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
- 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)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- In large bowl sift together the dry ingredients (flour, sugar, baking soda, salt and cocoa powder).
- Using a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, stir the oil, buttermilk, eggs, food coloring, vanilla and vinegar on low until combined.
- With the mixture on low, slowly add the sifted dry ingredients.
- Increase the speed to medium and mix until smooth, scraping down sides of bowl when needed.
- Place cupcake liners into muffin tins.
- Fill liners 2/3rds full.
- Bake in 350 degree oven for 20 minutes.
- Cakes are done when an inserted wooden skewer comes out clean.
- 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
- Place cream cheese, butter and vanilla in bowl of stand mixer, fitted with paddle attachment.
- Beat on medium speed until smooth.
- Turn mixer to low and slowly add powdered sugar. Once mixed together, switch mixer to high and beat until fluffy.
- 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.
- 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.