Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Super Jumbo Red Velvet Cupcakes

The youngest Veggie Son just celebrated his 4th Birthday.  In celebration we held a Polar Express themed party.  We had the usual, cake, juice and pizza.  Unlike many people, I NEVER want left over cake in my house, because leftover cake soon becomes eaten cake.  So, I always buy the smallest cake needed to feed my guest and then any left over pieces are tagged for the kids.  This year, we had very little cake left and none of it made it to his actual birthday.  How sad is that I thought, no cake on ones actual birthday!  I immediately hatched a plan.  I would make him some huge cupcakes.  I have a large muffin tin which makes only 6 very large muffins.  When asked what type of muffin he would like my son instantly said: Red!  What can I say?  The boy has born and raised in California, but his taste buds are clearly Southern.  

I did some hunting through my cookbooks and online, but in the end I went with my mom's recipe for Red Velvet Cake.  Many of the recipes on line left out things I consider integral to success of this type of cake, namely cake flour and buttermilk.  Here is the thing about Red Velvet Cake, it can turn out really good OR really bad.  A bad Red Velvet Cake can range from dry to dense.  What you want, in my opinion, is a combination of moist and light, with a rich flavor.  To get this one needs to use cake flour and buttermilk.  The cake flour allows for a tender texture, and the buttermilk gives that cake that extra leavening. 

And, of course you have to top the whole thing with Cream Cheese Frosting, but EVERYTHING is better with Cream Cheese Frosting.

The Ingredients
1 cup Crisco vegetable shortening
1/2 cup sugar
1 ounce red food coloring
2 eggs
1 cup buttermilk
2 cups cake flour
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

The Ingredients for the Cake, that I Forgot in the First Photo
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1 teaspoon baking soda

The Tools
stand mixer
medium sized bowl
small bowl
spooncula or scrapper spoon
muffin tin liners or parchment paper

The Baking
Preheat the oven to 350° and prepare your muffin tin. Cream the Crisco and the sugar together in a stand mixer (or with a hand held mixer or by hand) with the paddle mixer attachment, until well combined and fluffy. 

STOP the mixer and add the red food coloring. 

Slowly, very slowly begin to mix in the red food coloring.  This is were things begin to look a little like an episode of CSI.

Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing between additions. 

Turn off the mixer and add in the buttermilk. Then, run the mixer for about 5 minutes until the buttermilk is completely incorporated and that the batter is nice and smooth. 

While the buttermilk is mixing into the batter, combine the cocoa and the cake flour together in a medium sized bowl. 

Place the cocoa/flour mixture into a sifter

and sift it together

Your end product will be a light, airier and better combined mixture.

Gradually and slowly add the flour into the batter until it is well incorporated and the batter is smooth. 

Once the batter is done mixing and is smooth it is time to add the baking soda and vinegar.  Remove the bowl form the mixing stand and have a spooncula at the ready.  In a small bowl, combine the baking soda and vinegar.  It will bubble immediately, and the second the two items are completely combine, fold the mixture into the waiting batter.  You want those bubble to add their lightness the cake. 

Gentle spoon the batter into the prepared muffin tins.  I could not find liners to fit my large muffin tin, so I used parchment paper.  Next time I will look harder for the liners.  I was not a big fan of the parchment paper.  Bake the cupcakes on 350° for 25 to 30 minutes.  If you are using smaller muffin tins, reduce your time to 20 minutes. 

 Allow the baked cupcakes to set on the counter until completely cooled before icing.  Also wait until the oven it cooled down as well. Nothing is sadder then dippy frosting. 

While the cupcakes cool, make the frosting. 
The Frosting Ingredients
8 ounces light cream cheese (at room temp)
1 stick unsalted butter (at room temp)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
16 ounces powdered sugar

 The Tools
a stand mixer
zip loc bag
icing tip of choice

The Making of the Icing!
 Thoroughly cream together the butter and cream cheese

Add in the vanilla extract one teaspoon at a time, mixing in between additions

Add the powdered sugar to the cheese mixture 1/4 or 1/2 cup full at a time.  This takes a while, but it avoids lumps.  Mix until well combined. 

Place the frosting into a zip loc bag with its tip cut off and a icing tip in place.  Use this bag to pipe the frosting onto the cupcakes. 

1 comment:

  1. Delicious! I love how red velvet looks. Happy birthday to him!


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