February 10, 2012

Red Velvet Cupcakes

With red as a favorite color (and pink a close second) I would be remiss if I didn't post anything for Valentine's. My blog reader has exploded with red velvet desserts- cakes, brownies, cookies, even pancakes, and while red velvet is a personal favorite over here (since I chose it for our wedding) I'm still not sure about all the varieties. I love a good red velvet cupcake and every time I make these I get the same comment- "I don't like red velvet cake because it's usually so bitter, but these are amazing!" I've posted my box recipe before and know some people don't like it but the fact of the matter is these cupcakes are delicious and easy and with sick kids and busy schedules, that's just about perfect for me. 

I made these cupcakes last Valentine's for a friend's wedding and I don't think I ever got to posting them. They turned out really cute and fun- I used a million different pink and red Valentine's cupcake wrappers from my collection (I always pick up a few packs on Valentine's clearance- red is a neutral around here and good for everything and I never regret buying these!)

I frost my cupcakes using a large plastic decorating bag (mine is from Ateco) and tip that I picked up at our local cake decorating store, ABC Cake Decorating in Phoenix. So far my biggest problem with them is that I want everything in their store (Edible glitter? Another decorating tip? A few more cookie cutters? Cupcake wrappers? More Americolor gel coloring? How did I just spend $50 and not even buy a cake pan?) They are awesome and I really recommend dropping by their store. You can also buy most of that stuff on Amazon and it's a bit of an initial investment but totally worth it. My $7 piping bag has literally frosted 1000's of cupcakes and it's so much faster than applying the frosting with a knife (not to mention the aesthetics!) Form meets function? Sign me up!

PS This kit looks like a good place to start if you are new to piping cupcakes- my bag is a little bigger but I think this could do a great job and would be easy to learn with.

What are you making for your Valentine this week? A tried a true recipe or something new? I've pinned a million recipes to try and am slowly getting there, one recipe at a time. I tried the homemade heart oreos floating around the internet last night and they didn't turn out quite as expected (I think my dough was a little soft for some reason?) Follow up post soon I hope. They were certainly delicious (I made mine chocolate) and need to be shipped out of my house asap.

Red Velvet Cupcakes
from Anne Strawberry
{printable recipe here}
1 cup sour cream (reduced fat is fine)
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup canola oil
3 eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla
1 ounce red food coloring (one small bottle- I buy mine in bulk at Smart and Final)
1 box German chocolate cake mix (I recommend Betty Crocker)

Preheat the oven to 350.

Combine all ingredients in stand mixer and beat for two minutes until combined. Using a 2-tablespoon scoop, scoop into 24 paper-cup lined muffin tins.

Bake for 21-24 minutes or until cupcakes spring back slightly when touched and a tooth pick inserted into the middle comes out clean. Cool on racks and frost once completely cooled.

Cream Cheese Frosting

from Anne Strawberry
1 package of cream cheese, softened (I like to use Neufchatel, less fat and I don't notice much difference)
1/2 cup butter, softened (one stick)
2 Tablespoons milk
2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract or the seeds of one vanilla pod, scraped
dash of salt
6 cups of powdered sugar (more or less to achieve desired consistency, this is a baseline)
1 Tablespoon meringue powder

In a mixer with the whisk attachment, combine the cream cheese and butter until light and fluffy. Add in the milk, vanilla, and salt, and blend.

Next, add the powdered sugar and meringue powder, cover the bowl of the mixer with a dish towel, and turn it on low until everything is combined. Then increase the speed for a minute or so until the frosting is light, fluffy, and delicious. The meringue powder will help set the frosting after it dries so it holds its shape.

Add 1 T. Lemon or orange zest and substitute juice for the milk to make a tangy citrus frosting 


  1. love the decorative accents on top :)

  2. Thanks for coming through for me on valentines. I needed this recipe.

  3. Huh, I'd never thought to use cake mix for red velvet! This sounds so easy! And your cupcakes are beautiful :)

  4. These look so sweet (no pun intended!) I can do sooo much damage when I go to the cake supply store that I only go when I really need something.

  5. These look adorable and cute - love that gorgeous heart on top :D
    Awesome recipe!

    Choc Chip Uru
    Latest: 3 Layer Brownie Cheesecake

  6. What a gorgeous Valentine treat extravaganza! That red batter is really something. You are going to have a delicious Valentine's Day!

  7. Too bad I'm on a diet but this looks like a lovely recipe to try out for my girls. Pictures look marvelous!