There was a time early in my baking life when I made cupcakes from a not-to-be-named boxed cake mix. I believe I just heard a large collective gasp from all the bakers out there! In my defense, I wasn’t very experienced and I enjoyed the texture of boxed mix since it was soft and moist. With much insistence from my husband, I made it my mission to find from-scratch cake recipes that had the same qualities that I enjoyed from prepared mix.
Let me tell you that it took a few tries. The first red velvet recipe I tried was butter and all-purpose flour based which resulted in a very dense cupcake. The second attempt also called for all-purpose flour, but a little less cocoa which gave me a less than flavorful cake. Finally, the third time was the charm!
I should have known to look for an oil and cake flour based recipe from the very beginning and this one from Glorious Treats ended up being the winner. This red velvet recipe is moist, flavorful, and an incredibly pretty shade of dark red. I’ve received many compliments on this cake and it is one of my personal favorites.
A word of caution: once the cream cheese frosting is added to these babies, they go from good to irresistible and a must eat for any red velvet fan!
Red Velvet Cupcakes
Recipe from Glorious Treats
Makes: 24 cupcakes, Difficulty: Intermediate
- 2 1/4 cups cake flour
- 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/3 cups oil
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 2 eggs
- 4 tablespoons red food coloring, liquid
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 3/4 cup buttermilk
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- 2 teaspoons white vinegar
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 8 ounces cream cheese, directly from the refrigerator
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 4 cups powdered sugar
- 2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare cupcake pan with liners.
Make the cake: In a large bowl, whisk cake flour, cocoa and salt, and set aside. In a bowl of an electric mixer (fitted with the whisk attachment), beat oil and sugar until well blended. Add eggs one at a time and continue beating. Add food coloring and vanilla and mix well. Add flour and buttermilk alternately, in two batches. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. Mix just enough to combine.
Place baking soda in a small bowl, add vinegar and stir (it will foam). Add to cake batter and beat for 10 seconds. Fill cupcake liners 2/3 full and bake for 20-24 minutes or until cake tester comes out cleanly. Cool completely on wire racks before frosting.
Make the frosting: Place butter in a large mixing bowl and beat until smooth. Add cream cheese and blend on low until fully combined, about 30 seconds. Add vanilla extract. Add powdered sugar one cup at a time while mixing. Increase mixer speed to medium and beat until it begins to get fluffy. Slowly add the heavy whipping cream. Beat on medium for an additional 1-2 minutes until fluffy. Frost cupcakes using a pastry bag or a plastic bag with the end snipped off.
- Note: These cupcakes will keep well in the refrigerator for a few days. Remove from the refrigerator about an hour before serving to allow the frosting to reach a creamy consistency.