A Red Velvet Dream

As crazy as this might seem, I had a dream about red velvet cupcakes last night. I dreamt that I was in a kitchen trying to bake lemon poppy seed cupcakes. No matter what I did or what recipe I tried, when I went to pull the cupcakes out of the oven, they always turned out to be red velvet cupcakes. Naturally, when I woke up, I decided the dream meant I was supposed to make red velvet cupcakes. I started looking for red velvet cupcake recipes online and I came across one that looked really good. I called my best friend and told her I was on my way over and we had some baking to do.

The recipe I found was so good! It used a chocolate ganache in the cake batter, which really set off the bitter taste from the food coloring. They were moist and extremely delicious! If you decide you want to try this recipe out, make sure you read the directions carefully. The chocolate ganache is supposed to be mixed with the cake batter, however, I overlooked this step and had to start all over. I hope you enjoy!

Red Velvet Cupcakes

Dry Batter Ingredients
 2 2/3 cups sifted cake flour (Softasilk)
2 cups sugar
2 TBSP unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp salt

Wet Batter Ingredients
1 cup buttermilk
2 large eggs + 1 egg white
1 cup sunflower seed oil
 1 1/2 TBSP red food coloring
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 tsp distilled white vinegar

Chocolate Ganache
 4 oz Ghirardelli bittersweet chocolate baking bar
1/4 cup heavy cream

Cream Cheese Frosting (makes 4 cups)
8 oz Philadelphia cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup salted butter, Challenge
“European Style”, softened
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
4 1/2 cups confectioners powdered sugar
1 TBSP heavy whipping cream, very cold

  1. Line cupcake pan(s) with cupcake liners. Adjust oven rack to middle position. Preheat oven to 350° F.
  2. Using a stand mixer or electric handheld mixer, mix all dry batter ingredients together in a large mixer bowl. In a separate large bowl, mix together all wet ingredients on low.
  3. To make chocolate ganache, coarsely chop Ghirardelli chocolate bar. Melt chocolate with heavy cream in a glass bowl in the microwave on the lowest setting, stirring thoroughly every 30 seconds until smooth. If there are just a few lumps left, don’t nuke it again, just keep stirring and they’ll melt right in. Add chocolate ganache to wet mix and blend with mixer.
  4. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients 1/3 at a time, mixing in between on low setting. Mix until batter is smooth.
  5. Fill cupcake liners a little more than 3/4 full with batter, evenly distributing to all liners. Place pans in oven and bake for 25 minutes for jumbos, 20 minutes for standards, 15 minutes for minis, or until toothpick comes out clean from center of cupcake. Remove pans from oven and allow cupcakes to cool in pan for 15 minutes. Trying to pick them up out of the pans too early may leave dents in the still soft tops and cup liners. After which, it’s best to remove cupcakes and allow them to cool completely on a wire rack or counter before frosting.
  6. Meanwhile, make cream cheese frosting. Using a stand mixer or electric handheld mixer, combine softened cream cheese and butter. Beat until well blended and smooth.
  7. Add vanilla extract. Beat well.
  8. Add powdered sugar 1 cup at a time, beating well in between to really incorporate the sugar. This process will ensure a smooth texture.
  9. Add 1 TBSP very cold heavy whipping cream. Beat well for fluffiness.
  10. Using a spatula, scrape frosting into a pastry bag. Chill in refrigerator until cupcakes have cooled completely before frosting. Chilling the frosting also helps it gain more structure when piping since we softened the cream cheese and butter earlier.
  11. Frost The Cupcakes!
  12. You’re good to go! Arrange these red velvet cupcakes on a pretty platter or cupcake stand and serve, or pack them up to share. Best if eaten same day, but still quite yummy on day two. Enjoy!




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