Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

I have been thinking of sharing a recipe for cupcakes with you from the day I started blogging. I always feel that cupcakes are a very cute way of sharing our joy with others. A tiny piece of cake frosted with icing and wrapped in a beautiful colored wafer paper. We bake cake and cut it with family on all our special occasions. But when the big day is for kids, they always make it sure that I bake cupcakes for their school and for all their friends. Now it has become a tradition for us to take cupcakes to school for their teachers and friends on their birthdays or any other class gatherings. And they start planning on flavors and topping months before, but they keep on changing their plans until that day. Now as schools are closed and none of us had any birthdays recently, we haven’t baked cupcakes for a long time.

It was the July 4th weekend and we were at home whole day which happens to be very rare. This is the first long weekend after the summer vacation starts. So usually we plan outings or have a small get together with friends. On evening, we go to watch the July 4th fireworks in and around our town. But this year the fireworks were cancelled due to the corona virus concerns. Still we could watch a mini firework that night sitting in our balcony, thanks to our neighbors.

My sister was telling me to bake something special for the weekend. She is someone who always encourages me to pen down my culinary stories and gives me a push when I go into hibernation mode at times. Sometimes I feel very lazy to come out of it and I need a push to revamp myself. The first thing that flashed in my mind when she told me that was a cupcake dressed up in blue, red and white. I had this red velvet cake recipe by Kelsey in my mind for a long time. I always bake red velvet cake and cupcakes with butter which is very rich, buttery and delicious, but never tried my hands on a complete oil based red velvet cake or cupcake before. When I stumbled on this recipe which uses oil, I wanted to give it a try. I halved the ingredients and followed a slightly different mixing method to bake these cupcakes. Also I used homemade cake flour and buttermilk in my version. I baked these red velvet beauties on white and blue cupcake liners to go with the July 4th theme and paired it with my own sweet and tangy cream cheese frosting recipe. I would say that red velvet cupcakes with cream cheese frosting is a made for each other combination and they taste heavenly.

The cake flour along with buttermilk in this recipe gives a very fine, tender and soft crumb to the cupcakes. If you don’t have access to cake flour and buttermilk, you can make a DIY version at home as I did. Do check the tips section to know how to make cake flour and buttermilk at home. The cupcakes were really light, moist and fluffy and if you ask me to describe it, I would say it had a ‘melt in the mouth’ feel. I made cream cheese frosting with butter to give a rich flavor to the cupcakes. This is a must try one and I am sure that these cupcakes are going to make their appearance more often in our special occasions. If you want to bake something special for your loved ones on Valentine’s Day, this is a perfect option for you.

If you try these red velvet cupcakes, do let me know your feedback in comments or send me a pic of your creation. If you like this recipe, share it with your friends mentioning #bethsyummygarden or tag me @beths_yummy_garden on Instagram.

Ingredients: (Yields 12 cupcakes)

  • For the cupcakes:
  1. Cake flour  1 ¼  cup(150 gm)
  2. Granulated sugar  3/4 cup(150 gm)
  3. Baking soda  ½ teaspoon(2 gm)
  4. Cocoa powder   ½ tablespoon(3gm)
  5. Salt   ½ teaspoon
  6. Egg large at room temperature  1(50 gm)
  7. Vegetable oil  ¾ cup (180 ml)
  8. Buttermilk at room temperature   ½ cup(120 ml)
  9. Liquid red food coloring  3/4 to 1 tablespoon(depending on how deep you need the red color)
  10. Pure vanilla extract   ½ teaspoon
  11. White distilled vinegar  ½ teaspoon
  • For the cream cheese frosting:
  1. Cream cheese at room temperature 4 ounce(113 gm)
  2. Butter at room temperature  ¼ cup(57gm)
  3. Confectioners’ sugar 1.25 to 1.5 cup(150gm to 180 gm)
  4. Vanilla extract  ½ teaspoon
  5. Salt a pinch

Method:

  • For the cupcakes:
  1. Preheat oven to 350-degree Fahrenheit/180-degree Celsius, 10 minutes before baking. Line a 12 count muffin pan with cupcake liners.
  2. Sift together cake flour, sugar, baking soda, cocoa powder, and salt into a medium bowl.
dry ingreadients
  1. Beat egg, oil, buttermilk, food coloring, vanilla extract and vinegar in a large bowl using a hand mixer/stand mixer until well combined.
wet ingredients
  1. Add the wet ingredients in to dry ingredients and beat on low to medium speed until combined, about 1 to 2 minutes. Do not overmix.
batter texture
  1. Spoon batter in to cupcake liners filling 1/2 to 2/3 of the way full. Bake for 18 – 23 minutes or until the top of the cupcakes spring back when gently touched and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Don’t overbake the cupcakes, they will dry out. Allow the cupcakes to cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.
  • For the cream cheese frosting:
  1. In a large bowl using a handheld/stand mixer fitted with a paddle or whisk attachment, beat the cream cheese and butter together on high speed until smooth and creamy for about 3 to 5 minutes.
  2. Add confectioners’ sugar in two additions and beat well on low speed until the sugar is mixed well.
  3. Add vanilla, and salt and beat the mixture on high speed for 2 minutes. Cream cheese frosting is ready to use.
cream cheese frosting

Tips:

  1. You can convert 1 cup of all purpose flour(130 gm) to cake flour by following these steps.
    • For 1 cup of all purpose flour in a bowl, remove 2 tablespoons of flour from it and put it back in the flour bag.
    • Now add 2 tablespoons of corn flour to the remaining all purpose flour in the bowl and mix well.
    • Sift this mixture two to three times.
    • Now you can measure out 1 cup of cake flour(120 gm) out of it.
  2. Cake flour gives very soft and tender crumbs to the cupcake. You can substitute it with all purpose flour if you cannot get hold of cake flour.
  3. You can make 1 cup of buttermilk by mixing 1 tablespoon of white vinegar/apple cider vinegar/lime juice and enough milk at room temperature to make it 1 cup. Let it sit for 5 minutes and buttermilk is ready.
  4. Once the cupcake batter is ready, bake the cupcakes very quickly as the baking soda starts to react with batter right away.
  5. Baking time may vary depending on the oven temperature as different ovens may have slight variations in the temperature setting. So the best method to check for readiness of cupcakes is to insert a toothpick and if it comes out clean, cupcakes are ready to come out of the oven.
  6. Even while using the DIY version of buttermilk as directed in tip no:3, do not skip the vinegar specified in the recipe.
  7. I used McCormick brand liquid red food coloring, Hershey’s unsweetened natural cocoa powder and canola oil.
  8. These cupcakes stay fresh in refrigerator for 3 days. You can bake these cupcakes in advance, refrigerate in an air tight container and on the day of serving, thaw it to room temperature and frost it.
  9. In hot and humid weather, cream cheese frosting may soften if it stays out for long time. So it is better to make frosting before you need to frost it or keep it refrigerated. Frosting can be made in advance and refrigerated in an air tight container. Beat it well before using it for frosting cupcakes.