In case you were wondering, I actually really like Valentine’s Day.
Maybe its because I love the combination of pink and red, maybe its because I like cheesy things like hearts, or maybe its because I think red velvet cupcakes are the prettiest and they clearly represent Valentine’s Day.
I think anyone who hates Valentine’s Day with a passion and calls it a corporate holiday that makes single people feel bad is just really cynical and not fun. Who cares if you don’t have a Valentine? I think that Valentine’s Day decorations might be my favorite for pastries and baked goods and I don’t have to have a significant other to appreciate them.
Or maybe I’m just an 8-year-old girl at heart.
These cupcakes are really good. Although, I have not actually had one (because cream cheese frosting + me = NO WAY), two of my frequent taste tasters (mom and one of my best friends) told me that this is easily one of the top five best cupcakes I’ve ever made if not actually number one. The whipped cream cheese frosting really makes these cupcakes apparently and is worth the little bit of extra time.
These don’t really require that much effort in general and they look so pretty. You better get moving, Valentine’s Day is a week from tomorrow and these will be sure to impress 🙂
Red Velvet Cupcake with Whipped Cream Cheese Frosting
cake recipe from My Baking Addiction
for the cupcakes
1 cup cake flour
¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
½ teaspoon kosher salt
⅔ cup vegetable oil*
¾ cup granulated sugar
1 egg, room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
¾ teaspoon red food gel (or 2 tablespoons of red food dye)
½ cup buttermilk
½ teaspoon baking powder
¾ teaspoon white vinegar
Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a cupcake tin with 12 liners.
Sift together the cake flour, cocoa powder, and salt. Stir together until well mixed with a whisk. Set aside.
Using a stand mixer, combine sugar and oil until well blended. Add the egg and mix until light a fluffy. (it won’t be as ‘fluffy’ as when you use a butter base rather than oil)
Turn off the mixer and add the food gel. Very slowly mix together until it reaches the desired color. You can add more color if you wish, but just be careful to mix slowly because it will splatter. Add the vanilla slowly and then scrape down the sides of the bowl.
Add the flour and mix alternately with the buttermilk ending with the buttermilk. Beat until just combined and do not overmix.
In a small bowl, combine baking soda and vinegar. Add to the cake batter and mix on medium speed for 5 to 10 seconds.
Fill each cupcake liner about two-thirds of the way full. Bake for 20 to 24 minute or until cake tester comes out clean. Let cool for five minutes in the pan and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
whipped cream cheese frosting
1 block (8 ounces) of cream cheese, room temperature
1 stick (8 tablespoons) of butter, room temperature
½ teaspoon of vanilla bean paste (or 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract)
2 cups powdered sugar
1 pint whipping cream
With the whisk attachment, beat the whipping cream until soft peaks form. Transfer to another bowl and place in refrigerator.
Beat the cream cheese in stand mixer for 15 seconds. Scrape down the sides and add the butter. Beat at medium speed until light and fluffy. Add in vanilla bean paste and powdered sugar. Mix slowly until all of the sugar is combined and then beat at high speed for 3 to 5 minutes.
Once the frosting is light and fluffy, gently fold in the whipping cream with a spatula. This may take a little while, but do not stir it in or it will not be as “light.” Once completely incorporated, pipe onto cupcakes and decorate as desired.
*I think that the recipe was actually a little heavy on the oil. I haven’t tried it, but you could probably cut the vegetable oil down to a 1/2 cup and the cake would be fine.