I have always wondered what all the fuss was about regarding red velvet cakes and cupcakes (or even cheesecakes)… I have often asked myself, is it just the unusual red color? Is it the texture? What is it exactly about it that make some of the people I know rave so much?
Last week, I finally got my answers. After sifting through dozens of recipes on Pinterest, I found a couple that I was interested in trying out. I eventually decided on using the one at BrownEyedBaker—mainly because I’m partial towards butter and buttermilk 😁 In any case, the cupcakes turned out fluffy and moist with a mild chocolatey flavor, making red velvet cakes one of my favorites to date 😋
Red velvet cupcakes
Makes 12 cupcakes
63 g unsalted butter, at room temperature
169 g granulated sugar
2 1/2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
3 tbsp liquid red food coloring (I used 2 tsp gel food coloring dissolved in 2 tbsp water)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
125 ml buttermilk
115 g + 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 1/5 tsp white vinegar
- Pre-heat oven to 175°C.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream together the butter and sugar at medium-high speed until light and fluffy. Turn the speed to «high» and add the egg, beating until well-blended.
- In a separate small bowl, mix together the cocoa powder, vanilla extract and food coloring to form a thick paste. Add this paste to the batter and mix at medium speed until thoroughly combined.
- Reduce the mixer speed to «low» and slowly add half of the buttermilk. Carefully add half of the flour and mix until combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl if needed, then repeat the process of adding the rest of the buttermilk and flour. Beat at high speed until the batter becomes smooth.
- Reduce the mixer speed again to «low» and add the salt, baking soda and vinegar. Turn the speed back to «high» and beat for another couple of minutes until the batter is thoroughly combined and smooth.
- Line a standard (12 capacity) muffin pan with baking paper cups (or muffin forms). Fill each cup 2/3 full with batter. Bake in the pre-heated oven for 15-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.
- Cool for 10 minutes in the pans before removing onto wire racks to cool completely.
Oreo™ cream cheese frosting
(Adapted from foodess)
125 g cream cheese
30 g unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder
50 g powdered (confectioner’s) sugar
pinch of salt (optional)
16 pcs Oreo™ cookies, without the cream filling, crushed thoroughly (almost powdered)
3 pcs Oreo™ cookies, without the cream filling, cut into quarters to decorate (optional)
- In a small bowl, sift together the cocoa powder and sugar. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a standing mixer, combine the cream cheese, butter and vanilla extract and beat at medium speed using the whisk attachment until thoroughly combined.
- Turn the speed to «low», then gradually add the cocoa-sugar mixture until well incorporated into the cream cheese mixture. Set the mixer speed back to «medium», then beat until very light and fluffy.
- Taste the mixture; if it has become too sweet, add the salt.
- Reduce the speed to «low», then gradually add the powdered Oreos. Alternatively, you could fold the powdered Oreos into the mixture with a rubber spatula.
- Spoon the buttercream frosting into piping bags (if using immediately), or store in suitable containers for later use.
- Frost each (completely cooled) cupcake with the prepared cream cheese frosting. You can use a piping bag, or you can simply spread the frosting on top—works either way. Decorate with one piece of the quartered Oreos on top.