Friday, February 1, 2008

If you really loved me you'd buy me cupcakes

When we lived in San Francisco we were lucky enough to have a fabulous cupcake bakery, Kara's Cupcakes, in our neighborhood. Their passion fruit cupcakes were to die for & I was really craving one the other day. Luckily Mpls/St. Paul Magazine recently spotlighted the top bakeries in the Twin Cities so we were able to find a local substitute, Cupcake on University Ave in Minneapolis. Cupcake is a cute little cafe that serves breakfast & lunch as well as 50 flavors of cupcakes. If you live in the area & have never been there I highly recommend it.
We tried four; Banana Pudding, Banana Fluffer Nutter, Red Velvet & Razz-ma-tazz. I had never had Red Velvet cake before & was blown away by how much I liked it, especially the cream cheese frosting. I've been thinking about them ever since to today I looked up Paula Dean's recipe on Food Network & made my own.
#32 - Red Velvet

For the cupcakes:
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

For the cupcakes:
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.
So red
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.
Making them all pretty
I used a piping bag without a tip to create the peaks in the shape of a flower on top.

Makes 24 cupcakes.

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t = teaspoon
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