Red Velvet Cupcakes

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I started writing this post back in late June, with the full intention of posting it as a 4th of July post.  Then, mangoes happened, and I got distracted.  Still, a good red velvet cake is something that should be shared.

I came across this recipe while I was looking for firm cake recipes that would work well for frosting-free cake pops.  I used to use a recipe that required softened butter for the cake batter, but using oil is so much easier.  Plus, there’s no planning required.  Anyone that has worked closely with me has probably seen sticks of butter or cream cheese sitting on my desk at the office, because I need to have my ingredients at room temperature by the time I get home and am ready to bake.  Hopefully, my boss isn’t reading this…

Both Fourth of July and Christmas are great times to make red velvet anything.  Cupcakes are always winners, and all you need is some decorative sprinkles to cater the cupcakes to a holiday theme.

red velvet cupcakes

You can double the recipe and make a bundt or 2-layer cake.  But, cupcakes are more fun and portable!  If you have some leftover batter, you can make mini cupcakes with it.  Extra frosting can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.  Just be sure to bring it to room temperature before using.

Red Velvet Cupcakes

Ingredients

For the cupcakes:

  • 1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tbsp white vinegar
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg
  • ½ cup buttermilk
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder (NOT Dutch-processed)
  • 1 tbsp liquid red food coloring

For the frosting:

  • 16 oz cream cheese, softened
  • ½ cup (1 stick) of butter, softened
  • 2 ½-3 cups confectioners sugar, sifted
  • 1 tsp clear vanilla extract
  • a few drops of lemon juice (optional)

Directions

Make the cupcakes:

Preheat oven to 350°.  Line a 12-cup muffin pan with paper liners.

In a medium bowl, beat the eggs until combined.  Add the buttermilk, oil, food coloring, and vanilla.  Stir until combined.

Sift your dry ingredients into the bowl of a stand mixer.  Add the liquid mixture and mix until just combined.  Add the vinegar and mix well.  Fill the 12 baking cups about 2/3 of the way with batter.

Bake at 350° for 15-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Remove from oven and cool completely on a wire rack before frosting.

Make the frosting:

In the large bowl of a stand mixer, cream your butter and cream cheese until fluffy.  Add the confectioners sugar and beat until combined.  Stir in vanilla and lemon juice.  Use to frost your cupcakes.

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