Posts Tagged cupcake

Red Velvet Birthday

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I am the youngest among 12 siblings (think yours, mine and ours) and before me is my sister, G.  As teenagers, my sister and I were not really close and never really shared any secrets. We learned more about each other through the friends we hung out with since we, at one point, were in the same barkada.  It was only when she left for the US and got married that we developed a bond that only sisters can have.

My sister is really the culinary expert in the family and became quite known for it.  Our house was always buzzing with friends that she enjoyed cooking for. Those who came a little too often actually put on a few pounds. G may never admit it but I’m sure this actually made her happy.

On April 5, my sister will blow out 32 candles with her husband and son by her side. She is also expecting to give birth to a baby girl anytime soon. I wouldn’t be surprised if baby L makes her first appearance on the same day. So to my sister, Happy birthday! I wish I was there to celebrate with you. I love you.

Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 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

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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.

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

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.

Cook’s Note: Frost the cupcakes with a butter knife or pipe it on with a big star tip.

* Recipe courtesy of Paula Deen


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Attempt #2: Cupcakes

Due to the success of my first cake atempt, I was inspired to brave the kitchen once more. This time, I was going to make cupcakes. I searched for a simple recipe on my favorite food website foodnetwork.com and found one by Nigella Lawson (again!).  The fact that I’m using her recipe twice in a row is purely coincidental.

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I tweaked this recipe a bit because I wanted lemon flavored cupcakes. So instead of using 2 tsp. of vanilla extract as directed, I only put one tsp. and substituted the other one with one tsp. of lemon juice and rind.  I realized after putting my mixture in the oven that maybe that was not enough to give it a lemony flavor so I tweaked the recipe for the royal icing as well.

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The result was a very light cupcake that had a hint of lemon in it. The icing came out with more lemon flavor but it was a bit too sweet for me. I am really not a big fan of sugar icing and prefer buttercream icing. Hmmmm. Maybe for my third attempt?

Vanilla Cupcakes

  • 1 stick plus 1 tablespoon soft butter
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons milk

Special equipment: 12 bun muffin pan, lined with muffin papers.

Take everything you need out of the fridge in time to get to room temperature – and this makes a huge difference to the lightness of the cupcakes later – and preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Put all of the ingredients for the cupcakes except for the milk into a food processor and blitz until smooth. Pulse while adding the milk down the funnel, to make a smooth dropping consistency.

Divide the mixture between a 12-bun muffin tin lined with muffin papers, and bake in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes. They should have risen and be golden on top. Let them cool a little in their tins on a rack, and then take them carefully out of the tin to cool in their papers, still on the wire rack.

Ice with Royal Icing.

Royal Icing

  • 2 large egg whites (or substitute powdered egg whites)
  • 3 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice

Combine the egg whites and confectioners’ sugar in a medium-size mixing bowl and whip with an electric mixer on medium speed until opaque and shiny, about 5 minutes. Whisk in the lemon juice, this will thin out the icing. Beat for another couple of minutes until you reach the right spreading consistency for the cupcakes.

Yield: sufficient to generously ice 12 cupcakes

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