Red Velvet Cupcakes – a family favorite

Today my mother in law celebrates her 88th birthday.  She now lives in a nursing facility.  Gone are the days when she would cook and bake for her family and friends.  When I met her 34 years ago, she opened up a world of possibilities for cooking and baking.  Her home library was filled with around 150 cookbooks.  She believed that “if you can read, you can cook”.  It was then that I began to expand my cooking into Asian, Cajun and French dishes.  One of the favorite gifts I ever received from her was a first edition (1961) of Julia Child’s, Mastering The Art of French Cooking.  So today my gift to her  will be one of our family favorites, Red Velvet Cupcakes.  I hope that as she takes the first taste of these special cakes her mind will go back to a time when she lovingly baked special treats for us.

Red Velvet Cupcakes

Makes 30


  • 2 1/2  cups all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2  cups of granulated sugar
  • 1  teaspoon baking soda
  • 1  teaspoon salt
  • 1/4  cup cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1  cup buttermilk
  • 2  large eggs
  • 1  1 ounce bottle red food coloring
  • 2  teaspoons vanilla
  • 1  teaspoon apple cider vinegar (white is fine too)


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In large bowl sift together the dry ingredients (flour, sugar, baking soda, salt and cocoa powder).
  3. Using a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, stir the oil, buttermilk, eggs, food coloring, vanilla and vinegar on low until combined.
  4. With the mixture on low, slowly add the sifted dry ingredients.
  5. Increase the speed to medium and mix until smooth, scraping down sides of bowl when needed.
  6. Place cupcake liners into muffin tins.
  7. Fill liners 2/3rds full.
  8. Bake in 350 degree oven for 20 minutes.
  9. Cakes are done when an inserted wooden skewer comes out clean.
  10. Cool cakes completely before frosting.

Cream Cheese Frosting

Enough for 30 cupcakes


  • 16 ounces cream cheese, room temp
  • 2 sticks of unsalted butter, room temp
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 4 cups sifted, powdered sugar
  • fresh raspberries for garnish
  • silver or gold dusting powder for garnish


  1. Place cream cheese, butter and vanilla in bowl of stand mixer, fitted with paddle attachment.
  2. Beat on medium speed until smooth.
  3. Turn mixer to low and slowly add powdered sugar.  Once mixed together, switch mixer to high and beat until fluffy.
  4. Fill piping bag with frosting, using a large tip and pipe onto cupcakes.  You can frost each one with a knife, but a piping bag makes them pretty and saves time.  If you don’t have a piping bag you can put frosting into a quart size plastic baggie and cut one of the corners off as a substitute.
  5. Place a fresh raspberry on top and sprinkle with silver dust.  Use a small paintbrush to dip in decorative dust, hold the paintbrush above the cupcake and tap gently.








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