Now, I didn't grow up eating red velvet cake, so I didn't have a go-to recipe nor a good idea of what it should taste like. Everyone seems to have their version of (aka the best) red velvet cake, so I had to test
|from L: Joy the Baker/Hummingbird Bakery, Cook's Country (recipe here), Throwdown, |
Smitten Kitchen, Cake Maven Raven (recipe here), Pinch My Salt
The true scientist I am, I had one more experiment to run. The hypothesis: I can use a natural food coloring found in beets to achieve the traditional red velvet color. I'll spare you the photos and explanations (it involves chemistry), but I tried two different methods and the results were clear: no. Before I knew it, it was time to start baking. Ugly brown cupcakes were not going to do it, so red food coloring it was.
With Rebecca's help, things went pretty smoothly and everything turned out well- I even had 5 minutes to get dressed before the ceremony started! Ok, so I cut it a little close. It was all worth it- these red velvet cupcakes were quite a hit :)
Red Velvet Cake/Cupcakes
adapted from Cake Man Raven bakery
yield: 1 8" 3-layer cake or 24 cupcakes
2 1/2c cake flour (how to measure flour)
1 1/2c evaporated cane juice or granulated sugar
1t baking soda
1T natural cocoa powder (I used Hershey's, do not use dutch-process)
1t sea salt
1 1/4c vegetable oil
1oz red food coloring
1t vanilla extract
1t white distilled vinegar
Preheat oven to 350deg. Spray 3 8" cake pans with nonstick baking spray or line 2 cupcake tins with wrappers.
Add sugar and salt to a medium bowl. Sift flour, baking soda and cocoa powder into the bowl. Whisk dry ingredients together.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat remaining (wet) ingredients with the paddle attachment until well combined. Add the dry ingredients and beat until smooth, ~2min.
Divide batter evenly between cake pans or use a large cookie scoop to evenly distribute between cupcakes. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes clean, 15-18min for the cupcakes or 25-30min for the cake. Let cool 5 min, then remove cupcakes from the pans onto a cooling rack. For the cake, invert onto a plate and then invert back onto the cooling rack. Let cool completely before frosting.
Cinnamon Cream Cheese Buttercream
1 1/2 sticks (12oz) butter, RT
1 1/2 pkgs (12oz) cream cheese, RT
1 1/2t vanilla extract
1.5lbs powdered/confectioners sugar
2 1/4t cinnamon
Whisk together powdered sugar and cinnamon.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together butter and cream cheese until light and fluffy. Add vanilla and blend until combined. Add the powdered sugar and beat until smooth (start off slow to avoid getting sugar all over the kitchen, then speed up to incorporate well).
Can be made ahead and refrigerated, just bring to RT before using.
Which would win you over- red velvet or strawberry shortcake cupcakes?? I had to try both...