Happy 2020 my friends! I’m very excited because this is my first post of 2020 and I can’t wait to share all my new recipes with you all.
I’ve been very busy this month. Right now I’m in Lima-Peru visiting my parents. As you might know they both aren’t doing very well. Mom suffers from an early stage of Alzheimer’s disease but she is doing pretty good (pretty good comparing to other people who have this disease). I think a big factor of this horrible situation is to catch it on an early stage so they can get proper medicine to slow the progression.
On the other side, dad’s health is declining faster, he is getting older and older super fast and his abilities like walking or eating are deteriorating faster than what I thought (or saw face to face 9 months ago). BUT, I’m very thankful for the caregivers because having them at home makes it possible for my parents to stay at their own house which is where they want to be and not in a senior living facility.
It’s hard to see them get older and with more difficulties but I try to enjoy my time with them as much as I can and make their living at their home as pleasant and safe as it can be. I’ll be here for 3 weeks and then I’m going back home to California. Living far from them is hard but I’m in contact with them and the caregivers everyday. Really, I do as much as I can, sometimes is emotionally exhausting but I’m happy to know that they KNOW that they can count with me anytime.
Now, let’s talk about these cupcakes. Red Velvet cupcakes are commonly served on Christmas or Valentine’s Day. The first time I tried red velvet I really didn’t like it because of the food coloring that you use for the cake BUT after many tries I got the right flavor, texture and frosting so this is why I’m posting this awesome recipe that you can make at home.
There are a couple of things I want to mention before we start with the recipe:
-Always use chilled cream cheese. I know… I know most recipes will ask you to have the cream cheese room temperature but please trust me in this one! Using cold cream cheese helps keep the frosting stiff. You’ll just have to whip it more to get it nice and smooth.
– Use clear vanilla for the frosting. We don’t want the frosting to have a yellowish looking color.
Yield: about 12 regular size cupcakes. You can double the recipe for a bigger batch.
For the cupcakes
1 and 1/4 cup cake flour
3/4 cup white granulated sugar
1/2 tsp. baking soda
2 tbsp. cocoa powder
1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1 large egg room temperature
1/2 cup buttermilk room temperature
1 tbsp. liquid red food coloring. For me this amount was enough because I get a nice dark red color. If you like it brighter, you can add some more drops.
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. distilled white vinegar
For the frosting
8 oz. cream cheese, chilled
5 tbs unsalted butter, at room temperature but not super soft
2 cups confectioners sugar, SIFTED (we don’t want a lumpy frosting)
2 tsp. CLEAR vanilla extract
Heart sprinkles (optional)
For the cupcakes
1.- Preheat the oven to 350° F. Line cupcake pans with paper liners. Set aside.
2.- In a medium bowl, mix cake flour, sugar, baking soda, cocoa powder and salt. Set aside.
3.- In the bowl of an electric mixer, mix egg, vegetable oil, buttermilk, food coloring, vanilla and vinegar. Beat on medium speed until well blended. Mix in dry ingredients on low speed and beat until smooth, about 2 minutes.
4.- Pour the batter into each cupcake liner just until 2/3 full. Do not over fill them because if you do, they won’t have a nice rise. Bake for about 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. , rotating the pans halfway through baking, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 18-20 minutes.
5.- Let cool in the pans 5-10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
For the frosting
1.- In a bowl of an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese for a couple of minutes. Then, add the butter and mix on medium-high speed for about 3-4 minutes (until light and fluffy).
2.- Add powdered sugar and mix until everything is well combined about 3-4 minutes. Add in vanilla and mix for a minute.
3.- Frost cupcakes. Use a pastry bag and a piping tip.