Friday, May 27, 2011

Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting


Yesterday was my sister's birthday. Have you met my sister? She does things like this:


And also this:


Not to mention this:


Someone who does these things clearly deserves red velvet cupcakes on her birthday.

I'm actually having a pretty hard time wrapping my mind around the fact that my sister is twenty years old now. It seems like just yesterday that I was forcing her to throw away her baby blanket, scaring her into believing that we were going to "the machine store", and (mistakenly) telling her that she was "a disease that kills everyone." As my mom always said--friends come and go, but sisters are forever.

Which, in retrospect, sounds more like a threat than a consolation.

I'm hoping these cupcakes can make amends for all of those "sisterly" things I did. What do you say, Kelsii? Shall we let bygones be bygones? You know, on second thought, maybe we should just call it even. I mean, there was that whole bloody nose incident AND the time you said that I was "too fat for the mosquitos to bite." Not to mention you pulling my hair and calling me "Alla" for years on end.

Anyway, think it over. Happy birthday!

Red Velvet Cupcakes
Adapted from Brown Eyed Baker

1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
2 & 1/2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tablespoons red food coloring
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 cup + 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 & 1/2 teaspoons white vinegar

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a cupcake pan with paper liners. In a small bowl, combine the vanilla extract, food coloring, and cocoa powder. Set aside. 

2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter at medium speed for about one minute. Gradually add the sugar, and continue creaming for about two minutes, until light and fluffy. Add the egg, and increase the mixer speed to high. Scrape the bowl, and continue mixing one minute more.

3. Add the cocoa mixture to the batter and mix at medium speed for about 30 seconds. Scrape the sides of the bowl, and continue mixing until the cocoa is completely incorporated.

4. Reduce the mixer speed to low, and add half of the buttermilk. Once the buttermilk is incorporated, add half of the flour. Repeat this process with the remaining buttermilk and flour. Increase the mixer speed to medium and mix until smooth.

5. Once the batter is smooth, reduce the mixer speed to low and add the salt, baking soda, and vinegar. Increase the speed to medium, and mix about one minute more, or until the batter is smooth.

6. Divide the batter evenly among the cupcake liners and bake for 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center cupcake comes out clean. Cool completely before frosting.

Cream Cheese Frosting

1 cup cream cheese
13 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 tablespoon vanilla extract
6 cups powdered sugar

Directions:

1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the cream cheese and butter at medium speed for about two minutes.

2. Add the vanilla, and beat about one minute more.

3. Reduce the mixer speed to low, and add the powdered about 1 cup at a time. Once all of the sugar is incorporated, increase the mixer speed to medium and beat for about two minutes.

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