Cupcakes are in. Red velvet cake is in. But red velvet cupcakes are very in. Yesterday I attempted to make this southern delight for the very first time. And I was not disappointed. Trust me (or not) they taste even better than they look. Of course, I went to my favorite book for baking. I was drawn to this recipe over every other recipe I researched on the internet because this recipe used the nectar of the gods--butter-- instead of vegetable oil. I knew that would make a cupcake tasty enough to eat without frosting. Not to worry, I topped them off anyway with a vanilla icing good enough to make your eyes roll back. My kids loved them, the hubby loved them, and I even sent one home with a drooling neighborhood child who longingly watched me ice them. The only stressful part was begging the kids to not stain anything with their red fingers as they licked the bowl.
1 ½ sticks softened butter
1 ½ cups sugar
2 ¼ cups all purpose flour*
1 ½ tsp baking soda*
pinch of salt
2 T. cocoa powder
1 cup buttermilk
1 T. vinegar
1 tsp vanilla
2 T. red food coloring (1 oz. bottle)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix butter and sugar with electric mixer until light and fluffy. Combine flour, soda, salt, and cocoa powder in a separate bowl. Combine the rest of the wet ingredients in a large measuring cup with a pourable spout. With mixer on low speed, add 1/3 of the flour to butter mixture, followed by ½ of the buttermilk mixture. Repeat with half of the remaining flour mixture and the remaining buttermilk mixture. Beat in the remaining flour mixture until just combined. Fill cupcake tins ½ full. Bake for 20 minutes. Cool, then frost. (Frosting: Beat 1 ½ sticks of butter, 2 cups powdered sugar, and 2 T. cream, splash of vanilla, till light and fluffy.) Can also be frosted with your favorite cream cheese icing.
*For Utah high altitude modifications (4500ft.) , I did the following: Add 2 extra T. flour and only 1 tsp of soda. If you live at high altitude and do not make these changes, your cupcakes will be too wet and probably ‘cave’ in during baking.
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April 5, 2010: I am adding this to one of my favorite websites—iheartfaces, hence the button added here.