Sunday, January 4, 2015

THE Perfect Red Velvet Cupcake Recipe

For a long time, I have been wondering about the reason behind the Red Velvet hype. I mean, it’s just a red cupcake... right? With some research on the internet before I tried it (I just never had a chance to try it, okay?), it turns out to be simply a red tinted cupcake with a hint of chocolate. I tried to search if there’s something more special about it, but there’s nothing more to it.

Oh wait, there’s this huge factor: the cream cheese frosting. I wasn’t familiar about it before (not a fan of the cream cheese spread before), and I was surely not aware that it could be a frosting, but it’s definitely a thing now.

Now I get why people are obsessed over it: the vibrant red cake is definitely attracting and one of a kind. It’s not that sweet as chocolate cupcakes, but not as neutral as a yellow or vanilla cupcake (don’t get me wrong, I still love all those flavors!). And the star: the cream cheese frosting. It’s not too sweet, which is why I recommend it to relatives who want me to bake cupcakes for them. Also, the slightly sour taste that contradicts the sweetness plays so amazingly inside your mouth. Whoa, did I just explain a cupcake in a poetic way? I think I did. 

And after testing 3 different recipes, I present to you: the perfected version of the red velvet cupcake!

THE Perfect Red Velvet Cupcake
2 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 tsp cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 cup buttermilk
1 1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 pcs eggs
1 bottle (20mL) red food coloring*
1 tsp white vinegar
1 tsp vanilla extract

  1. Preheat oven to 175ºC
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, and salt.
  3. In a large bowl, add buttermilk, oil, eggs, food coloring, vinegar, and vanilla. Beat until well blended.
  4. Slowly beat in flour mixture until blended.
  5. Fill cupcake liners until 2/3 full.
  6. Bake 20-22 minutes; remove from pan and cool on rack.
Makes approximately 20-24 cupcakes.

Recipe adapted from Food Network.

*The important thing about a red velvet cupcake is it’s color – it must be red. At first, this is hard to achieve... believe me. Sometimes, it turns out pink or pinkish brown. Other times, the hue is so deep, it's like brick red already. The trick here is to use the whole bottle (20mL) of red food coloring. I know, it seems to be a lot. But that’s how you achieve the perfect red color. Also, it depends on the brand of food coloring you use. I use McCormick – tried and tested, my friend. Others say using a red gel food coloring also works nicely since you’ll need less amounts of it to achieve a perfect red tint. I haven’t tried this one yet, but maybe I’ll do when I find a good brand. I tried using Ferna Gel Food Coloring, but it’s really disappointing. You need a whole lot of it to achieve your desired color! Also, their packaging is not good since it creates a mess after your first use.

I hope you’ll also try this! I have made this repeatedly and it never failed to give me joy after each batch – even when I made 75 pieces of it in just one afternoon (believe me, it was exhausting)! 

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