Valentine’s Day is tomorrow and I have the perfect recipe for Red Velvet Cupcakes. I have to say that I think, that red velvet is my favourite type of cupcake. I like it because you get that slight chocolate flavour, that is complemented by a sweet cream cheese buttercream icing. It seems that I am not the only one in love with red velvet cupcakes. This, by far, is one of the most popular recipes to make during Valentine’s Day.
I love Valentine’s Day because I like that it is a holiday dedicated to love. When I was younger, I absolutely loved sending and receiving Valentine’s cards to my classmates. Did you use to do that in elementary? I am not sure if it is a thing right now. It definitely was one of my favourite childhood memories. That, and the day my mom bought us a rainbow fish for Valentine’s Day.
I remember coming home and there on the counter was a fish bowl with the prettiest little fish I ever saw. She looked exactly like the fish in that book titled “The Rainbow Fish.” Her scales were turquoise, with glints of metallic magenta and pink. We named her Valentina.
Valentina was only supposed to live for 3-4 months. Instead, she beat the odds and lived for 3 years. She was my pal (I was a bit of an odd child). One day I started noticing that she wouldn’t eat her food, or swim up to the side of the bowl to follow my finger. She began to stay closer to the bottom of the bowl. I remember mentioning this to my mom because I was concerned. “I think Valentina may be sick.”
One morning, I woke up to find her floating upside down – Valentina passed away. My heart broke and I cried. I insisted she get a proper Islamic burial. So my dad carefully wrapped her fish body in some tissue, we all said a quick prayer, and we buried her in the rose bushes out front.
We had many more fish after that -including two Zebra Fish, who brutally attacked and murdered the other fish in the tank. They all received a toilet burial, except for Red. He accidentally jumped out of the fishbowl and went down our sink drain (RIP).
Needless to say, we had no more fish (or pets) after that. And now with that story out of the way, let’s jump into the Red Velvet Cupcakes recipe!
My recipe, unlike some other recipes, uses butter. Now in the past, I was the type of person who actively sought recipes without butter, because I would often forget to take my butter out the night before to reach room temperature. However, now that I am more grown and thus wiser (and by extension a bigger glutton), I always ensure that I have butter sitting out at room temperature.
The key to this recipe (and my other cupcake recipes) is to cream the butter and sugar for longer than you think you need too. I am talking about 5 – 7 minutes. Even 10 minutes is perfect. That way you yield a fluffier crumb. In addition, I like to use a combination of buttermilk and Greek yogurt. These two ingredients ensure that the cupcakes stay moist longer.
When it comes to achieving that perfect red colour, I find that gel food colouring is more potent than regular liquid food colouring. You need fewer drops of gel than you do liquid. However, it doesn’t really impact the overall taste or form of the recipe, so just use what you have on hand. I used liquid, and my cupcakes still turned out beautiful (even if I basically used half the bottle *rolls eyes*). Finally, do not forget to add the vinegar. This ensures that your crumb is fluffy and light. Don’t worry it doesn’t impart or impact the flavour.
Let me tell you, these cupcakes are so darn tasty that I really think they will make any person fall in love with you- and by extension fall in love with me since I shared this recipe with you in the first place. However, if you’re looking for a recipe that is guaranteed to melt the pants off your partner then check out my recipe for this Spicy Valentine’s Day Cake for Two
Tender crumb, light chocolate flavour, rich cream cheese icing. 'Nuff said!
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a standard cupcake pan with liners.
On medium-high speed, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, for 5 minutes. Scrape down the sides. Continue mixing. Pour in the vanilla. Add the egg and mix for another 3 minutes (until nice and creamy).
In a separate small bowl, sift together the cocoa powder, flour and salt. In a measuring jar add your buttermilk and yogurt. Add 1/3 flour mixture followed by 1/2 the milk mixture. Alternate between the two, ending with the dry ingredients. Mix until just incorporated.
Begin to add the food colouring, mixing on low speed until you achieve the colour you want. Add the baking soda and vinegar. Mix to combine.
Divide the batter evenly between the cupcake liners and bake for about 20 minutes, or until cooked. Let cool for 10 minutes before removing them from the pan. Cool completely before frosting.
Add the vanilla and mix to combine. Increase the speed to medium-high and whip for 5 minutes until the frosting is light and fluffy. Transfer to a piping bag fitted with a tip of your choice and decorate!
You may have leftover frosting from this recipe, which is okay! Simply place the leftovers in a freezer safe container, apply saran wrap over top and then place the lid. Your buttercream will last up to 3 months in the freezer.
You cannot taste the vinegar in this recipe! It helps promote a tender crumb.