The Mystery that is Red Velvet

Red Velvet cake has always been somewhat of a mystery to me is it chocolate cake, is it vanilla cake and why is it red. So that is why I chose to try to tackle this beast. Well I have come to find out that it’s a buttermilk cake with a little cocoa powder mixed into the batter. There are too many possible stories about why the cake is red so we will just leave that one alone. Now since I have always been a Northerner I don’t have this expansive knowledge of what a Red Velvet cake should be but this recipe was darn good and I will try to make it again probably with a little more butter milk next time. Because mine came out a little dry and I don’t know if they were over baked I only baked them for 18 minutes but they didn’t have the nice moist crumb I was hoping for. Now normally I get someone (P) else to taste test my goods before I send them out into the world but unfortunately this time he could not as Red 40 does a number on him. So I don’t know if all of the cakes came out dry or just my little one. So hopefully I will get some reviews from the office so I know if the recipe needs to be tweaked or not.

I followed this recipe exactly and the cream cheese frosting was really good and very easy to apply.

Red Velvet Cupcakes

1 1/2 cups of sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) of butter, room temperature
2 eggs, room temperature
2 1/3 cups of cake flour
2 tablespoons of Dutch-processed cocoa powder
1 teaspoon of baking soda
1 teaspoon of baking powder
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1 cup of buttermilk
1 1/2 tablespoons of red food coloring
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
1 teaspoon of distilled white vinegar

1/2 cup of butter (1 stick), room temperature
8 oz of cream cheese (1 package), room temperature
2 - 3 cups of powdered sugar
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350. Line muffin tins with liners. Beat the butter and sugar in an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating until each is fully incorporated. Be sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl to ensure even mixing. In a large bowl, sift together the cake flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. In another bowl whisk together the buttermilk, vinegar, vanilla, and red food coloring. Add a fourth of the dry mixture into the butter and sugar mixture and mix, then add a third of the wet mixture. Continue adding in dry, wet, dry pattern ending with the dry mixture.

Scoop the batter into the cupcake liners about ½ to ¾ of the way full. Bake for 18 to 22 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Rotate the pan after the first 15 minutes to ensure even baking. Allow the cupcakes to cool for a minute in the pan and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before frosting.

To make the frosting -
Cream the butter and cream cheese together, about 3 minutes. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl to ensure even mixing. Add the vanilla extract and mix. Add the powdered sugar, continually taste to get to desired sweetness. Frost the cooled cupcakes.

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