Monday, October 24, 2011

Red Velvet Cupcakes with White Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting

I have been worn down.

My client has worn me down.  My manager has worn me down.

Yes.  They got me.  Over some red velvet cupcakes.

Let me tell you that ever since I started making cupcakes on a semi-regular basis, I have had to fend off requests for these particular cupcakes.  I routinely made the mistake of asking people for flavor suggestions and then I would hear the list of usual suspects.  Red velvet would always be on that list.  And I would always veto this suggestion because *gasp* I don't like red velvet cupcakes.

Somewhere in my distant past I had tried a red velvet cupcake and was turned off by it.  So although I hadn't tried one in years I knew I didn't like it.  And you can verify with any member of my family that I'm a stubborn one.  If you try to get my to like something repeatedly, I'll put my foot down and claim instant dislike.

I was able to fend off my client for the past year or two.  I finally caved in when my client and my manager teamed up to bombard me with red velvet cupcake requests.

Red Velvet Cupcakes with White Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting
cupcake slightly adapted from the Cupcakes blog recipe
yields ~36 cupcakes

Print Recipe
  • 3 3/4 cups cake flour
  • 1 1/2 heaping teaspoons baking powder
  • 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 oz. red food coloring (half of a bottle) plus 1/2 - 1 teaspoon no-taste-red icing color gel (the original recipe states that you can use two bottles of red food coloring, but I was worried that it would give the cupcakes a funny taste)
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 1/4 cups sugar
  • 3 eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons white vinegar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line muffin tins with cupcakes liners.

2) Sift together the cake flour, baking powder, cocoa and salt into a medium bowl and set aside.

3) Using a mixer, beat butter and sugar together for a few minutes, until light and fluffy.

4) Beat in the eggs, one at a time, then add in the vanilla.

5) Add the red dye to the buttermilk and mix well to combine.

6) Beginning and ending with the flour mixture, alternate adding the flour and buttermilk mixtures into the batter.  Beat well after each addition.

7) In a medium sized bowl, mix vinegar and baking soda. Be careful, as it will fizz.

8) Add the vinegar mixture to the batter and stir well to combine.

9) Fill cupcake cups with cake batter until they are ~2/3 full.  Bake for 16-18 minutes.

10)  Place muffin tins in your preheated oven. Bake for approximately 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the centers comes out clean.

11) Let the cupcakes cool for a few minutes in the cupcake tray.  Then remove them from the tray and allow to cool completely.

White Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting
from my coworker Deirdre of Zoe's Cupcakes
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 1/2 cup butter, room temperature
  • 12 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 6 ounces white chocolate, melted
  • 3 1/2 cups confectioner's sugar

1) In a mixer, cream together the shortening, butter and cream cheese.

2) Add the vanilla and melted chocolate.  Stir to combine.

3) Slowly add the sugar to the mixture, a few tablespoons at a time.
4) Spread or pipe onto cooled cupcakes.  (If you choose to pipe the frosting, you may need to double the recipe.)

I snagged this frosting recipe from one of my coworkers.  She had used it to frost a red velvet cake and it was so delicious I knew I needed to "borrow" it for my red velvet cupcakes.  The frosting that I made came out pretty much the same as hers, thank goodness.  It was light and fluffy with an extra oomph of sweetness and flavor from the white chocolate.  Most people couldn't figure out the identity of this secret ingredient but the chocolate really made the frosting outstanding.  And combined with the red velvet cake, I have to say that I may now be a red velvet cake/cupcake believer.  The cake had the cocoa flavor that is distinctive to any red velvet cake.  I also found that the texture of the cake was pretty light and airy, which matched well with the frosting.

OK, so maybe the red velvet cupcake is beginning to warm my stone cold heart.  Who knew?  I didn't take these cupcakes to my client or my manager because I ended up over-baking them by a few minutes.  I think our oven is having technical difficulties.... But I will make sure that my work family will get their red velvet cupcake fix very soon!

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