakes

| February 1, 2015 | 0 Comments

By Greg Mattie

Red Velvet cake, typically served in layers with a cream cheese or roux icing, has a unique history behind it. Most people may think of this cake as a more modern Southern favorite. But during WWII, when food rationing 11 Red Velvet Cupcakes by Greg Mattiewere common, bakers would use boiled beet juices to enhance the colors of their cakes, including red velvet cakes. I decided to take this cake, which has grown in popularity in the past 20 years, and turn them into cupcakes.

You can go online and find many different recipes of red velvet (cup)cakes. One common connection you will see is the inclusion of buttermilk and vinegar. The acidity of these two ingredients helps to enhance the redness of the cake as well as adding some moisture to the texture.

For the frosting, I used a simple cream cheese recipe with a small modification. I did not want the cupcakes to taste cloyingly sweet so I reduced the amount of powdered sugar within the recipe.

Ingredients for Frosting

  • 4 oz unsalted butter, softened
  • 4 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 1.5 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions for Frosting

Beat the cream cheese and butter together in a mixing bowl with an electric mixer. Slowly add in the powdered sugar and then add the vanilla extract. Simple as that.

Ingredients for Cake

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 tsp cocoa powder
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk, room temperature
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 3 T red food coloring
  • 1 tsp distilled white vinegar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract

(Please note, the first time I made these cupcakes, I was hesitant about the amount of red food coloring. Because of this fact, my cupcakes looked brown. They tasted great but lacked the redness that is needed. Otherwise, I should just call these Brown Velvet-less Cupcakes. What I am trying to say is…use the correct amount of red dye. Now, back to the recipe.)

Directions for Cake

Pre-heat oven to 350°. Add the flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, and cocoa powder into one bowl. In another bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients (oil, buttermilk, eggs, food coloring, vinegar and extract). Slowly mix in the dry ingredients until the mixture is smooth. Fill the cupcake liners about 2/3 full. Bake for 20-22 minutes. The recipe should yield about 24 cupcakes.

I wanted to make this particular style because I felt this would be a fun assignment for my daughter and me. She loves to bake and the idea to make cupcakes for Valentine’s Day seemed extra special. Whatever you decide to make for this year’s Valentine’s, all that matters is that you care enough to do something special with the ones you love. Please do enjoy.

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Category: 3 Dishes, Beaverton Voice

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