Red Red Velvet Cupcakes

It’s been a bit since I had the chance to spend much time in the kitchen. I didn’t really have the time on Saturday, but I had a request for red velvet cupcakes for a friend’s birthday and I couldn’t say no. Now, I myself am not such a fan of red velvet. Not because it isn’t tasty, but because well, it’s chocolate cake…tinted red. I just feel like there are so many other great cake flavors out there and I’ve never really fallen in love with any red velvet recipe. Until now. I’ve tried 5 or so and have always been underwhelmed. So I scoured the internet and came across this Paula Deen recipe.
I figured Paula’s a genius at all things waistline unfriendly so it was worth a shot. Ironically, this recipe is sans “buttah”, which is what makes Paula’s dishes so delish. It is, however, FULL of oil, which I almost completely replaced with applesauce. I made a couple of other modifications to the cake, but the frosting was perfection so I’m glad I kept that as PD recommended.

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 cup buttermilk, room temperature
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  •  red food coloring (I used a gel color called Red Red, adding it drop by drop, until it reached a level of red I was happy with)
  • 1 teaspoon white distilled vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions

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, applesauce, 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.

Yes, you do see cookies in this picture too. Pumpkin Chip Cookies to be exact. They came into the mix when I realized that my butter and eggs were nowhere NEAR room temp so I decided to whip up some cookies to warm up the house and speed up the “room temping” process. We’ll get to that recipe later…

Oh, and it seems like I always have just enough leftover cake batter for a single-serving mini cake. Shown in above pic in the white ramekin. Such a treat!

Frosting Ingredients 

  • 2 8oz  pkgs. cream cheese, softened
  • 2 sticks butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar

Directions

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.

Frost and garnish, if desired!

But most of all…enjoy!

 

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