Red Velvet Cupcakes

Red Velvet Cupcakes
adapted from Martha Stewart

For 26 mini cupcakes and 4 regular cupcakes:
For the cake:
1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/4 cups cake flour 

1/2 teaspoon salt 

3/4 cups granulated sugar 

1/2 cup canola oil

1 large egg

1 tablespoon red food coloring

1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract 

1/2 cup low-fat buttermilk (I substituted with a scant 1/2 cup of whole milk and 1/2 tablespoon of lemon juice)

1/4 cup hot (but not boiling) water

3/4 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon white vinegar

For the frosting:
5 oz ounces cream cheese
2 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

2 tablespoons of greek yogurt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons confectioner’s sugar

  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Line your cupcake trays with paper liners. Set aside. Whisk together flour, salt, and cocoa in a medium bowl; set aside.
  2. Mix sugar and oil on medium speed in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk until combined. Add egg and mix well. Mix in food coloring (one tablespoon seemed like an obscene amount to me; I added about 10 drops) and vanilla. Add flour mixture in 3 batches, alternating with the buttermilk and beginning and ending with flour, mixing well after each addition. Scrape down sides of bowl as needed.
  3. Stir together baking soda and vinegar in a small bowl. Add baking-soda mixture to batter, and mix on medium speed 10 seconds. Mix in the hot water until just combined. Pour batter into liners. Bake until a toothpick inserted into centers comes out clean, about 11 minutes for mini cupcakes and 14 minutes for regular cupcakes. Let cool completely in pans on wire racks.
  4. While the cakes are baking, prepare the frosting. In a large bowl, using a mixer on medium speed, mix together the cream cheese, softened butter, greek yogurt, and vanilla extract. Add the confectioner’s sugar until the frosting comes together and there are no lumps. Let cool in a refrigerator until the cakes are ready to frost.
  5. Frost you cupcakes as you normally would. Because it’s the Fourth of July, I decided to keep 2/3 of the frosting white, and then put 4 drops of blue food coloring in the remaining third.

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