Thursday, June 30, 2011

Red Velvet 4th of July Cupcakes

Recipe Review: Red Velvet cupcakes that are really red, and instructions for 2 tone icing

My first batch of these turned out flat as a pancake. No worries I used them to make delicious cake pops but this is what I learned. I actually sifted together the flour and salt. (Something I hate doing... its so tedious) I added an extra pinch of baking soda, threw in the baking soda and vinegar mix right away and was careful every step of the way not to over mix. Also I hadn't really given any thought to the fact that the bottom rack of my oven had a sheet of aluminum foil on it to catch drips from something a roommate had made earlier in the week. Doing this alters the heat circulation of the oven. (According to Reynolds Wrap's website overtime it could actually melt away and damage the oven, or catch fire from grease, so if you use the foil to catch drips it should be thrown out after each use.) In general these cupcakes have a very delicate composition and if you even look at them wrong they go flat. So be gentle with them, and try not to open the oven door while baking.

I've posted this recipe before (its the same one that I used for the wedding cupcakes I made earlier this month) but I thought I'd throw it up again. Its crazy how different cupcake wrappers, a little food coloring, and different icing tips turn the same exact recipe into two completely unique cupcakes. A tip is that if you want superrrr red cupcakes (like these) add an extra dab of Wilton red gel icing color when you are mixing the food color and cocoa powder. Also If you don't have cider vinegar you can sub plain white vinegar instead.

Red Velvet Cupcakes
adapted from Sprinkle Bakes
yield: 24 cupcakes

2 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp salt
2 cups of sugar
1 cup butter softened
2 eggs, room temperature
1 tbsp cocoa powder
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 tbsps liquid red food color
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 tsp plus one pinch baking soda
1 tbsp cider vinegar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare pan with cupcake liners.

Sift flour and salt together. Set aside. In large bowl combine butter and sugar and beat on medium until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, mixing after each addition. In a small bowl mix together the red food coloring, cocoa powder and vanilla until a paste forms. Add the food coloring mixture to the butter mixture and blend until color is evening distributed. Add the flour mixture to the bowl 1/3 at a time, alternating with the buttermilk, beginning and ending with the flour.

In a small bowl stir together the baking soda and vinegar. This will start to foam up and should be added to the batter immediately. Blend on medium high speed until the batter is consistent. Do not over blend. Spoon 1/4 cup of batter into each cup. Bake for 25 minutes until a tooth pick inserted into the cake comes out clean. Cool completely before frosting.

Cream Cheese Icing

1 8oz package of cream cheese
1 cup butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
4 cups powdered sugar

For Icing: Cream together butter, cream cheese and vanilla. Gradually add in 4 cups of powdered sugar. Increase speed to medium high and beat until frosting has a soft fluffy consistency. (If frosting is too heavy add milk 1 tablespoon at a time while beating until desired consistency is reached.)

printable recipe

Want awesomely impressive two tone icing? First divide your icing in half and tint to desired shades. (I use Wilton Icing colors, they are super concentrated so you can get bold colors without thinning the icing). Next scoop each color of icing into individual bags (no tips attached). Use about half the amount of frosting you normally would, and try to distribute it evenly, so the bag isn't too fat in the bottom. Next prep an empty decorating bag with your desired frosting tip. (I used a Wilton closed star tip for these cupcakes) Snip the ends off the frosting bags about half an inch from the bottom, and put them both into the empty bag prepared with the tip. Twist the top of the bag closed and pipe onto cupcakes!

Ok so I have to admit, I made these cupcakes for Memorial Day and posted later. I don't know how other bloggers do it, posting holiday themed stuff in advance. Do they make everything a second time day of? When I'm doing food for a holiday I want to enjoy it that day- not a week before! I baked these in red cupcake liners from Michael's. For decorations I used firework cupcake picks that I got at Michael's as well. The cupcakes turned out bright and bold and really decorated the table. (I wish I had a picture of the table but my memory card corrupted and I lost a lot of pictures. boooo) Anyways happy 4th of July. I hope everyone enjoys their weekend!!


  1. These look so so cute! Absolutely perfect, im sure they taste pretty darn good too :)

  2. Awesome photo! I never knew that doing two toned icing was so simple! I always assumed people had some special tool that I didn't know about :)

    - Maggie