I have yet to meet a person who doesn’t appreciate a good red velvet cupcake. The subtle hints of cocoa mixed with a velvety cream cheese frosting—what’s not to love? My original recipe came from a friend of a friend (I think she may have borrowed her inspiration from an old Paula Deen recipe) but I’ve played around with the ingredients and tweaked it over the years. Now they have a richer chocolate taste, stronger notes of vanilla and they’re sporting a lighter shade. After all, it is almost summer!
Pink Velvet Cupcakes
Makes 24 cupcakes
- 2 1/2 cups cake flour
- 3 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1 1/2 tablespoons vanilla extract (check out our homemade vanilla extract recipe)
- 1 teaspoon white vinegar
- 40 drops red food coloring
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a cupcake pan with paper liners and set aside.
2. In a medium bowl, sift together the cake flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
3. In a large bowl or in a stand mixer, cream together the butter and sugar. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing completely between each. Add half the dry ingredients, mix, then add half the buttermilk and mix. Continue until the remaining flour mixture and buttermilk are used up. Mix in the vanilla extract, white vinegar and food coloring. Add more food coloring if desired.
4. Fill cupcake liners 3/4 of the way full and bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of one comes out clean. Remove to a wire rack to cool.
Cream Cheese Frosting
Makes enough for 24 cupcakes
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter (this would be a good place to splurge on a high-quality butter), at room temperature
- 1 8-ounce package cream cheese, at room temperature
- 1 1-pound box confectioners’ sugar
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract (check out our homemade vanilla extract recipe)
1. In a large bowl or in a stand mixer, cream together the butter and cream cheese. Add the confectioners’ sugar in three equal parts, mixing completely between each. Mix in the vanilla extract. Use immediately or store in an airtight container in the fridge. Bring to room temperature before using.
SWWU Tip 1: These cupcakes are good enough on their own, but I usually top them with a few mini chocolate chips (shown above) or some fresh-cut strawberries.
SWWU Tip 2: Don’t have any buttermilk on hand? Make your own by mixing 1 tablespoon of lemon juice or distilled white vinegar into 1 cup of milk. Let sit for 10 to 15 minutes or until it curdles. Mix again and use as needed.