This is not the first time I made cupcakes. But this surely is the first time I’ll be dedicating them to someone close to my heart.
Deepali, a very dear friend, who I have known for close to 20 years, delivered a baby boy last week. Woohoo! I’m so happy for you Captain Deepali! This post is a dedication to you and your family and most of all to your little bundle of joy. Cheers!
When I came to know about the happy news I sprang up from my sofa and instantly knew I had to bake something. I couldn’t help but have a celebration of my own by baking cupcakes: my current obsession.
I made these red velvet cupcakes, something I was putting off making, for quite some time because the term ‘red velvet’ intimidated me too much. NOW I know it’s just a fancy name for something very delicious and at the same time very simple to bake. You would think red velvet cupcakes are more of a Valentines day affair, but once you try this amazing combination of texture and flavor you would crave for them all year around. I have absolutely head over heels fallen in love with them and I guess now they have surpassed chocolate and nutella cupcakes I made a few days back (more about them in future posts). The velvety texture of this cupcake depends on a reaction between vinegar and baking soda which produces carbon dioxide thereby leavening the cake. I did not have vinegar on hand but I was fortunate to find a recipe, which used double the amount of baking soda as a substitute. Since I was making these kind of cupcakes for the first time I probably missed the actual outcome of the original recipe. They were soft and velvety nonetheless but hey! there is always room for improvement . Next time, I will definitely use vinegar and then compare the results with this one. A good excuse to make them again one might say 🙂
No cupcake is complete with swirls of frosting on top and the frosting that goes the best with this is a cream cheese frosting. I might just go on and on about each and every aspect of the cupcake but I think I should leave the rest for my next attempt.
Red Velvet Cupcakes with cream cheese frosting
Source: Cupcakes adapted from Purplefoodie originally from The Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook. Yields 12 cupcakes
4 Tablespoons butter at room temperature
¾ cup . caster sugar
3 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tbsp red food coloring (I used Marson food colouring)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla essence
1/2 cup buttermilk or beaten yoghurt
1 cup plus 2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt (if you’re using unsalted butter)
1 tsp teaspoon baking soda
- Preheat the oven to 180° C
- Line a 12 cup muffin tray with liners.
- In a bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt.
- In another bowl whisk together the butter and sugar with a hand mixer on a medium speed till its creamy. Beat in the egg till it is well combined.
- Now in a separate bowl mix together the cocoa powder, food colouring and vanilla essence to make a thick paste.
- Add this paste to the butter mixture and continue to mix till you get a uniform coloured mixture.
- Add one-third of the flour and half of the buttermilk to the mixture. Mix this at a medium speed. Now fold in next one-third flour and mix in the rest of the buttermilk. Fold in the rest of the flour.
- Divide the batter equally between the 12 liners. An ice cream scoop works best but I used a medium-sized dosa batter ladle.
- Bake for about 20 -25 minutes or till a skewer inserted comes out clean.
- Cool the cupcakes on a wire rack and frost only when completely cool.
Cream cheese frosting
Source: Adapted from Annie's Eats
8 oz Philadelphia cream cheese
5 tbsp unsalted butter
2 tsp vanilla essence
1 ½ cups confectioners sugar (sifted)
Combine the cream cheese and butter in a bowl. Beat with a hand mixer at medium-high speed until smooth for about 2-3 minutes. Mix in the vanilla essence. Gradually beat in the confectioners’ sugar until totally incorporated. Increase the speed and then beat until smooth. Pipe the frosting using your choice of nozzle. This recipe makes a lot of frosting for 12 cupcakes if you are planning to just spread it with a knife. And even if you are going to pipe the frosting be generous with your swirls.
Note: The frosting may turn runny while piping because of warm hands and high temperatures. In that case put the piping bag and extra frosting in the fridge for 15 minutes and resume piping again. Once you frost the cupcakes immediately transfer them in the fridge so that the frosting swirls are retained.