I’ve recently started a new job, and one of the biggest perks is that I once again get to work with one of my best friends. Monday mornings are now SO much more bearable knowing that I’m walking into an office where I know I’m getting a quick weekend gossip re-hash and a hug from a familiar face 🙂
Anyway, this particularly fabulous lady just celebrated her birthday, and red velvet cupcakes are a favourite of hers. So, red velvet cupcakes were exactly what I made her! I based my recipe from Brown Eyed Baker’s, and I’m not sure where she got hers from – she said she did her research and I’m glad she did, because this recipe is truly spectacular! As usual, I played around with it, going mostly by feel and instinct than precision and instruction, and I could not have been happier with how they turned out! Honestly, if these aren’t some of the best cupcake I’ve ever made, then I just don’t know. I reallllyyy hate this word, but they are so moist and fluffy and amazing. Fair warning, I’ve tried to re-write the recipe as best as I remember doing it, measurements may be a few grams off here and there, though!
Ingredients to make a 24 cupcake mega batch (because when it’s a birthday cupcake batch, you just have to go crazy and over cater!):
– 8 tbsp butter, softened (this was the original measurement, so I just diced my butter into little bits and measured tightly packed tablespoons. Forgot to weigh them though. Oops.)
– 1½ cups caster sugar
– 2 egg, at room temperature
– 3 tbsp cocoa powder
– 3 – 6 tbsp red food coloring (This was kinda hard to measure. I had industrial strength food colouring, the stuff that’ll almost permanently stain your bench top, so I only used about 2 tbsp. Regular food colouring will require a lot more. It’s a bit of a trial and error thing.)
– 1 tbsp vanilla extract
– 1 cup buttermilk
– 2 cup + 4 tablespoons plain flour (again, as per original recipe!)
– 1½ tsp baking soda
– 2 tsp white vinegar
– 1 cup dark chocolate buttons
(I made this up as I went along… not terribly precise, sorry!)
– 1 package (250g) Philadelphia cream cheese, roughly diced and softened slightly
– 60g butter, diced and softened slightly
– 2 tsp vanilla extract
– roughly 4 cups icing sugar. I didn’t actually precisely measure this, so it’s a guesstimate more than anything. Taste as you go!
To make the cupcakes
1. Preheat oven to 170°C and line two cupcake tins with cupcake cases.
2. Cream the butter and sugar with an electric mixer on medium speed for a few minutes, until light and fluffy. Turn the mixer to high and add the eggs, one at a time, and mixing well after each addition. Scrape down the bowl and beat until well incorporated.
3. In a separate small bowl, mix together the cocoa powder, vanilla extract and red food coloring to make a thick paste. Add to the batter and mix on medium speed until completely combined – you might need to stop the mixer to scrape the bottom of the bowl occasionally to make sure it mixes through evenly.
4. Add half of the buttermilk and mix on slow speed to combine. Add half of the flour and mix again until combined. Scrape the bowl and repeat the process with the remaining milk and flour, then beat on high for a few minutes, until smooth.
5. Add the baking soda and vinegar, beat on low speed until just combined, then turn to high and beat for another couple of minutes until completely combined and smooth.
6. Fill the cupcake cases to around a third full, add a few chocolate buttons and add some more batter to top the cases to around three quarters full. Bake for about 20 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean.
7. Cool for 5 minutes and then remove cupcakes from the tins and place them on a cooling rack to cool completely before frosting.
To make the frosting
1. Beat the butter and cream cheese together in a large bowl with an electric mixer on low/medium speed until combined, then add the vanilla and beat for another few minutes on high, until smooth and creamy.
2. Add the icing sugar, half a cup at a time, beating on medium/high speed until completely combined – scrape down the sides as you go to ensure it’s all mixed in evenly.
3. Taste the frosting as you go; when it’s sweet enough, you’re happy with the consistency and thickness, then stop adding icing sugar. Simple!
4. Smother your cupcakes with frosting and decorate as you wish. Enjoy!