Sunday, August 1, 2010

Red Velvet Cupcakes

For my sister's bridal shower, I wanted the cupcakes to go along with the wedding theme - apple red with black & white damask. So what could be better than red velvet cupcakes?!  I made these like I do my Valentine's Red Velvet Cupcakes, sprinkling red velvet crumbs right on top of the frosting. I baked the cupcakes in plain white liners & put them into the damask liners after cooling. I also made these cute little cupcake toppers to add another festive touch. They are so simple to make & I'll show you how later this week.

Red Velvet Cupcakes
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cocoa powder
1 1/2 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

Cream Cheese Frosting
1 8 oz. package cream cheese, softened
1/2 stick butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2-3 cups sifted confectioners' sugar

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 (12-cup) muffin pans with cupcake papers.

In a medium mixing bowl, sift together the 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 handheld electric mixer. Add the sifted dry ingredients to the wet and mix until smooth and thoroughly combined.

Divide the batter evenly among the cupcake tins about 2/3 filled. Bake in oven for about 20 to 22 minutes, turning the pans once, half way through. Test the cupcakes with a toothpick for doneness. Remove from oven and cool completely before frosting. Reserve one cupcake and grate on microplane reserving crumbs. After frosting lightly sprinkle each cupcake with red velvet crumbs.

Cream Cheese Frosting:
In a large mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese, butter and vanilla together until smooth. Add the sugar and on low speed, beat until incorporated. Increase the speed to high and mix until very light and fluffy.

Tip - Be sure to use a microplane for the crumb topping. Do not crumble with your fingers or you'll end up with moist clumps of crumbs, not a fine texture for dusting/sprinkling. Also, I doubled this recipe & forgot to reserve a second cupcake or these would have a better topping.

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