Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

red vevet 2
I had a red velvet craze a few months ago when they got uber trendy (everywhere). I used to read blogs and gawk at pictures of red vevet cupcakes trying to imagine what these insanely red colored cakes would taste like. I decided to bake a batch for my friend’s birthday because I was falling in love with a cake that I’ve never tasted before!

I really wanted these cupcakes to taste delicious so I looked up recipes and read many reviews online. I am not a fan of food coloring in general, so I tried to reduce the amount as much as possible (that’s why the cupcakes turned out to be burgundy in color rather than a bright red). The cupcakes were extra moist and light. Just perfect with the super rich cream cheese frosting!

My frosting recipe is not very thick because I don’t like overly sweet icing, but you can always add more sugar if you prefer a stiffer consistency. The frosting can be either piped or smeared on the cupcakes with a spatula.

I would definitely bake these cupcakes again ๐Ÿ™‚

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Ingredients: (Adapted from Martha Stewart)

2 1/4 cups all purpose flour, sifted
4 tablespoons cornstarch, sifted
2 tablespoons unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder, sifted
1 teaspoon salt
1+1/4 cups sugar
1+1/2 cups vegetable oil
2 large eggs, room temperature
3 teaspoons liquid red food color
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk*
1+1/2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons distilled white vinegar
*You can substitute buttermilk by placing 1 Tablespoon of white vinegar or lemon juice in a 1 cup measuring cup. Then add enough milk to bring the liquid up to one cup. Wait for 5 minutes before using it.

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 180C/350F. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners.
  • Whisk together cake flour, cocoa, and salt.
  • With an electric mixer on medium speed, whisk together sugar and oil until combined. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until each is incorporated, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Mix in food color and vanilla.
  • Reduce speed to low. Add flour mixture in three batches, alternating with two additions of buttermilk, and whisking well after each. Stir together the baking soda and vinegar in a small bowl (it will foam); add mixture to the batter, and mix on medium speed 10 seconds.
  • Divide batter evenly among lined cups, filling each 3/4 full. Bake for 25 minutes, until a cake tester or toothpick inserted in centers comes out clean. Transfer tins to wire racks to cool completely before removing cupcakes.

Cream Cheese Frosting:

1/2ย cup (110g) butter, almost room temperature
8 oz. (225g) cream cheese, cold
1 teaspoon natural vanilla extract
3 cups powdered confectioners sugar, sifted
2 Tablespoons heavy cream

  • Blend butter and cream cheese in large mixing bowl, about 30 seconds.
  • Add vanilla extract and powdered sugar and blend on low speed until combined. Increase to medium speed and beat until it begins to get fluffy.
  • Slowly add the heavy cream.
  • Beat until fluffy, about 1 minute.
  • Use at once or keep refrigerated for a few days.

red velvet3ย Red Velvet Cupcakes

For the Lebanese Independence Day!

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Chocolate Chip Brownies

Chocolate Chip Brownies
brownie 1

I’m very excited to write my first post on my blog that I named after my favorite chocolate treat! I baked and tested several brownie recipes and this is my BEST go-to brownies recipe.ย They’reย very dense and moist in texture and the chocolate chips really melt in your mouth, especially when they are warm and freshly baked.

I baked these brownies on several occasions and they are ALWAYS a big hit. They don’t require a lot of time to prepare and it’s a very easy one-bowl recipe. So go ahead, try it! And make sure to follow the recipe exactly.

Ingredients: adapted from The Golden Book of Chocolate
85g (2/3 cup) all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
150g (5 oz.) bittersweet dark chocolate
113g (1/2 cup) unsalted butter
150g (3/4 cup) firmly packed dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs
100g (1 cup) chopped pecans or walnuts
180g (1 cup) bittersweet or semisweet chocolate chips

Directions:
1.Preheat the oven 180ยฐC/ 350ยฐF/ gas 4.
2. Butter and flour a 20 cm/ 8″ square baking pan. Line with baking sheet.
3. Mix the flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl.
4. Melt the chocolate and butter in a double boiler (bain-marie) over barely simmering water. Remove from heat and let cool for 15 minutes.
5. In a separate bowl beat the eggs, sugar, and vanilla with an electric mixer (or with a fork) until creamy.
6. Stir the cooled chocolate mixture into the egg mixture.
7. Fold in the dry ingredients, followed by the pecans and chocolate chips.
8. Spoon the batter into the prepared pan.
9. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until the top is dry and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few crumbs.
10. Cool the brownies in the pan on a wire rack or stove for 40 minutes before turning them over on another wire rack. (don’t miss this step because the cake will crumble if it’s still hot!)