Red Velvet Cupcakes and Birthday Treats !

Red velvet (cup)cake - the name evokes rich flavor and texture along with the characteristic red hue. Paired with cream cheese frosting , it has  become the new culinary obsession. I joined the bandwagon a bit late though . Not that I was unaware of it's hype but the  right place and setting was missing ... I got officially hooked when on a cold cold winter evening , had this warm tender cake at the  Ritz Carlton bakery in Charlotte.fell in love with the buttery taste and the fact that red is my favorite color must ahve played a part too !

 Some tastes linger with you and apparently with your family members as well.Dearest daughter has her birthday coming up and was thinking of baking cupcakes as  birthday  treats for her native language school friends. Upon asking  as to what her choice of flavor would be for the cupcakes , her reply was guessed it velvet ...hence the blog pose !! they had my vote too ..with Christmas was perfectly apt as a holiday treat too.

Red Velvet cup(cakes) need to be especially tender ..that is why almost all recipes call for the use of cake flour. But what is a "girl" got to do if she doesn't have  cake flour??? Just substitute 2 tablespoons of flour with the same amount of  corn starch for every cup of all purpose flour...a simple google search was responsible for this pearl of wisdom. Google will once gain come to your rescue if you don't have buttermilk ready . Leave that task for you guys !

Ingredients -

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
4 tbsp corn starch
2 eggs (room temperature)
2 tbsp cocoa powder
1 1/2 cup sugar
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup butter
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
2 tbsp red food coloring
1 tsp distilled white vinegar
1 tbsp vanilla extract
Cream cheese frosting to decorate

Method -
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and line the muffin pan with cupcake liners . You will need two 12 count muffin pans..this recipe yields exactly 24 cupcakes.

Sieve the all purpose flour with the corn starch a couple of times to ensure proper mixing for the cake flour. Add the other dry ingredients -cocoa powder, baking soda and salt and whisk them .
Now,  cream the butter and sugar with the help of a hand mixer. . Add the vegetable oil to it followed by the eggs(one at a time ) and the vanilla extract . After mixing well, add the red food coloring and the vinegar. Mix again and now it is time to add the dry mixture and butter milk. Try to do add teh dry mixture in three batches alternating with the buttermilk . Never over mix once the flour mixture is added.

Now divide the batter equally among the cups of the pan.Also, make sure that they are about 2/3 rd filled . Bake them for 20-22  minutes or till a tooth pick inserted comes out clean.Cool on a wiring rack completely before starting with the frosting.

Frosting -
Fill a piping bag with the cream cheese frosting . Attach the Wilton tip no. 12 and pipe round swirls and top with glazed cherries. I used red and green in keeping with the holiday theme but you guys can go for your own choice of cupcake toppers . Give these buttery red velvet cupcakes a try and let me know how they turned out . Keep warm and keep baking !


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