Unfortunately, the birthday boy was tired by the time the cake-eating festivities commenced, so I don’t have any cute pictures of frosting covered hands and faces. But I know Master Kristian will have plenty of opportunities to catch up on his Red (or any color) Velvet Cake indulging.
This recipe has been passed down in my family at least from my great-grandmother. It is a permanent fixture at all of our holiday tables and sometimes we make it just because (like family supper this week).
To make the two-tiered cupcake, I leveled the top of a regular cupcake with a serrated knife. I then frosted it with a single layer swirl (Ateco 804 tip). I peeled the paper off the mini cupcake and pushed it down into the frosting swirl. I then swirled frosting on the top of it with the same tip. While I didn’t do it, you could add a small toothpick or dowel down the center before frosting the mini cupcake for added stability as it may be a bit wobbly.
Blue (or Red) Velvet Cupcakes
Yield: in this case, 2 dozen mini and 1.5 dozen regular cupcakes
For the cupcakes:
2 1/2 cups cake flour
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon white vinegar
1 1/2 cups canola oil*
1 cup buttermilk
2 tablespoons (1 ounce) blue (or red) food coloring
For the cream cheese frosting:
8 ounces cream cheese softened
4 ounces (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 pound powdered sugar, sifted
pecans for garnish, if desired
For the cupcakes: Preheat oven to 350F. Grease muffin tin or line with paper liners. In a medium bowl, whisk together cake flour, cocoa powder, salt, and baking soda and set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer (or with a hand mixer), blend eggs and sugar until thick and yellow. Mix in vanilla extract and vinegar. Slowly blend in oil until thoroughly mixed. Add half of dry ingredients to egg mixture, mixing until just combined. Stir in half of buttermilk. Mix in half of remaining dry ingredients until just mixed, then remaining buttermilk, then last of the dry ingredients, blending only long enough to combine. Do not overmix. Finally, stir in food coloring until evenly distributed. fill muffin tins 2/3 to 3/4 full and bake minis for 9-11 minutes, regular for 18-20 minutes or until top springs back when lightly touched and cake tester inserted in center comes out clean.
For cream cheese frosting: In bowl of stand mixer, beat cream cheese and butter with paddle attachment until light and fluffy. Mix in vanilla extract. Gradually blend in powdered sugar until smooth. If desired you may stir chopped pecans directly into the frosting if you are going to spread onto the cupcakes with a spatula. If you plan to pipe, you may want to chill the frosting briefly before filling your bag and decorating. Top the piped cupcakes with a whole pecan half or garnish as desired. Or just eat it as is right there on the spot ;)
*The original cake recipe calls for a whopping 2 cups of oil. When I make this as a layer cake, I follow the original recipe but I found that cupcakes made with 2 cups of oil left oily rings on the platter. Reducing the oil to 1 1/2 cups doesn’t seem to adversely affect the taste of the cupcakes so I guess you could reduce it in the layer cake as well. But if you’re eating Red Velvet, you’re not on a diet, now are you???