Chocolate cake at Niagara Culinary Institute, in Niagara on the Lake, ON.
MINI RED VELVET CUPCAKES
I am obsessed with red velvet everything. It seems that the rest of the world is too. I’m pretty sure it has little to do with the cake itself and almost everything to do with the icing. Good thing I have perfected my cream cheese icing to something I’m really proud of. It’s probably the one thing I serve people in which I don’t have any hesitation or worry in the back of my head that they won’t like it. The time spent perfecting my icing has meant I have not always paid enough attention to the cake itself, until today. I finally decided to try out a new recipe (from Smitten Kitchen) and whew, I was rewarded with heaven. I’m bringing these to a going away party for some friends tonight, and hopefully they’ll be a hit. They already have been one with my stomach. And A’s.
As you can see from the pictures, this recipe yields a TON of mini cupcakes. Definitely reduce the recipe if you’re not making them for a big event. This recipe can also easily be made into a full sized cake or cupcakes. This batter yields around 35 regular sized cupcakes, with the liners filled only 3/4 of the way. Bake between 20 to 25 minutes, but check in on them sooner in case your oven cooks faster. As always, the cake/cupcakes are done whenever a cake tester comes out clean, regardless of how much time a recipe instructs you to bake something.
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
3 1/2 cups cake flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa (not Dutch process)
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 cups canola oil
2 1/4 cups granulated sugar
3 large eggs
2 tablespoons of red food coloring dissolved in 4 tablespoons of water
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1 1/4 cup buttermilk
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 1/2 teaspoons white vinegar
2 8-ounce blocks of cream cheese, at room temperature
10 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
4 tsp. vanilla extract
2 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter or grease cupcake pans.
2. Whisk cake flour, cocoa and salt in a bowl.
3. Place oil and sugar in bowl of an electric mixer or hand held mixer and beat at medium speed until well-blended. Beat in eggs one at a time. With machine on low, very slowly add red food coloring. (Take care: it may splash.) Add vanilla. Add flour mixture alternately with buttermilk in two batches. Scrape down bowl and beat just long enough to combine.
4. Place baking soda in a small dish, stir in vinegar and add to batter with machine running. Beat for 10 seconds.
5. Divide batter among cupcake pan, place in oven and bake until a cake tester comes out clean, about 10 minutes. Let cool in pans 20 minutes. Then remove from pans, and cool completely before frosting.
1. Combine the cream cheese and butter in the bowl of an electric mixer. Beat on medium-high speed until well combined and smooth, about 2-3 minutes.
2. Mix in the vanilla extract.
3. Gradually beat in the confectioners’ sugar until totally incorporated, increase the speed and then beat until smooth. Taste to see if you want more sugar. I don’t like my icing too sweet, but you might.
4. Put in fridge while cake is cooking. Take out a few minutes before icing so that it softens up a little.
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