I have tried a lot of Red Velvet cupcakes in my day, but I have to say that hands down, I love my version the best. I have tweaked it so many times, that when my friend Tricia came to visit and asked me to teach her my secret recipe (which I have so safeguarded for some time now, but realize it’s too good to hold out on you much longer since, for one, I’m not going to write a cookbook anytime soon, and two, because I easily succumb to peer pressure), I handed her a scrappy piece of paper with multiple chicken-scratch marks and jargon. It was hard to understand, and I generally have neat writing. I ended up having to just read the ingredients to her as she was preparing the recipe.
Many red velvet cakes I’ve tried are either too sweet, dry, or oily, and they lure customers to buy them anyways because it’s the new cupcake trend and they always look beautiful with their startlingly-red interior and pretty piped frosting. But as we all know, looks can be deceiving. I go for the taste.
So with much excitement that you all will be able to try this recipe in your own homes now (just remember me when you make it), here is my Red Velvet Cupcake recipe. It has been tried and true. I have made it a couple of times for coworkers and family, and am done tweaking it. I put in yogurt (my secret ingredient) and vinegar to add tenderness to the crumb of the cake without adding too much butter as other recipes call for. For the frosting, continue to beat in powdered sugar until it’s the desired consistency. I like my frosting very stiff so that the peak stands when I pipe it – you can do it as you like.
And although it’s not the healthiest recipe if you count the frosting, the cupcake itself is only 203 calories and tastes moist and wonderful on its own. I didn’t include nutrition facts for the frosting because everyone adds a different amount of frosting or powdered sugar to their own desired consistency. Also, it’s cute to top off your cupcake with some chocolate shavings or a sprinkle of cocoa.
Red Velvet Cupcakes
makes about 16 cupcakes, or about 1 cake using a 9-inch round cake pan
1 1/2 cup granulated sugar
6 Tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature
2 eggs, room temperature
2 1/3 cups cake flour (or 1 3/4 cup all-purpose/ultragrain flour + 5 Tbsp cornstarch)
2 Tbsp cocoa
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup + 1 Tbsp plain, lowfat yogurt
1 1 /2 Tbsp red food coloring
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp white vinegar
1. Preheat oven to 350º F.
2. In a medium bowl, sift together the cake flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
3. In a separate medium bowl, whick together the yogurt, red food coloring, vanilla, and vinegar. Set aside.
4. In a medium bowl with a stand mixer attachment, beat the sugar and butter on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, until well-beaten.
5. Add 1/3 of the dry ingredients to the mixing bowl. Beat on low speed. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, then increase to medium speed until all ingredients are combined. Add 1/3 of the wet ingredients and mix until combined. Continue the same process with the dry ingredients, alternating with the wet ingredients, and completing the mixing process with the dry ingredients until smooth.
6. Place cupcake liners inside muffin pans, enough for 16 cupcakes. Bake at 350º F for about 20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the middle of a cupcake comes out clean. Cool completely on wire racks before frosting.
Nutrition facts (serving size: 1 cupcake, no frosting): 203 calories; 5.4 grams fat (2.9 grams saturated fat); 3.4 grams protein; 35.8 grams carbohydrates.
For the cream cheese frosting (makes a lot – I filled up about 1/2 a freezer bag)
1/4 cup butter, room temperature
1 block (8-oz) 1/3-less-fat (Neufchatel) cream cheese, room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract
1. In a large mixing bowl with the whisk attachment, beat the butter, cream cheese, and vanilla on medium-high until throughly combined. Add about 2 cups of powdered sugar and beat. Continue to add powdered sugar in 1-2 cup increments until the desired consistency of your frosting is reached (until easily spreadable but can stand up on its own if piped in peaks).