Dear baking world,
Happy Valentine’s Day and here are some red velvet cupcakes (because that’s what we do on Valentine’s Day is make red colored things.) But I have now become a baking stereotype.
But red velvet cupcakes are the most special cupcake . Red velvet cupcakes are the cupcakes that stole my heart. They’re my favorite in the whole entire world and not making them on Valentine’s Day would be a shame to myself, to Valentine’s Day and to the meaning of love.
But these cupcakes are special. Why? I did a few special things to them and I really hope it takes them from “Wow! These red velvet cupcakes are good!” to “Can I eat the whole batch please?”
First, I added a teaspoon of espresso powder. I love that little extra that espresso powder gives to everything. I didn’t want it to be overwhelming espresso-y and indeed it wasn’t. It just added that extra depth of flavor that I wanted.
Second, I used Apple Cider Vinegar instead of white vinegar. Once again, I think Apple Cider Vinegar’s flavor is slightly more red velvet-y and would add to the flavor component.
And time for the science! (Because we can’t forget about the science.) I edited this recipe so that it’s made reverse creaming style. Reverse creaming makes for a more velvety texture. Rather than fluffy, I prefer smooth and velvety, which is also why I prefer the reverse creaming method. So what is reverse creaming? You mix all of the dry ingredients together first and then add the fat (or oil in this case.) The fat coats the flour and prevents the flour from forming gluten networks, which makes for tough, bread-like cakes and cake is not bread! Then you add the eggs, one at at time, and milk. Because you’d already added the oil, any additional liquid wouldn’t form more gluten. And then voila, smooth, velvety cupcakes. My favorite.
A few tips while baking cupcakes:
- Set out the eggs at room temperature an hour before baking. This will help them incorporate thoroughly into the mixture and yield and overall smoother crumb.
- Add the eggs individually! Don’t throw them all in at once. America’s Test Kitchen discovered that if you add them in individually, it takes a shorter time to mix (rather than throwing all of them in at once), which prevents gluten formation and makes for a more tender cake.
- Measure out the buttermilk and set that out to cool as well. It makes for easier incorporation and thus a smoother cupcake.
I hope all of you have a wonderful Valentine’s Day!
- 3½ cups cake flour
- ½ cup unsweetened cocoa
- 1½ teaspoons salt
- 2¼ cups granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 tsp. espresso powder (optional)
- 2 cups canola oil
- 1 oz. red food coloring
- 1½ teaspoons vanilla
- 2½ teaspoons red apple cider vinegar
- 3 large eggs
- 1¼ cup buttermilk
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- In a big bowl, mix together the flour, cocoa, salt, sugar, soda, espresso powder, canola oil and food coloring. Mix until fully incorporated.
- Once fully incorporated, add the apple cider vinegar and vanilla.
- Add the eggs one at a time, making sure they’re fully incorporated. After all the eggs have been incorporated, mix for about a minute. This will make sure all the sugar is incorporated.
- Add about a half of the buttermilk and then the other half.
- Mix for about 1 minutes or until smooth.
- Line a cupcake pan with cupcake liners. Put about 1/4 cup of batter into each cup.
- Bake for 21-25 minutes.
- 4 oz. cream cheese
- 4 oz. butter
- 2 cups powdered sugar (or until desired thickness/taste)
- Cream the cream cheese and butter. Add the powdered sugar. Frost cupcakes and enjoy!