Phenomenal Red Velvet Cupcakes
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If you were raised anything like I was, you’re scratching your head right now saying “Red Velvet cake in AUGUST?”.
Well yes, I know it seems odd. This wonderful cake is usually made around the holidays but since it’s gone mainstream I’ve seen red velvet everywhere all year long. From those fancy schmancy cupcake joints with the four inch high icing to frozen yogurt flavors and it’s even showing up in snack cakes! Still, I usually only made it around Christmastime at home out of well…habit, tradition…and a little bit of “well it never occured to me to make it any other time of year!”
This past weekend, though, my Katy Rose got her first ever taste of red velvet. Now y’all don’t go decrying my parenting skills over that, the child has had plenty of chances to try it but it was of her own accord that she chose not to eat the cake that looked like an animal had been slaughtered and stirred up into the cake batter. ~giggles~ You know, I think someone came up with that deep red color just to scare off the newbies so the diehards could have more for themselves!
So Katy Rose had Red Velvet – frozen yogurt. ~sighs~ I know, her first taste and it wasn’t even the cake!
Anywho, I’m not gonna split hairs because it was enough to get her hooked and when we were in the Opryland Hotel this past weekend she saw a Red Velvet cupcake in a bakery and just about had a dying duck fit wanting it.
I, being the loving mother that I am, refused to get it for her - because it was $6.50! I said “Katy Baby, you know we can make those at home, right?” She turned to me with eyes wide with wonder. “YOU know how to make RED VELVET?”
Honestly, somedays I wonder if my children have ever met their mother.
“Yes Baby, I know how to make Red Velvet. I’ve been making it since I was a little girl and I use a really old recipe that Grandmama taught me.”
Once I told her that we could make 18 of them for about the same price of that one, she was a happy camper and we went back to our fun day out while looking forward to a nice little baking session together later.
Now let me tell you something, I LOVE cake mixes and use them often. They are a lot of fun and a whole lot of convenience. HOWEVER, this from scratch red velvet cake is above and beyond anything a cake mix could possibly produce so make time for a few extra minutes of work because I promise it will be well worth it!
If you have my cookbook, you can find more on our Red Velvet Cake and what we do different from most people (and why) by reading page 170. If you don’t have my cookbook and want a copy of all the recipes I’d ever need if stranded on a deserted island with a fully stocked Southern Kitchen, as well as learning my childhood nickname and how my Papa Reed scared me to death when he was teaching me how to drive in Toney, Alabama: click here. I do tend to share a lot, don’t I?
Let’s get cookin’!
You’ll need: Baking Soda, Sugar, Salt, Eggs, Red Food Coloring, All Purpose Flour, Vegetable Oil, Buttermilk, Vinegar, Cocoa Powder, and some cupcake papers….
All of these ingredients are at the bottom of this post in the handy dandy printer friendly recipe thingiemawhosit so don’t go studying them here like there’s gonna be a test or something.
Oh yeah, Vanilla. You gotta have that, too.
This is pure vanilla but don’t go thinking I’m getting all high falootin‘ because I’ll still buy the cheapest stuff I can get my hands on. When the cheap stuff is sold out (maybe because y’all are buying it too..~sniff~ I’m s’proud!) I end up having to buy higher end stuff.
So here is my snooty little vanilla ~rolls eyes at the vanilla~
Place your flour in a medium mixing bowl.
Add salt, bakin soda, and cocoa powder.
Stir it up and strike a really cute pose.
That is a butterfly temporary tattoo on my daughter’s cheek. Those things usually only stay on a day at best, but apparently this was a good one because it was with us for several days – nigh on a week!
Mildly interesting fact: I have no tattoos and won’t ever have tattoos. There is a simple reason for this : My Mama told me I couldn’t ever get any.
Some advice stays with you. This is also why I have never ridden a motorcycle. Mama said not to. I’m not missing out on anything though. I get my rebel jollies by eating raw cake batter and occasionally looking directly at the sun.
In a separate bowl, pour in buttermilk…
Add in Oil, Sugar, vinegar and eggs.
If you’ll notice in that previous picture I did use a Christmas patterned pyrex bowl.
It just felt odd not somehow incorporating Christmas into red velvet cake.
Stir that up really good.
Til it is kinda like this.
Now dump the liquid into a large mixing bowl and then dump your dry mixture on top of it.
It’s all in there, I promise.
Mix with an electric mixer until smooth and blended, about two minutes.
This is my Hamilton Beach Electrics Stand Mixer. The bowl on it is much wider than the bowl on a Kitchenaid mixer so you can easily add ingredients while it’s mixing without getting mess all over everything. I’ve turned the folks at Taste of the South onto these mixers, too, and they’re using them in their test kitchens now. Oh! Speaking of Taste of the South, the debut issue with my Southern Plate Suppers column will be on newsstands as early as next week! If you’ll nose around on this page a bit you’ll see an offer where you can get a subscription to the magazine for almost half price. Each issue will feature a new column from me and a complete supper menu of never before published recipes.
Here it is, all mixed up.
It isn’t really this dark but the sun refuses to bend itself and bounce across my kitchen in order to shine in this one little corner.
This is Katy Rose, squeezing in an entire bottle of red food coloring.
Yes, you need a whole bottle, most recipes use two bottles!
Of course you can make this cake without the food coloring. Just like you can draw a unicorn without the horn, or have Santa Claus ride a bicycle instead of a magical flying sleigh..
You can do it, but it t’ain’t fittin’ and it t’ain’t right.
Here is our red food coloring and some of that uppity vanilla.
Notice how the vanilla is staying off in it’s own little corner as if it is too good to associate with the red food coloring. pfft!
Mix that up really well with the electric mixer again until it is deep red and fully blended.
Get something cute to put cupcake papers into two pans for ya
This will make about 18 or so.
Fill your cupcake papers about 3/4 full.
Bake at 350 for about 25 minutes, or until cupcakes spring back when lightly pressed with a finger in the center.
Allow to cool before icing.
I don’t have photos of the icing because Karo and I got a little involved in having fun and I set the camera down somewhere to enjoy the moment. I did use an icing bag with a 2D tip in it though. I just use an even pressure and outline the outside of the cupcake top, then continue circling around until I get to the center.
The recipe and instructions for icing are below though, and it’s really easy. you just dump everything in a bowl and beat the mess out of it until it’s smooth and creamy If you want to see how I make cream cheese icing, you can visit my Chocolate Velvet Cake Post for photos.
Don’t feel like you have to put the icing on pretty like I did here. My original goal was to pile it up really high like the ones Katy had saw in the Opryland Hotel but my icing kept wilting down..then it dawned on me that trying to have a stiff and full cream cheese icing in August, especially while decorating cupcakes in the sunroom, is not the easiest thing to do
Slather the icing on there with a knife and just don’t worry about it. ENJOY!
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Oh wow! Here is a thought with an impact! Can you imagine?
“How would your life be different if…You walked away from gossip and verbal defamation? Let today be the day…You speak only the good you know of other people and encourage others to do the same.”
― Steve Maraboli