Monday, August 15, 2011

Red Velvet Cupcakes

Ok, I know I already posted a recipe for Red Velvet Cake, but it's always such a hit, I figured why not do another one? As I always say, more is more, right? So when I was asked to make cupcakes for a recent event, I thought I'd turn to Miss Paula Deen and give her recipe a try.
 SWOOSH! They were gone in no time flat! Everyone loved them! What is it about red velvet cake that always pulls everyone in? It seems that any time I mention red velvet cake, everyone begins to "oooh" and "ahhh" and "mmm". It happens every time! I guess everyone loves the velvety moist texture of the cake and of course the cream cheese icing puts it over the top!
LOVE it! Thanx, Miss Paula.

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cocoa powder
1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
1 cup buttermilk, room temperature
2 large eggs, room temperature
2 tablespoons red food coloring
1 teaspoon white distilled vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 (12-cup) muffin pans with cupcake papers.
In a medium mixing bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, and cocoa powder. In a large bowl gently beat together the oil, buttermilk, eggs, food coloring, vinegar, and vanilla with a handheld electric mixer. Add the sifted dry ingredients to the wet and mix until smooth and thoroughly combined.
Divide the batter evenly among the cupcake tins about 2/3 filled. Bake in oven for about 20 to 22 minutes, turning the pans once, half way through. Test the cupcakes with a toothpick for doneness. Remove from oven and cool completely before frosting.

Cream Cheese Frosting:

1 pound cream cheese, softened
2 sticks butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 cups sifted confectioners' sugar
Chopped pecans and fresh raspberries or strawberries, for garnish

In a large mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese, butter and vanilla together until smooth. Add the sugar and on low speed, beat until incorporated. Increase the speed to high and mix until very light and fluffy.
Garnish with chopped pecans and a fresh raspberry or strawberry. Frost the cupcakes with a butter knife or pipe it on with a big star tip.

Joey's Tips:
I like to use a 1/4 cup measure to fill my cupcakes. They're a little more full so they bake up a little higher, plus you get that muffin top thing goin' on, which gives you a better surface on which to pile the frosting. (Don't forget to be generous with the frosting!!!)
I must confess, I don't use Miss Paula's frosting recipe. The Cream Cheese Frosting that I like uses the same ingredients, but has a slightly different sugar to butter/cream cheese ratio and it's a bit softer and creamier.
I like to use salted butter because it really brings out the flavor of the butter and cream cheese.
Instead of garnishing with pecans or fresh berries, I just simply sprinkled them with red decorating sugar. (You know, the kind you'd use for decorating Christmas cookies.)

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