As I was walking towards the entrance of the shopping mall, I was welcomed by a long line of people. When I say a long line, I mean a very long line of at least 30 people. After all, I worked right across the street for 10 years and had never seen a line like this in front of the mall. I had to ask someone what the big deal was about.
Come to find out, a new cupcake store was open. A cupcake store that supposedly sells the most delicious and beautifully decorated cupcakes.
Though I had no intention of eating cupcakes, I was intrigued. I first went to a Starbuck’s nearby, grabbed my usual dark roast black coffee, and then got in line.
The list of options was long with fancy names, ranging from “Brown Sugar Praline” to “Belgian Light Chocolate” to “Lemon Meringue”. In addition, surprisingly, almost every cupcake on the menu was alternatively offered in vegan form.
A little overwhelmed with the number of choices, and honestly, not knowing what I wanted, I asked the girl at the counter what was their bestseller. Without hesitation or thinking, she told me it was Red Velvet Cupcakes. She also added that they simply couldn’t make enough of them.
I thought to myself, I should have guessed it. I was in the South. Precisely, in Atlanta. People love Red Velvet Cake here. Big time.
As I was eating my delicious cupcake, all I could think of was going home and making it in my own kitchen. Luckily, Ina has already published her version of a Red Velvet Cupcake recipe in her “Barefoot Contessa, How Easy Is That?” cookbook.
On my first try, I ended up with the best Red Velvet Cupcakes ever, even better than the ones in the fancy cupcake store. And the best part: I enjoyed them without the hassle of waiting in a long line. They were perfectly fluffy and moist without being overly sweet (like in most store bought cupcakes).
There are two important things about this recipe that I would like to mention here. When it comes to filling up the muffin cups, do not be tempted to fill it up all the way. For best results, you should only fill 2/3 of each muffin cup. Also, this recipe makes 16-17 cupcakes. I only have one muffin pan so I had to bake them in two sessions, but if you have two muffin pans, feel free to bake them together. Depending on your oven, keep in mind that it may take just a couple of minutes longer for them to bake.
Other than those two points, it is a pretty straight forward, easy, foolproof, and fairly quick to put together recipe.
As I was eating my own version of the Red Velvet Cupcake, I wondered if the popularity of it is a “Southern thing”. I quickly Googled it and found out that almost every “Top 10 Most Popular Cupcake Flavors” list has a Red Velvet Cupcake in it. In most of them it was in the Top 5.
Who would know something so popular, could be so easy to make at home??!!Print
Red Velvet Cupcakes
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 30 minutes
- Total Time: 45 minutes
- Yield: 16-17
- For cupcakes:
- 2-1/2 cups (12,5 ounces) all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup (0.75 ounces) unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1-teaspoon baking powder
- 1-teaspoon baking soda
- 1-teaspoon kosher salt
- 1-cup buttermilk, at room temperature
- 1 tablespoon liquid red food coloring
- 1 teaspoon white vinegar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 stick (4 ounces) butter, at room temperature
- 1-1/2 cups (10.5 ounces) granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature
- Butter and flour spray
- For frosting:
- 1 packet (8 ounces) cream cheese, at room temperature
- 1-1/2 sticks (6 ounces) butter, at room temperature
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 1/2 (14 ounces) powdered sugar, sifted
- Pre-heat oven to 350 F Degrees.
- Sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and kosher salt. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, food coloring, vinegar, and vanilla extract.
- Place the sugar and butter in the bowl of an electric mixer and mix until combined, 1 minute. Incorporate the eggs one at a time. Beat until combined.
- Add the dry ingredients and wet ingredients alternately in 3 batches, beginning and ending with dry ingredients. Mix until just combined, scraping down the bowl in between. Do not over mix. Using a rubber spatula, give it a final hand stir.
- Spray a 12-cup muffin pan with butter and flour spray, and line each muffin cup with muffin paper. *
- Using an ice cream scoop (I used 2-1/4 inch ice cream scoop), scoop the batter into each muffin cup. You will see that it will only fill 2/3 of the muffin cups. This is normal. Do not be attempted to fill it completely or otherwise, it will overflow during the baking process.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean, rotating the pan halfway through the baking time.
- Let it cool completely.
- To make the frosting, place cream cheese, butter, and vanilla extract in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with paddle attachment. Mix until combined. Add powdered sugar and mix until creamy.
- To frost the cupcakes, spoon the icing into a piping bag with a star nozzle, and pipe the icing using a spiraling motion onto the cupcakes in a large swirl. Alternatively, you can simply spoon the icing on the cupcakes and spread it using a dinner knife.
- NOTE: This recipe makes 16-17 cupcakes. I have only have one muffin pan so I had to bake them in two sessions, but if you have two muffin pans, feel free to bake them together. Depending on your oven, keep in mind that it may take just a couple of minutes longer for them to bake.
This recipe is adapted from Barefoot Contessa’s “Red Velvet Cake” recipe on her cookbook, “Barefoot Contessa, How Easy Is That?”.