Did You Know? As in the Neiman-Marcus cookie legend, a woman is reported to have asked for the recipe for the delicious red velvet cake she was served at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel restaurant in NYC, only to find that she had been billed $250 for the recipe. Indignant, she spread it to all her friends as a chain letter.
With graduation season comes graduation parties, and usually a few dozen desserts. Caitlin baked up these red velvet cupcakes for her best friend's party last weekend, with no help from me, but I thought they were too cute not to show them off here. After pouring over far too many cupcake decorating books, Cait and I thought a piped icing topped off with rainbow sprinkles would be best for this occasion - fun and not too fancy. And of course they were a huge hit at the party, especially with the guest of honor.
I've never been a fan of red velvet cake. I really only thought girls liked it because it was the cake Jessica Simpson chose for her wedding. But I guess it has a pretty large following, especially down South ("The Chocolate Cake of the South"). The recipe Cait chose turned out quite successful among the devotees, and topped off with the traditional cream cheese frosting, it was the perfect treat to follow the standard cookout eats.
Adapted from Food Network
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/2 cup canola oil
1 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 cup buttermilk
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon red gel food coloring
1 teaspoon white distilled vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Brown Sugar Cream Cheese Frosting, recipe follows
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line two (12-cup) muffin pans with cupcake papers.
In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, and cocoa powder.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the oil, butter, buttermilk, eggs, food coloring, vinegar, and vanilla. Add in the dry ingredients all at once, and mix until well combined and smooth.
Using an ice cream scoop, divide the batter among the pans, filling about 2/3 to the top of the papers. Bake for about 20 minutes, rotating pans halfway through cooking time. Remove from the oven and cool for about ten minutes in the pans. Remove the cupcakes from the pans, and cool completely.
When completely cool, frost with the Brown Sugar Cream Cheese Frosting, and enjoy!
Adapted from Joy the Baker
1 pound (4 sticks) unsalted butter, very soft
2 (8-oz) packages cream cheese, softened overnight
1/2 cup light brown sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
Pinch of salt
6 cups powdered sugar
2-4 tablepoons milk, depending on consistency
Cream the cream cheese in an electric mixer for one minute. Scrape down the bowl and add the butter, beating for 1-2 minutes, until well incorporated. Add the brown sugar, pinch of salt, and vanilla extract, and beat until combined. Turn off the mixer and add 3 cups of the powdered sugar. Turn the mixer to low, and slowly add more sugar, alternating with milk, until you have reached your desired consistency.