It’s been a while since I posted a recipe for Red Velvet Cupcakes, so here’s one of our new holiday favorites. The recipe is a combination of a few from famous bakeries, and it gives you cupcakes that are a little bit stiffer and sturdier, yet still moist and tender on the inside, thanks to the combination of both buttermilk and sour cream.
The recipe doesn’t contain much cocoa, so no one will confuse it with chocolate cake. Personally, I love chocolate cake, but I don’t want too much cocoa in my red velvet. I like the distinct flavor of red velvet, and these cupcakes plus the heavy-on-the-cream-cheese-frosting fills the bill. That being said, if you like a sweeter frosting you can always swap this one out for the usual 8 oz cream cheese, 4 oz butter and 3-4 cups of sugar type.
And finally, for the vibrant red color I used Super Red which I bought a few years ago and managed to carry from Austin to Chicago. It comes in a large bottle and since it’s concentrated, you only need about half as much. I got tired of spending $3 on red food coloring every time I wanted to something red velvet, so the Super Red was a good investment.
- 1 1/2 cups well-stirred and fluffed all-purpose (6.8 oz) flour
- 2 cups cake flour (8 oz)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 sticks (8 oz) unsalted butter, softened
- 1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 3 1/2 tablespoons cocoa powder
- 4 tablespoons red food coloring (or 2 T. Super Red)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup sour cream, room temperature (no subs - yogurt doesn't work as well)
- 1 tablespoon vinegar
- 1 cup buttermilk, room temperature
- 16 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 4 oz unsalted butter, softened
- 1 teaspoon pure extract
- 2 cups confectioners' sugar, plus more to taste
- Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Line 24 standard muffin cups with paper liners.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flours, salt and baking soda. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle, beat the butter and sugar until creamy.
- Reduce to a lower speed and add eggs one at a time, beating well after each egg is added.
- In a small bowl, stir together cocoa powder, red food coloring, and vanilla, then add to the creamed mixture, scraping bowl often.
- Stir in the sour cream until it is fully blended, then add the vinegar.
- Add flour mixture and buttermilk to the batter alternately, using lowest speed of mixer and scraping bowl. Batter will be fairly thick.
- Spoon batter into cupcake cups and bake on center rack for about 22 minutes or until cakes spring back when touched.
- Frosting: In the bowl of an stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment; beat cream cheese and butter on medium to high speed until light and fluffy. Beat in vanilla extract. On a low speed, slowly mix in confectioners' sugar until well combined. Beat until light and creamy.