After three unsuccessful attempts at making red velvet cake, I finally got it. The first one was dry, the second one was, um, red…?, but the third time was a charm.
I once was anti-sifting. Now, any recipe that requires dry ingredients gets a shake through my sifter. Separating the particles makes a lighter cake. The extra couple minutes are definitely worth it.
Unfortunately, the cupcakes were gone before I could take photos of them, so, in their place is the cake version.
- As always, measure all the ingredients before you start baking. It just saves the frustration of needing an ingredient and having to interrupt your baking mojo to measure 1/4 teaspoon of….
- Don’t use a plastic bowl or utensils when working with the red food color. Yeah, I know it seems common sense, but it dawned on me AFTER I put the red food coloring in a white plastic bowl and mixed it with a white plastic spatula. Now both are symbols for the cure for breast cancer.
- Do not mix the baking soda and vinegar together until you are ready to add it to the batter. The chemical process, according to research, helps intensify the red color of the cake and was, until the invention of food coloring, what gave red velvet cake its red hue.
- Tiny red dots probably isn’t part of your kitchen remodeling. Reduce the speed on the mixer when adding the food color. You may get up most of any mistakes, but there’s nothing more frustrating than finding one hours later after the color has had a chance to permeate your painted walls.
Red Velvet Cupcakes
(yield: About 20 cupcakes)
½ cup (4 oz) butter, softened
1½ cups (10½ oz.) sugar
1 cup (8 oz) buttermilk
1 oz. red food coloring
1 tsp vanilla
1½ tsp (¼ oz.) baking soda
1 tbsp (½ oz.) distilled white vinegar
2 cups flour
1/3 cup (1 oz.) unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp. (1/8 oz.) salt
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease 20 muffin tins or line with baking cups.
- In a large bowl, combine and sift flour, cocoa powder and salt. Set aside. In a medium bowl, mix eggs, buttermilk, red food coloring and vanilla. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, beat eggs and sugar with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Reduce to low speed and add egg mixture. Once combined, add baking soda and vinegar.
- Add flour mixture to batter and beat just until combined. Divide batter between the lined or greased tins, filling no more than half full.
- Bake between 20 and 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of a cupcake comes out clean. Cool in the pan on a wire rack.
Southern Comfort Buttercream (modified from The Boozy Baker)
1¾ sticks (7 oz.) butter, softened
6 to 8 cups (24 to 32 oz.) powdered sugar
1/8 cup (1 oz.) heavy cream
3/8 cup (3 oz.) Southern Comfort or other Tennessee whiskey for a bolder flavor
- Beat the butter in a large bowl with an electric mixer for about two minutes.
- Reduce speed to low. Add six cups of the powdered sugar, milk and Southern Comfort. Gradually add more powdered sugar until frosting has reached desired consistency.