Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting is a favorite dessert of many of us. This delicious cupcake tastes as good as it looks. It is a great addition to any get-togethers and celebrations. I tried this at a friend's birthday celebration years ago, and it has been on the list of my to-bake items since then. With Halloween around the corner, I had to bake cupcakes and this was the first thing that came to mind. I topped it with cream cheese frosting and with half of an Oreo cookie and Hershey's kisses to create a witch's hat look, keeping in mind the Halloween theme.
Why is cake flour used in Red velvet cupcakes?
The cupcake in today's recipe uses cake flour. Cake flour is normally used when you want the cake to be extra soft and tender. The Tres Leches cake recipe I posted earlier uses cake flour as well. I use Swan's brand and it has always worked out well for me. Cake flour is made from soft wheat flour and the gluten proteins in it are very weak. If you have All-purpose flour handy no worries, there is a quick workaround that you can use. Just remove 2 tablespoons of flour from one cup of All-purpose flour. Then replace it with 2 tbsp of cornstarch, and whisk it or sift it using a sieve so it is evenly mixed.
Traditional Red velvet cake
If you are curious to know about the history of the fancy red velvet cake, they have been present from the Victorian Era in the 1800s. The velvet in the name of this luxury cake is to highlight the smooth and soft texture of this cake. It is said the raw cocoa that was available for baking in the early days, neutralized the acids in the batter to give the bright red burgundy hue unlike the cocoa powder available these days. Red food coloring is an easier option for baking the red velvet cupcakes today. There are few folks who also use beet juice to get the red color.
How to make Red velvet cupcakes with cream cheese frosting?
Ensure all the ingredients used in the recipe are at room temperature before you start making the cupcakes. The ingredients like buttermilk, butter, cream cheese, and egg especially need to be kept out of the refrigerator until they are at room temperature for better results. Use natural unsweetened cocoa powder like Hershey's. Distilled white vinegar can help bring out the bright color of the cake. At least two small tubes of red food coloring will be required to get the bright red color. You can start with one and then increase as needed. The batter will look pinkish and will turn red on baking.
Use a paddle attachment to beat the butter and sugar, so there is not much air incorporated but it should turn smooth. Later on add egg, vanilla, oil, food coloring, white vinegar and mix well. Once you add the flour, alternate with buttermilk and go slow with mixing until it is just about combined. Do not overmix. You can also mix with a spatula to combine.
A very important tip is never to fill the cupcake liners fully, it's better to fill it half full. I learned it the hard way with my cupcakes rising all the way up. If you fill it only till half, the cupcakes will rise beautifully and the frosting will look just perfect on it.
How to make the Cream cheese frosting?
Use the butter and cream cheese that is at room temperature. For the frosting, using a stand mixer or hand mixer, beat the cream cheese and butter until it is smooth for 2 to 3 minutes. Add powdered sugar and vanilla and mix well. Transfer the frosting into a piping bag and keep it in the refrigerator until ready to use. You can use the Wilton 1M open star tip to create a swirl with the frosting and decorate with candy or sprinkles.
Delicious soft , bright and colorful red velvet cupcakes with cream cheese frosting a dessert for any special occasion that tastes as good as it looks.
- 1 ⅓ cup cake flour Swans brand
- 2 tbsp unsweetened natural cocoa powder Hersheys brand
- ½ tsp baking soda
- ¼ tsp salt
- ¼ cup unsalted butter
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- ¼ cup vegetable oil
- 2 tbsp red food coloring or gel
- ½ tsp distilled white vinegar
- ⅔ cup buttermilk full fat
- 1 block Philadelphia Cream cheese block at room temperature
- ½ cup unsalted butter at room temperature
- 2 cups Confectioners powdered sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
Pre-heat oven to 350 deg F.
Line the cupcake tray with liners.
Sift the cake flour, cocoa powder , baking soda and salt into a bowl so the combined flour is mixed well , smooth and there are no lumps.
Using a stand mixer with a paddle attachment ,on medium speed , cream the sugar and butter for 5 minutes or until smooth and mixed well.
Scrape from sides using a spatula from time to time if required to mix evenly.
Add the egg and incorporate it in the batter.
Add the food coloring and the rest of the wet ingredients namely oil, vanilla extract, and distilled white vinegar.
Beat for about 2 minutes .
Add the flour in three additions alternating with buttermilk ensure that flour is added last.
Divide the batter into the cupcake liners , ensure they are only half full.
Bake for about 18 to 20 minutes minutes or when a tooth pick inserted in the center comes out neatly without any batter.
Cool on a cooling rack . They can be frosted when completely cool.
Beat the cream cheese until completely smooth for about 2 - 3 minutes.
Add the butter and beat for about a minute until it is mixed well.
Add powdered sugar and vanilla extract .
Beat for another 2 to 3 minutes.
Add more powdered sugar if you want to get a thicker consistency.
Hope you enjoyed reading about this luscious, velvety cake and will try it soon. Have a good day and a great Halloween celebration, this coming weekend!