devonly randomonium

Sugar-coated effery and shenanigans.

Nom, Nom, Nom: Red Velvet Cupcake Smackdown

on July 13, 2011

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lately I’ve been seeing red in my kitchen. For the last few weeks, I’ve been experimenting with red velvet cupcake recipes. I tried the Buttah Queen’s (Paula Deen’s) recipe, and a recipe from the Joy of Baking (JOB). Now I thought that I would automatically like Paula’s recipe because she doesn’t hold back on the sugar and fat. I was wrong. I actually liked the JOB recipe better.

Here are the two recipes:

Paula Deen’s Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Icing

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cocoa powder
1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
1 cup buttermilk, room temperature
2 large eggs, room temperature
2 tablespoons red food coloring
1 teaspoon white distilled vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the Cream Cheese Frosting:

1 pound cream cheese, softened
2 sticks butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar

Chopped pecans and fresh raspberries or strawberries, for garnish

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 (12-cup) muffin pans with cupcake papers.

In a medium mixing bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, and cocoa powder. In a large bowl gently beat together the oil, buttermilk, eggs, food coloring, vinegar, and vanilla with a handheld electric mixer. Add the sifted dry ingredients to the wet and mix until smooth and thoroughly combined.

Divide the batter evenly among the cupcake tins about 2/3 filled. Bake in oven for about 20 to 22 minutes, turning the pans once, half way through. Test the cupcakes with a toothpick for doneness. Remove from oven and cool completely before frosting.

For the Cream Cheese Frosting:

In a large mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese, butter and vanilla together until smooth. Add the sugar and on low speed, beat until incorporated. Increase the speed to high and mix until very light and fluffy.

Garnish with chopped pecans and a fresh raspberry or strawberry.

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Joy of Baking Red Velvet Cupcakes

1 1/4 cups (125 grams) sifted cake flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoons (10 grams) regular unsweetened or Dutch-processed cocoa powder
1/4 cup (57 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cups (150 grams) granulated white sugar
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup (120 ml) buttermilk
1 tablespoon liquid red food coloring
1/2 teaspoon white distilled vinegar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda

Cream Cheese Frosting:

8 ounces (227 grams) cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup (60 grams) confectioners’ (icing or powdered) sugar, sifted
2/3 cup (160 ml) cold heavy whipping cream (35-40% butterfat content)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) and line 12 muffin tins with paper cupcake liners.

In a large bowl whisk or sift together the flour, baking powder, salt, and cocoa powder.

In the bowl of your electric mixer, or with a hand mixer, beat the butter until soft (about 1-2 minutes). Add the sugar and beat until light and fluffy (about 2-3 minutes). Add the egg and beat until incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the vanilla extract and beat until combined.

In a measuring cup whisk the buttermilk with the red food coloring. With the mixer on low speed, alternately add the flour mixture and buttermilk to the butter mixture, in three additions, beginning and ending with the flour.

In a small cup combine the vinegar and baking soda. Allow the mixture to fizz and then quickly fold into the cake batter.

Working quickly, divide the batter evenly among the 12  muffin cups and smooth the tops with an offset spatula or the back of a spoon. Bake in the preheated oven for approximately 18 – 23 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cupcakes comes out clean.

Cool the cakes in their pans on a wire rack for 10 minutes and them remove from pan. Let cool completely before frosting. Either spread the frosting with a knife or offset spatula, or use a large 1M Wilton open star decorating tip to pipe the frosting.

Cream Cheese Frosting: In the bowl of your electric mixer, or with a hand mixer, beat the cream cheese until smooth. Add the vanilla and confectioners sugar and beat until smooth. Using the whisk attachment, gradually add the heavy cream and whip until the frosting is thick enough to pipe. Add more sugar or cream as needed to get the right consistency.

Makes 12 cupcakes.

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Even though the recipes are quite similar, I liked JOB’s better. The only thing I liked about the Buttah Queen’s recipe was the icing.

I need this mug in my life.

With Paula Deen’s recipe, the cupcakes were kind of greasy and reminded me more of a corn muffin or something. To me, the vegetable oil was a bad call. I think I would just use butter or way less oil if I ever use this recipe again. If you want to take a stab at it, I recommend baking these for 18 minutes instead of 20. If you go over 20, they might be dry and hard from all of the oil. I also recommend adding a tablespoon or two of cocoa powder instead of 1 teaspoon so you can actually taste the chocolate.

With JOB’s recipe, the cupcakes were lighter and fluffier. They didn’t taste greasy and they weren’t too sweet. I didn’t make the whipped cream, cream cheese icing for these because Paula Deen’s icing was almost orgasmic…no joke! C’mon, butter + cream cheese + powdered sugar = automatic win! But the whipped cream, cream cheese icing would work too if you want a much lighter icing. I also recommend baking these between 18-19 minutes. I baked them for 20 minutes, and even though they weren’t dry, they weren’t as moist as I wanted them to be.

Despite my criticisms, my friends enjoyed both versions. But I’m going to keep tweaking things until I get this recipe just right!

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