Red Velvet Chocolate Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting
On Donder and Blitzen...
But do you remember the most famous reindeer of all ----Rudolph the red nose reindeer!
I have a cupcake recipe that is just as brilliantly red and classic as Rudolph's shiny nose. Red Velvet Chocolate cupcakes with cream cheese frosting all decked out in Christmas flare. This is exactly what is needed to start off the holiday season in a blissful way. They are so moist, decadent and the cream cheese frosting is delicately sweet. If you need to bring a dessert to pass to a holiday gathering or are looking for a quick thoughtful happy holidays gift for neighbors and friends, this is a great idea and very elegant. These little cupcakes can be made in advance and can either be served plain, with cream cheese frosting or with frosting and holiday decorations for the kids.
In many red velvet chocolate cakes, red food coloring is used to obtain the red color. However it is the reaction of acidic vinegar and buttermilk that tends to better reveal the red anthocyanin in the cocoa and gives this desert its brilliant red velvety color. During World War II, many foods were rationed so bakers used boiled beets to enhance the color of their cakes. Boiled grated beets or beet baby food can be used in the red velvet cake and it is healthy and keeps the cake moist. However, your cake will be more deep purple-brown instead of red but just equally yummy.
This was my first attempt at making Red Velvet Chocolate cake even though I have watched my sister make it at least a million times. Well maybe not a million, but SEVERAL, as she makes it every birthday year for her husband, my dear brother-in-law. To dear Uncle Mike, this cupcake is for you...
Red Velvet Chocolate Cupcakes
Recipe adapted from many different sources to find the combination that worked for me and the ingredients I could obtain in HK (Martha Stewart, Paula Dean and from Simply Recipes by Garrett McCord)
Makes approximately 18 cupcakes
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (or cake flour)
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 oz. red food coloring (2 oz beet juice)
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter (room temperature)
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 2 eggs (room temperature)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup buttermilk ( buttermilk exchange: put 1 tablespoon white vinegar in a bowl and add one cup milk and leave set for about 10-15 minutes until milk starts to turn or gets a little thicker)
- 1 teaspoon white vinegar
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
Cream Cheese Frosting (recipe to follow below)
- 8 ounces cream cheese (room temperature)
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- about 2 cups icing sugar (less or more to your taste)
Step 1: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line muffin tins with cupcake liners.
Step 2. Sift together the cake flour, baking powder, and salt into a bowl and set aside. In another smaller bowl, mix food coloring (or Beet Juice) and cocoa powder to form a paste and try to remove all the lumps and set aside.
Step 3: In a large bowl, beat butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time. Beat in vanilla and the red cocoa paste, scraping down the bowl with a spatula as you go. Add one-third of the flour mixture to the butter mixture, beat well, then beat in half of the buttermilk. Beat in another third of flour mixture, then second half of buttermilk. End with the last third of the flour mixture, beat until well combined, making sure to scrape down the bowl with a spatula.
Step 4: In a small bowl but deeper bowl mix vinegar and baking soda. Add vinegar mixture to the cake batter and stir well to combine. (This is the step that really makes the red color of the cake pop) Fill cupcake baking tin lined with cupcake holders 3/4 full.
Step 5: Place muffin in your preheated oven. Bake for approximately 20- 23 minutes. (I have one of those funky ovens that does not heat evenly so you may want to turn or check on your cupcakes midway) The cupcakes are done when you are able to pat the tops and the cake springs back up or if toothpick comes out clean after you put it in the middle of the cupcake.
Step 6: Cool the cupcakes for 10 minutes on a wire rack and then remove and allow to cool completely before frosting.
Step 7: Procedure to make the cream cheese frosting: In a large bowl mix cream cheese, butter, vanilla and icing sugar until well blended. Place frosting into a piping bag and frost cupcakes, decorate with cute little holiday ornaments and enjoy.