I heard a super funny story once. It was about someone who had made a red velvet cake from a cake mix. They said when they made the cake it looked an terribly odd color, like extra red. Then, the next day when they made it they all thought they were dying because they had some really interesting, um, bathroom trips. It took just a little bit, but when they all realized that it was due to the red velvet cake mix they swore they would never make it again. And after that story I have never once thought about making a red velvet cake mix.
I do, however, enjoy red velvet things when I get them at a bakery. So for the party of endless cupcakes I decided I would try to find a good red velvet cake recipe. I knew that every red velvet cupcake/cake I had ever seen was red-red and I figured that it came from food coloring - which is true. BUT, I also found out that when red velvet became popular in the south many years ago, the red color came from a chemical reaction that took place between chocolate and vinegar in the recipe which turned the brown in the chocolate to a red-ish color. Wow! Such a cool thing. This recipe I used still uses red food coloring, and a lot of it, but then it turns out nice and red like the ones you find at the bakeries.
Red Velvet Cupcakes
Makes 24 large, or 30 medium cupcakes
2 1/4 cups all purpose
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter, softened
2 1/4 cups sugar
1cup sour cream
1/2 cup buttermilk (or milk with 2 teaspoons lemon juice)
.5-1ounce red food coloring (add until desired color)
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Mix flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt in medium bowl. Set aside.
2. Beat butter and sugar in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed 5 minutes or until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time. Mix in sour cream, milk, food color and vanilla. Gradually beat in flour mixture on low speed until just blended. Do not overbeat. Spoon batter into 24 paper-lined muffin cups, filling each cup 2/3 full.
3. Bake 18 to 22 minutes or until toothpick inserted into cupcake comes out clean. Gently remove from oven (these are super-moist, and will collapse if you aren’t careful). Cool in pans on wire rack at least 5 minutes. Remove from pans; cool completely and frost with cream cheese frosting.
Cream Cheese Frosting
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, cold
1/4 cup butter, cold
2 tablespoons sour cream
2 teaspoons vanilla
16 ounces powdered sugar (approximately 4 cups)
With a high powered mixer (stand up mixer if you have one) beat cold cream cheese, butter, sour cream and vanilla in large bowl until light and fluffy. Scrape bowl, and beat again. Gradually beat in powdered sugar until smooth. Once smooth, turn beaters to high and whip for 5 minutes, until very fluffy.