First Post! Red Velvet Cupcakes

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Well here we are, my first post. I find it only fitting that my first post relates to the woman who inspired me to get back into the blog-game, Liz over at e2bakesbrooklyn

First, a little back-story. I met Liz in college when she was a Senior and I was a Junior. I quickly learned that the Oscars were serious business for Liz and Oscar night was spent devouring pesto-mozzarella grilled cheese sandwiches and red carpet inspired red velvet cake. It’s not an overstatement when I say talking during the show would get you kicked out of her duplex.

Last Oscar season Liz posted her red velvet Oscar cake on her blog, through the magic of the internet here’s a link: e2’s red velvet Oscar cake. Last night I was craving a cupcake and rather than buy one, I decided I would make some of my own. I popped on over to e2bakes and found the famous cake, there was even a handy “if you want to make cupcakes” tip and I did, I really really did. 18 mins per batch later I was greeted by the most perfect cupcakes domes I had ever baked. I kid you not when I tell you these are the moistest cupcakes I have ever experienced – and I made them! woo! My local Giant was out (or hiding) the buttermilk so I used e2’s tip of adding lemon juice to milk and voila! I also opted to not add red food coloring so I guess these aren’t technically red velvet, but they are in spirit – don’t judge. One other note is that the recipe says (or at least did at the time of baking) that there is enough batter for 24 cupcakes when filling each baking cup about 2/3 the way full. I ended up with four extra and didn’t have enough frosting for the extras – but that could just be my own fault as I’m heavy handed with the frosting – otherwise it’s just a muffin, people!

Here’s the recipe as found on e2bakesbrooklyn (adapted for cupcakes):

Cupcakes: (makes roughly 28)
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup natural unsweetened cocoa powder -not Dutch process
1/3 cup cornstarch
2 cups granulated sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
1 cup canola or vegetable oil
3 large eggs + 1 large egg yolk, room temperature
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon white vinegar (or apple cider vinegar)
2 cups buttermilk (I did not have buttermilk so I used e2’s tip of putting 2 tsp of lemon juice in a Pyrex measuring bowl and then filled with whole milk up to the 2 cup line – let sit for 5 mins)
1/2-3 tablespoons liquid red food coloring (I opted out of this step)

Cream Cheese Frosting: (may want to increase if you’re frosting inclined)
8 ounces full-fat brick-style cream cheese, softened to room temperature
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
1 pound confectioner’s sugar
pinch of Kosher or sea salt
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350F.

Make the cake. In a medium mixing bowl, sift together flour, cocoa powder, cornstarch, sugar, baking soda, and salt. Whisk to combine. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together oil, eggs and yolk, vanilla, white vinegar, buttermilk, and red food coloring. Add dry ingredients in three installments, combining completely after each addition.

Divide batter evenly into prepared pans (aka, lined with baking cups). Fill each baking cup about 2/3 full (I did this by putting my batter in a Ziploc with a snipped edge and piping the batter into the cups).  Bake at 350F for 16-18 mins and test with a toothpick – if it’s clean, it’s time! Let the cupcakes cool in the pan for about 2 mins and then pop them out onto a cooling rack.

Make the frosting. In a large mixing bowl, use an electric mixer to beat cream cheese and butter together until light and fluffy. Add confectioner’s sugar and salt in two installments, until completely combined. Beat in vanilla. Once combined, beat on high for two additional minutes, until light and fluffy. Taste – for science.

Frost cooled cupcakes. I did this again with a Ziploc bag and frosting tip. Realize that you can’t eat 28 cupcakes by yourself and take some to work – become office star.

Let me know if you end up making these – they’re super yummy. Enjoy!

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