She told me she loved red velvet cake, so I made cupcakes last year for her birthday and this year, as well. Next year she’s getting something different. I'm ready for something new.
My Aunt Mary Elizabeth (that’s four syllables and pronounced very quickly, an-mare-lis-buth) in Georgia was famed for her red velvet cake, and it is my brother’s all-time favorite. My aunt uses an icing made from flour, milk, sugar, vanilla, and butter that is cooked, but I once tried this with disastrous results. Instead, I'm using the other common pairing of cream cheese frosting.
Almost all recipes you find for this cake are very similar. The cake is traditionally known as a Southern cake, but has unknown and fabled originsthat sound quite dubious.Wherever it originated, the red batter screams to be used at Christmas, Valentine’s and special occasions.
Red Velvet Cupcakes
½ cup shortening
1 cup buttermilk
1 ½ cup sugar
2 ounces red food coloring
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 ½ cups cake flour, sifted
3 tablespoons cocoa powder
1 teaspoon vinegar
pinch of salt
- Cream shortening, sugar, eggs, and vanilla in a large bowl.
- Make a paste of the food coloring and cocoa and add to the sugar mixture.
- Mix salt, vinegar, baking soda, and buttermilk together.
- Add the flour alternately with the buttermilk into the sugar mixture and mix until well incorporated.
- Pour into muffin liners and bake for about 20 minutes at 350 degrees.
Cream Cheese Frosting
12 ounces cream cheese
½ stick of butter
4 cups sifted powdered sugar
2 teaspoon vanilla
- Allow cream cheese and butter to reach room temperature.
- Cream together cream cheese, butter and vanilla.
- Add the sifted powdered sugar and beat until creamy. Add more sugar for a thicker and sweeter frosting.