Red Velvet Cupcakes are a classic southern dessert topped with cream cheese frosting. Flavored with a hint of chocolate they are always a crowd favorite.
I am a fan of cupcakes because the frosting to cake ratio is usually better than with a cake – I like a lot of frosting with my cake. You can find all my cake and cupcake recipes here.
Valentine’s Day is coming up and that means it’s Red Velvet season. Can you think of a more perfect cake/cupcake to celebrate the holiday of love? Although they are popular at Valentine’s Day, Red Velvet Cupcakes are perfect for any celebration.
Being the history buff I am I had to do a little research on where red velvet cake originated. Here’s what I found out according to Wikipedia.
A red velvet cake was a signature dessert at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York City during the 1920s. According to a common urban legend a woman once asked for the recipe for the cake, and was billed a large amount. Indignant, she spread the recipe in a chain letter.
A resurgence in the popularity of this cake is partly attributed to the 1989 film Steel Magnolias in which the groom’s cake (another southern tradition) is a red velvet cake made in the shape of an armadillo.
What Makes Red Velvet Red?
Red food coloring is the source of the red. A lot of red velvet recipes call for A LOT of red food coloring. So much food coloring that you end up with red gums and red teeth after eating one!! I cut the amount down a lot and still got red cupcakes.
Red Velvet has a unique flavor thanks to a hint of chocolate from cocoa powder and buttermilk.
How to Make Red Velvet Cupcakes
- Cake Flour – I have used both cake flour and all purpose flour in these cupcakes and had similar results.
- White Vinegar – helps to make the cupcakes to rise a little better and actually helps make the red, redder.
- Buttermilk – it’s best to have the buttermilk at room temperature before adding it in. Buttermilk reacts with the baking powder and soda to help make the cake lighter and more tender. If you don’t have buttermilk you can make your own. To make your own buttermilk, add 1 tablespoon fresh squeezed lemon juice or white vinegar to 1 cup of milk. It won’t be as thick as regular buttermilk but it will create the desired effect.
Red Velvet Frosting
Red velvet cupcakes or cake is traditionally frosted with cream cheese frosting (recipe below). I used a decorating bag and a large star tip to pipe the frosting on.
If you are going to pipe on the frosting, you will need to double the frosting recipe in order to have enough frosting for all 24 cupcakes. One batch should be enough if you choose to spread it on with a knife. And if you prefer a plain buttercream frosting try this recipe.
The red velvet cake has a nice light chocolate flavor which I really liked, I am not a dense, heavy chocolate fan so the lightness was just perfect for me.
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Be sure and check out these other delicious Valentine treats:
Red Velvet Cake Recipe
Originally posted on February 10, 2010
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