Saturday, July 7, 2012

Red Velvet Cupcakes

I hope you are all having a great weekend. I know I am. This weekend has been so much fun. It's been so busy, but I will be able to relax once I head back to work on Monday. I had family come into town Thursday evening. Yesterday, we went to the aquarium in the morning and spent the late afternoon and evening on the lake. I love spending time with my family.

Today, we celebrated my neice's second birthday. My sister asked me to make cupcakes for the party and ordered carrot cake and red velvet. For the carrot cake, I used the same recipe for my regular carrot cake. For the red velvet, I found a recipe that looked simple enough, so I decided to give it a try. The cupcakes turned out so good. I've never made red velvet cake before, so I wasn't sure how they would taste. They were so good. The cream cheese frosting was literally, the icing on the cake, too! Here's the recipe:

adapted from Tide & Thyme
Servings: 24
Points+: 7

2 1/2 cups sifted cake flour*
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
2 oz. red food coloring (two bottles)
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup low fat buttermilk, at room temperature
1 teaspoon white vinegar
1 teaspoon baking soda

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two 12-cup muffin tins with cupcake papers.
Sift together the cake flour, baking powder, and salt into a medium bowl; set aside. In a small bowl, mix food coloring and cocoa powder to form a thin paste without lumps; set aside.

In a large bowl, using a hand mixer or stand mixer, beat butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, about three minutes. Beat in eggs, one at a time, then 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.

In a small bowl, mix vinegar and baking soda. Yes, it will fizz! Add vinegar mixture to the cake batter and stir well to combine. Using an ice cream scoop, fill cupcake cups with cake batter (they should be 2/3 – 3/4 full). You may not fill all the cups, I ended up with 20 cupcakes. Place muffin tins on the middle rack of a preheated 350 degree oven. Bake for approximately 20-22 minutes, rotating pans halfway through. Cupcakes are done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Check early and don’t overbake!

Cool the cupcakes in their tins on a wire rack for 10 minutes then remove and allow to cool completely before frosting. Frost cupcakes with cream cheese icing.

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

With an electric mixer, blend together cream cheese and butter until smooth. Turn mixer to low speed and blend in powdered sugar, salt and vanilla extract. Turn mixer on high and beat until light and fluffy. Use immediately or refrigerate, covered, until ready to use. If refrigerated, the frosting will need to be brought to room temperature before using (after frosting softens up, beat with mixer until smooth).

Even though I haven't been eating all that well the last few days, I have still been getting my exercise in. This morning, I got up and went running after eating my yogurt. I waited a little longer than I should have so it was pretty humid when I went for my run. I'm hoping to go for a run again tomorrow morning, but maybe just a little earlier.

So long for today...

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