Red Velvets

I have been using the recipe from Pinch My Salt ever since I discovered it.  These are awesome red velvet cupcakes.  I have made them with the cream cheese frosting.  However, since I am not a personal fan of cream cheese frosting, I normally substitute it for my french vanilla frosting I make.  I will share that recipe later.  For now, we will just cover the red velvets and cream cheese frosting.

Cupcake Ingredients:
2 1/2 cups cake flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
2 oz. red food coloring (I buy the four pack of primary colors and use two entire tubes)
1/2 cup softened unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk (at room temperature)
1 teaspoon white vinegar
1 teaspoon baking soda

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  In a bowl, mix the cake flour, baking powder and salt together.  Set it aside for a while.

Then, in a small bowl, mix the cocoa powder and the food coloring until smooth.  It will seem lumpy in the beginning, but as you keep stirring vigorously, it will begin to form a smooth red paste.

Then cream butter and sugar together with blender.  Add in the eggs and vanilla extract and mix.  Scrape the red paste into the mixture and continue to mix.  Now incorporate the dry ingredients a little at a time and mix well into the batter.  Add the buttermilk and mix.

In a separate small bowl, mix the baking soda and white vinegar.  As I was warned in the Pinch My Salt Blog, this mixture will fizz, it is a normal reaction.  Add that little science experiment to your batter and mix. 

Then scoop your batter into cupcake tins.  This recipe should yield about two dozen cupcakes.  Here is my sea of cupcakes ready for the oven.

According to the original instructions from Pinch My Salt, bake them for about 20 minutes.  I do not remember exactly how long mine stay in, I use two tricks to determine the readiness of my cakes and cupcakes.  First, the smell of fresh cake usually gives a clue, then, I do a toothpick test.  You stick a toothpick in the cake and if the toothpick comes out dry the cake or cupcake or ready.

Ingredients for Cream Cheese Frosting:
16 oz. softened cream cheese (2 packages)
1/2 cup softened unsalted butter (one stick)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
pinch of salt

Start by mixing together the cream cheese and butter. 

Add the vanilla extract to the mixture.  Throw in a pinch of salt and continue to mix.

Then, add the sugar a little at a time and mix.  Technically, you are supposed to sift the powdered sugar, but I never do.  Actually, I do not even own a sifter.  I simply mix well with the blender and it tends to work.

That is it, once the cupcakes cool, frost them.


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