Hey, remember that time I told you I'd share my recipe for the best red velvet cupcakes ever? The ones I made for John's birthday? The ones he actually complimented me on? (I have a theory John doesn't like complimenting me on the food I make because he's scared I'll get a big ego and make him do all the dishes for eternity while I cook and bake and have all the fun.... I'm kind of serious right now.)
I digress. Back to the cake. Confession time: I think red velvet is overrated. Now, before you leave and never come back, hear me out! Most of the people I know who love red velvet cake actually just love the cream cheese frosting, as is the case with John. However, it was his birthday, and what better way to say "Yay, 22!" than a batch of homemade cupcakes? I'm glad I was a good girlfriend and made his favorite, despite my skepticism, because the cupcakes were good! They weren't dry, like most red velvet cakes I've had, and in fact, they even got better with time! Those cupcakes were like a fine wine, I tell ya.
Even better? Making these cupcakes made me feel really cool and sneaky (and really frustrated, because I hate dolloping cupcake batter into tins, but that's a different story). Why, you ask? Because these cupcakes have a secret ingredient...
Surprise! If you're not a coffee person, don't worry. You don't even taste it in the cake!
I think I've built this recipe up quite enough, so without further ado, here's the recipe.
Recipe adapted from Divas Can Cook
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon of baking soda
- 1 teaspoon of baking powder
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- 2 Tablespoons unsweetened, cocoa powder
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 2 teaspoon of vanilla extract
- 1-2 oz. red food coloring
- 1 teaspoon of white distilled vinegar
- ½ cup of prepared plain hot coffee (don’t skip this ingredient, but don't feel like it has to be fancy coffee- mine was from a gas station!)
An entire bottle of red food coloring sure puts the "red" in red velvet.
1. Preheat oven to 325.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, cocoa powder and salt. Set aside.
3. In a large bowl, combine the sugar and vegetable oil.
4. Mix in the eggs, buttermilk, vanilla and red food coloring until combined.
5. Stir in the coffee and white vinegar.
6. Combine the wet ingredients with the dry ingredients a little at time, mixing after each addition, just until combined.
7. Pour the batter evenly into the cupcake tins. (This recipe said to be generous with the amount of batter in each tin, because it does not rise, but I did NOT find this to be the case! My cupcakes were spilling over the top, so I'd say fill the cupcakes a little over half-way.)
8. Bake for 18-25 minutes. (I know that's a big range, but see how they look, and take them out when they look done as this will vary from oven to oven.)
9. Let them cool before you frost them with cream cheese frosting, which I made with 8 oz of cream cheese, 4 oz of butter, 2 cups of powdered sugar, and 2 teaspoons of vanilla (give or take... kind of made that on the fly sans a recipe).
10. Put on festive sprinkles (pink and red hearts would be adorable right now for V-Day!) and give to a loved one (or eat all of them yourself).