February 18, 2012

Red Velvet Cupcakes

Last Valentine's Day I made red velvet whoopie pies with cream cheese filling. They were adorable and tasty, but red food colouring got everywhere. I mean, everywhere: all over the counter, the cupboards, the floor and my hands. I don't really know why I was so messy, but red colour just latched onto everything. So much so that every time I make something with food colouring Mike refers to the infamous red velvet whoopie pies.

This Valentine's Day I wanted to make a red velvet dessert again, but I was determined to make it not look like I had massacred something. I googled some recipes and somehow stumbled upon Magnolia Bakery's famous red velvet cake recipe. I went to New York a few summers ago and tried their cupcakes, so I knew they were good:

The recipe I found was spot on and made the best cupcakes I have ever made. Instead of vanilla icing, I used some buttercream I had in the freezer and added cocoa powder to it to make it chocolate flavoured. I also had some animal print cupcake liners from my Christmas stocking that I thought would be appropriate for some romantic cupcakes (meow):

This time I cleaned up as I went along --something I have gotten used to doing from cooking class-- and although my hands were pretty red from the colouring and a few spots of red got here and there, I managed to hide any evidence and surprise Mike with a dozen beautiful cupcakes. 

Red Velvet Cupcakes with Chocolate Buttercream Icing (Magnolia Bakery cupcake recipe)
Ingredients (yields one dozen):

1 cup all purpose flour (the recipe calls for cake flour, but I added two tbsp cornstarch to all-purpose)
1/4 cup softened butter
1/4 cup sugar
1 large egg
3 tbsp red food colouring
1 tbsp cocoa powder
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar
1/2 tsp baking soda


1. Preheat oven to 350F.
2. In a stand mixer or bowl, cream the butter and sugar for 5 minutes until fluffy. Add the egg and beat well.
3. In a small bowl, whisk the food colouring, cocoa and vanilla together (or add the food colouring to the batter).
4. Add the salt to the buttermilk and stir, then add to the batter. Alternate adding the flour and buttermilk to the batter until mixed.

5. In a small bowl, stir the vinegar and baking soda together and add to the batter. Stir together until ingredients are blended and batter is smooth.
6. Transfer to a greased cupcake or cake pan.
7. Bake for 30-40 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool on a wire rack.

For the icing, I used the Wilton Chocolate Buttercream recipe, but the Magnolia recipe uses a Creamy Vanilla Frosting. 

For transporting some leftover cupcakes back with me, I cut out holes in the bottom of a recycled egg carton so the icing wouldn't get crushed.

I didn't actually think we would be spending Valentine's Day together, as I live in Toronto during the week, but I had a doctor's appointment on Tuesday in London, so as luck would have it we were able to see each other.

We had our special dinner on Sunday night anyway at Pizza Libretto in Toronto (I didn't take any pictures unfortunately), but it was a nice meal. Mike ordered their popular "duck confit" pizza and I had one with house-made sausage, mozzarella and caramelized onions. We split a tiramusu for dessert with some cappuccinos. The pizzas were good, but nothing can beat our favourite pizza place of all time, Pazzo in Stratford. 

For our official Valentine's meal on Tuesday we had steak, sweet potato mash, broccoli and homemade bread made into garlic bread for dinner before I went back to Toronto (it's been a busy week):

Valentine's Day this year became a multiple day celebration apparently. Mike was joking that he can't try to top what he's done on previous Valentine's Days (like leaving a heart-shaped box of chocolates on my doorstep at 3 a.m or making a huge platter of chocolate covered fruit), but I think we manage to make it special every year, even if it is cheesy. 

1 comment:

  1. I've been waiting for this post!! Yum! Those cupcakes look delicious :)


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