April 26, 2009

The Cupcake Challenge: Red Velvet with Cream Cheese Frosting

hred velvet cupcake with cream cheese frosting
Mini red velvet cupcakes

Round two of the Cupcake challenge saw the appearance of the red velvet cupcake. There is something about red velvet cake that intrigues me, I think it might have something to do with the feeling that you might have killed them when you bite into one of these and expose their blood red centre. Or maybe its the luscious cream cheese frosting that adorns them that makes them irresistible. Regardless, everyone seems to love them and so "I brought it on" with miniature versions of the ruby red cuppies.

naked cupcake art
Naked cupcake art

I have spoken about my love of all things miniature, but when things are made even smaller it transcends love and I just go crazy. These mini cupcakes can be eaten in two bites, or one if you have an especially big mouth, don't worry its not a bad thing to posses....more room to fit food in! I baked 65 mini cupcakes, Daz took half and the other half came to my work.

naked red velvet cupcakes
"They're only pinch size, I bet I could fit 5 in my mouth at once!"

The report was that after Daz announced the cupcake's appearance in the tea room, they quickly vanished. Some of his workmates were kind enough to send messages of appreciation, so I thought I would post them here. I was pretty chuffed, and it makes baking 65 mini cupcake AND frosting them well worth the hard work.

"You certainly brought it :) Delicious!"

"Have to say cupcake is very nice! looks very very nice too haha...love the creamy cheese topping on top. The lemon meringue cupcake is very nice too, the best cupcake I have had so
far! hahah"

"They are soooooo cute! and delicious!"

"Absolutely delicious. Home made or bought? No seriously they were that good!"

the leaning tower of cupcake
The leaning tower of cupcake

So here is the recipe. Many years ago I found a recipe for southern red velvet cake on the foodnetwork website. Since then I've made my own changes.

Red Velvet Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Prep Time, 30 min. Cook Time, 15 min

Makes 65 mini cupcakes and 30 cupcakes or 1 large cake


2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon fine salt
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1 cup buttermilk, at room temperature
2 large eggs, at room temperature
2 tablespoons red food coloring
1 teaspoon white distilled vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Cream Cheese Frosting, recipe follows
Crushed pecans, for garnish


Preheat the oven to 180C degrees. Place cupcake liners into a muffin tray.

In a large bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, and cocoa powder. In another large bowl, whisk together the oil, buttermilk, eggs, food coloring, vinegar, and vanilla.

Using a standing mixer, mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until just combined and a smooth batter is formed.

Divide the cake batter evenly among the prepared cupcake liners. Bake until they spring back when touched in the centre (roughly 15 minutes).

Place on a cooling rack. Let cool completely.

Frost the cupcakes and garnish with pecans.

sea of red
Sea of red

Cream Cheese Frosting:

1 packet cream cheese, softened and at room temperature
4 cups sifted icing sugar
200g unsalted butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

In a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or with a hand-held electric mixer in a large bowl, mix the cream cheese, sugar, and butter on low speed until incorporated. Increase the speed to high, and mix until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. (Occasionally turn the mixer off, and scrape the down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula.)

Reduce the speed of the mixer to low. Add the vanilla, raise the speed to high and mix briefly until fluffy (scrape down the bowl occasionally). Store in the refrigerator until somewhat stiff, before using. May be stored in the refrigerator for 3 days.

the power of cupcake within your palm
The power of cupcake within the palm of your hand



Anita said...

Very cute cupcakes. I love seeing red velvet cupcakes - such a beautiful contrast between the cake and the icing. Sounds like the cupcake challenge is going well :)

Lorraine @NotQuiteNigella said...

They are so dainty and cute! Well done Maria, they are so gorgeous :)

Hedonistic Hostess said...

These look soooo cute! I can't believe you made 65. Very impressive.

DiscoveryMe said...

Hey, great photos! The lighting looks good in all of them!

And great work on making all those cupcakes! They look delish, especially with the frosting!

P.S. You have very smooth looking hands!!

The Caked Crusader said...

There's only one word for these: CUTE!

I love the one in the first photo, back right - his frostings flipped over and it looks like a little elf hat!

Maria@TheGourmetChallenge said...

Hi Anita - I agree, the red paired with the white makes for a very attractive dessert

Hi Lorraine - dainty enough to shove 2 in my mouth at once. No one said I was a lady!

Hi Hedonistic Hostess - Yes, I made 65, yes, I know I'm crazy!

Hi DiscoveryMe - I'm getting a bit better with my photography, but I have a long way to go! Thanks for the compliment, must be from all those dishes I wash! lol

Hi Caked crusader - I thought the exact same thing, I just need to make the cake green and put Christmas bells on them.

Melinda said...

These look delicious! Can't wait to try your recipe.

Ola said...

These turned out fantastic! I made 30 mini cupcakes and a dozen normal size ones. Made them for a friend and brought some to work. Followed recipe verbatim which is unusual for me but they were just perfect. I think I baked at 350F for 16-17 minutes. I might try to the frosting next time without the cream cheese but otherwise they were delicious. I would have never thought to add vinegar to give them the perfect taste. Thank you for sharing!

masah al haj ali said...

umm can i substitute sourcream with the buttermilk

Cristina said...

How full did you fill the liners to get such a perfect sized cupcake?

Anonymous said...

Please, how much, in weight, is one "packet" of cream cheese?

Anonymous said...

OMG! They actually worked. I was surprised at how easy (and forgiving) the recipe was to follow and the cakes were absolutely delish. Thank you,thank you, thank you :)

BTW I used the recipe for six medium sized cupcake moulds and they turned out nice and fudgy!