Red Velvet Cupcakes with Brown Sugar Cream Cheese Frosting

March 27, 2008 at 1:02 am | Posted in cupcakes | 14 Comments

For awhile now I have put red velvet cake in the same category as pancakes. Things I want to like so badly, but not matter how hard I try I don’t. I can be a bit of a picky eater sometimes and usually that doesn’t bother me, but with pancakes and red velvet it does. I mean really, who doesn’t like pancakes. Growing up I always felt so bad when my friends moms expected my eyes to go wide with delight when they said they were making pancakes. Do you know how embarrassing it is to either not eat them or have to meekly ask for cereal instead? Talk about traumatizing.

I went 24 years without trying red velvet. I have no idea why, but you can’t find them in boxed mixes (the only thing my mom knows how to “bake”) around here and no one else had ever made them. Then, when I went for my wedding cake taste testing I was delighted when they let me choose cakes I would like to sample. I jumped at the opportunity to try red velvet. To say it was a disappointment would be an understatement. Half of New Hampshire uses this particular bakery for their cakes so you would figure they know how to make red velvet, but it was a disgusting soggy mess. There was literally a pool of some sort of red watery left over yuck on my plate next to my cake. Needless to say we didn’t choose red velvet, but I was sure that wasn’t how it was supposed to taste. So, I made my own, but something went wrong because they weren’t liquid, but I swear they tasted like corn muffins. I have a feeling it’s because I couldn’t find buttermilk and used powdered buttermilk instead. Being my first time using the powdered junk I accidentally incorporated it wrong because I didn’t think I needed to read all the directions. I saw 1 packet of powder plus 1 cup water … I miss the section where it said to put the powder in with the dry ingredients. ooops

When Joy posted her red velvet cupcakes I was again saddened by the fact that I had never liked red velvet and tonight I decided to give them one last try. I’ve tried pancakes at least 100 times so the least I could do was give red velvet a third try. w00t we have a winner. They were delicious and the brown sugar CCF was awesome. I’m giddy as a school girl. This folks is why if at first you don’t like something, try it again and again and maybe you will. In my case operator error was to blame the first two times. I’m glad the third time was a charm!

Thanks Joy, I owe my newfound love of red velvet to you πŸ˜›

Recipe after the break

Buttermilk Red Velvet

adapted from Demolition Desserts and Joy the Baker

8 Tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temp

1 cup plus 2 Tablespoons granulated sugar

2 large eggs, at room temp

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

2 cups cake flour

2 Tablespoons cocoa powder

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

3/4 cup buttermilk

scant 2 Tablespoons Red Food coloring

1. Preheat the oven to 325. Sift together flour, cocoa, baking powder and baking soda. Add the kosher salt after sifting and set aside. Measure out the buttermilk and red rood coloring. Add the die to the buttermilk for easier incorporation later.

2. Cream the butter and the sugar using an electric mixer, until the mixture is pale and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, letting the eggs beat for 1 minute in between additions. Scrape down the bowl in between additions.

3. Add the dry ingredients alternately with the wet ingredients. Start by adding one third of the flour mixture. Mix just to incorporate. Add half of the buttermilk. Add another one third of the flour mixture. Mix to incorporate. Add the last half of buttermilk, followed by the last third of flour.

4. Spoon into paper lined cupcake pans. Check the cupcakes after 12 minutes. Makes 12 cupcakes.

The cupcake recipe should be doubled for the amount of frosting the below recipe produces. The make 24 cupcakes, or a two layer 8-inch or 9-inch round cake, double the cake recipe above, and use the frosting recipe below as is.

Brown Sugar Cream Cheese Frosting

1 1/2 cups butter, softened

8oz cream cheese, softened

1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2-4 tablespoons milk

4-6 cups powdered sugar

depending on desired consistency

Cream the butter and cream cheese together in an electric mixer. (Be sure that the two are at room temperature. Cold cream cheese or butter can make your frosting lumpy.) Add the brown sugar and vanilla extract, and beat for about 2 minutes. Turn off mixer and add 2 cups of powdered sugar. Turn the mixer on a low speed so the sugar doesn’t fly out of the bowl. Slowly add more sugar alternately with the milk until you reach your desired consistency. I like my cupcake frosting to be slightly more thick than cake frosting, so it can hold its shape on the cupcake.



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  1. That looks great! I’m making red velvet cakes this weekend, we don’t have anything like that here in Holland so that makes it even more fun to try.
    I am still going between Joy’s recipe and the one from which looks more authentic with the addition of vinegar. Ooh well, I have a few more days to decide πŸ™‚

  2. Oops something went wrong with the link there, Sorry!!

  3. Looks great! I tried to make Pink Velvet but it didn’t turn out too pretty… lol. I’ll post it tomorrow.

  4. I’m 29 and haven’t tried it yet – send one cupcake my way, Nikki, please? πŸ™‚

  5. They look so….red! Not too much into pancakes myself and have never tasted red velvet cupcakes, maybe I should make them some day…

  6. Glad you like the red velvet! But I am sad I got no linkage. You are not fulfilling your quota. boo. 😦

  7. red velvet cake? i could take it or leave it.

    brown sugar cream cheese frosting? um, i’d eat it by the spatula-full. πŸ™‚

  8. I love me some pancakes…the more syrup the better. But I’m with you on the red no likey. I just can’t figure out the flavor, I think in part because I’m thrown by the color. I expect light and fruity and get heavy and kinda chocolate-y.

    Oh, and my local Safeway sells a boxed red velvet cake. There’s hope for your mom!

  9. These look delicious! Red Velvet is my absolute favorite! Everyone knows that Red Velvet doesn’t come easily to yankees(jk jk), so extra points for perfecting it! πŸ˜€

  10. I love it when I found out something is good that I thought I didn’t like. Your cupcakes look delicious!

  11. I beat you, I went 26.5 yeas. But when I made them, boy were they good! A little oily for me, but I plan to tweek the recipe before I make them again. Yours look FABU!

  12. You rocked it out! I’m so glad this recipe changed your mind! What if I made a red velvet pancake…? Ha! Is that pushing it?

  13. Woohoo, I’m not the only one! I do not like pancakes at all. The one time I ate them, it was only because I was too shy to ask for something else. Now, what’s your opinion on maple syrup?


  14. Yay I’m not the last person to like red velvet. yay for being a young-in

    JOY – now if you can make them taste like the cuppys I’ll try em πŸ˜›

    KRISTEN – I’m so glad to not be alone! And maple syrup … omg nastiest thing I’ve ever tasted. I like french toast, but I like it plan TYVM … no maple syrup for me

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