These red velvet cupcakes come to you courtesy of Katie Lee
Joel from her cookbook The Comfort Table. This recipe is originally Paula Dean’s Grandmother’s so if this is not true southern red velvet, I don’t know what is! While the photographs included make me sad for Katie’s failed marriage, I love the cookbook. It was a gift from my Aunt Lynda who reminds me of my strengths in the sweet little note she wrote on the inside cover. We’ve both tried quite a few recipes from this book and definitely enjoy it.
I didn’t (and don’t ever) have cake flour on hand so I noted my substitutions.
2 cups sugar
2 sticks salted butter at room temp.
2 eggs at room temp.
2 T cocoa powder
1/4 cup red food coloring (this is two 1 oz. bottles- and YES it’s a lot. I just used up half a bottle of the red food coloring that I already had… so my cake isn’t quite as red as it would be if I added the whole amount)
2 1/2 cups cake flour 4.5 T of cornstarch and 2 1/4 cups flour
1 tsp kosher salt
1 cup buttermilk Just under 1 cup regular milk and a splash of white vinegar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 T distilled white vinegar
Preheat oven to 350. Line cupcake pan with papers (if you have them, foil cupcake papers are much better for this recipe as the cake is dense, moist and crumbly).
Cream sugar and butter until fluffy. Add eggs one at a time beating well after each addition. Add cocoa, vanilla and food coloring. In a separate small bowl mix dry ingredients. Add flour mixture to butter mixture alternately with the buttermilk. Combine baking soda and vinegar (it will foam) and stir into the cake batter. Bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool completely before frosting.
Katie gives a great recipe for cream cheese frosting too but I went with my own traditional buttercream:
1 stick crisco
2 sticks salted butter
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. vanilla
2 lbs. powdered sugar
1/4 cup water
Cream crisco, butter, salt and vanilla. Slowly add powdered sugar sprinkling on water if mixture gets too thick. Thin with water until you have the right consistency. I piped this onto my cupcakes with a large round-hole tip.
I was feeling a slight lack of chocolate so I also made a whipped chocolate ganache filling for these that was oh so delicious:
1 cup chocolate chips
1/2 heavy cream
Heat in the microwave for one minute. Stir gently. If chocolate pieces are still not dissolved return to microwave for 30 second intervals until chocolate and cream are completely smooth.
Let this mixture cool completely in the refrigerator for a few hours. Then, using a hand mixer, beat the chocolate until it is light and fluffy (like thick chocolate mousse).
Using a pairing knife, cut wells into cupcakes begin careful not to cut into the bottom. Save the tops to plug filling holes. Fill a piping bag with whipped ganache and squeeze a small amount into each cupcake. Cover with cake tops and frost with buttercream. I rolled these in chocolate sprinkles for good measure.
These turned Lilly’s lips BRIGHT RED even with barely half the suggested amount of vanilla. That’s kind of the whole point of red velvet though so we’ll glow red for a few days 😉 …if they last that long!
Grace can’t have red velvet so the poor little girl had to settle for an arrowroot cookie.
If you missed it, these pretzels were amazing. I whipped up another batch to have as “rolls” with my father-in-laws famous chili this weekend. This time, however, I used a dough hook on my kitchen aid stand mixer and was SO HAPPY with the results- perfectly kneaded dough with no messy hands.
But, really, try this recipe!