Red velvet cupcakes

After watching an episode of Throwdown with Bobby Flay, where the challenge was red velvet cake, I suddenly had a craving for red velvet cake.  For July 4th weekend, I thought red velvet cupcakes would be a festive treat. 

I found a recipe for Mangolia Red Velvet cupcakes from tasted by two.  The recipe was pretty easy to follow.
I didn't have organic milk, so I used regular milk. I also had to do some conversions for measurements.  Here is the modified recipe I used.


3 ¼ cups of plain flour
3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
2 ½ cups sugar
3 large eggs
6 tbsp red food coloring
3 tbsp unsweetened cocoa
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups whole milk
1 1/2 tsp cider vinegar
1 1/2 tsp baking soda


Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and lightly flour 2 cupcake pans.

In a small bowl, sift the flour and set aside. In a large bowl,
on the medium speed of an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar
until very light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a
time, beating well after each addition. In a small bowl, whisk together
the red food coloring, cocoa, and vanilla. Add to the batter and beat

In a measuring cup, stir the salt into the milk. Add to the
batter in three parts alternating with the flour. With each addition,
beat until the ingredients are incorporated, but do not overbeat. In a
small bowl, stir together the cider vinegar and baking soda. Add to the
batter and mix well. Using a rubber spatula, scrape down the batter in
the bowl, making sure the ingredients are well blended and the batter
is smooth.

Divide the batter among the prepared pans. Arrange the oven racks in
the upper and lower thirds of the oven and bake the cupcakes, switching
positions of the pans halfway through baking, until a tester comes out
clean, about 20 minutes. Cool the cupcakes in the pan 10 minutes, then
remove from the pan and cool completely on a rack before icing.

I ended up not frosting my cupcakes.  I always end up taking the frosting off anyway, so I decided not to bother.  I love the color of the red velvet cupcakes.  The cakes came out good, but not necessarily the best.  Most of the recipes I came across called for buttermilk and cake flour.  Next time I think I will try one of those variations and compare.


8 Responses to “Red velvet cupcakes”

  1. Carol — August 6, 2009 at 3:35 pm

    Hi Kirbie! I’ve tried several Red Velvet cake recipes and my favorite is still the one with buttermilk and cake flour. The cake texture is so light and not too crumbly. I only use about 1/2 to 3/4 bottle of red food coloring now instead of 1-2 oz. I don’t find any difference in the taste. I also put 2 tbsp of dutch processed cocoa powder (vs more on some recipes).
    The biggest thing I found was taking the cupcakes out a bit early (a bit of moist crumbs on the toothpick) gives the perfect cake taste and texture. Too long and it gets a slight bitter taste to it. Oh yeah, and I don’t like cream cheese frosting on these but a buttercream frosting. Most people who’ve tried it agreed.

  2. Kirbie — August 7, 2009 at 3:42 pm

    Thanks for the tips! I was trying to avoid having to buy buttermilk and cake flour, which I rarely use. But it looks like I will have to if I want to make really good red velvet cake!

  3. Carol — August 12, 2009 at 8:25 am

    You can actually make both at home. Although I’ve never done this before, you can make your own buttermilk at home in about 5 minutes. Put 1 tablespoon of vinegar or lemon juice into a measuring cup. Add just enough whole milk to get 1 cup. Let it stand for 5 minutes and it’s ready to use. I think I’m going to try this the next time I make it because I hate buying all the buttermilk, too.
    As for cake flour, I’ve read that sometimes this substitution doesn’t always work. I think in Red Velvet, it might work. You’ll need cornstarch and do some sifting. I get too lazy and just keep store-bought cake flour on hand. I use up extra flour for cookies and other baked goods that requires low gluten flour.
    Sift a cup of all-purpose flour (bleached is preferred I believe). Then measure out 1 cup sifted flour, minus 2 tablespoons. Add in 2 tablespoons cornstarch and sift about 3-4 times to make sure the cornstarch is completely incorporated. If you try this, I’d be really interested to know how it turns out. :)

  4. Carol — August 12, 2009 at 8:29 am

    Oh, one more thing I forgot to mention. Did you use bleached all purpose flour by chance? It’ll make a difference in the cake texture, too. Try unbleached flour and checking them at about 18 minute mark. I bet just doing that will give you a much better cake texture.
    I only buy unbleached all purpose flour now, and it works in just about everything I need flour for.

  5. Kirbie — August 12, 2009 at 10:42 am

    Thanks for the information! I might give this a try, or I might just get lazy and go out and buy it ready made. heh. If I try either the buttermilk or the cake flour, I’ll let you know how it turns out. I should probably first try making the cake with real buttermilk and cake flour though just to see how it should turn out.

  6. Kirbie — August 12, 2009 at 10:42 am

    I did use bleached flour. Darn. I didn’t realize it made a difference. Thanks for letting me know!

  7. Jai — October 23, 2009 at 12:29 am

    They sell powdered buttermilk, where you put the powder in with the dry ingredients and add water into the wet (for 1 cup buttermilk it was 4 tbls of the powder and 1 cup water). My sister bakes a bit and I went to her house to have her make me red velvet cupcakes and that’s what she uses. It keeps for a long time and you don’t have to worry about the buttermilk!

  8. Kirbie — October 26, 2009 at 1:03 pm

    My mom was telling me this also. I might try using powdered next time!

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