The Best Red Velvet Cupcakes with a Surprise Frosting
I am a big fan of cupcakes. While I sometimes I’ll make a cake mix, I also enjoy making them from scratch. One of my absolute all time favorite cake is red velvet. When I figured out how to make beautiful Red Velvet Cupcakes I was ecstatic. The rich chocolate flavor paired with the bright red color make your brain bend a little bit but the effect is beautiful. These Red Velvet Cupcakes are just the right amount of airy and tender, while being sturdy enough to hold your favorite frosting too! I’ve paired them with an Apple Cider Cream Cheese Buttercream frosting, which is so simple to make!
Secret Ingredients for Red Velvet Cupcakes
There are three secret ingredients for Red Velvet Cupcakes that make them the best cupcake I’ve ever eaten. The first is buttermilk. I don’t normally buy liquid buttermilk because I keep powdered buttermilk in my refrigerator. If you like, substitute 1 cup of regular liquid buttermilk for the powder and milk in the recipe below. They both work to make a moist, fluffy cupcake. The other two ingredients are baking soda and vinegar, mixed in a bowl or measuring cup before adding to the batter. If you’ve ever worked with baking soda and vinegar together, you might remember them as ingredients for a volcano when you were a kid. They will foam when put together, but that foaming action makes the cupcakes truly remarkable. In the end, you don’t taste the vinegar at all, but the results are evident in your Red Velvet Cupcakes. When it comes to the red coloring, liquid will work, but if you have a fancy gourmet store, or you want to order online, check out Country Kitchen Sweetart’s Flaming Red CK Powder. It doesn’t add any weird flavoring to your cupcakes but gives you a rich red that is beautiful and doesn’t bleed into your frosting.
- ½ C Crisco shortening
- 1 ½ C granulated sugar
- 2 eggs
- 2 T cocoa powder
- 4 T red food coloring (if using liquid) or 9 grams powdered
- 1 t salt
- 1 t vanilla
- 4 T buttermilk powder
- 1 C milk
- 2 ½ C flour
- 1 ½ t flour
- 1 ½ t baking soda
- 1 T vinegar
- 1 stick butter, softened
- 4 oz cream cheese, softened
- 2 T apple cider
- 4-5 C powdered sugar
- Heat oven to 350 degrees F.
- In a stand mixer, cream the shortening and sugar until fluffy.
- Add in the eggs and vanilla, and mix completely.
- Blend the cocoa powder and red food coloring; add to the egg mixture and blend.
- Add the salt, buttermilk powder, and milk. Mix until well combined.
- Slowly add the flour, incorporating each addition before adding more.
- In a small bowl, mix the baking soda and vinegar; add to the batter quickly and mix in.
- Line a cupcake pan with paper liners. Fill ⅔ full with batter.
- Bake in heated oven 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
- To make the frosting, whip the butter and cream cheese until fluffy. Add the apple cider. When incorporated, add the sugar a little at a time until completely added. Whip 7-10 minutes, until sugar is blended and frosting is fluffy and smooth.
Make a Double Batch of Red Velvet Cupcakes: Some for Now, Some for Later
I love Red Velvet Cupcakes so much, I often make a double batch and freeze some for later. I can grab a few out the freezer, let them thaw, then frost them with whatever I have handy for a quick snack for my sweet tooth. It’s the perfect one-off snack that doesn’t get the kitchen dirty! So make a batch or two of Red Velvet Cupcakes!