Baking Project #4: Red Velvet Cupcakes

To be quite frankly, it occurred to me once that red velvet cake is going to be the end of my baking addiction. There's no in between with this cake, it's either I get it or I don't. And I miss most of the time!

Prior to my first attempt of baking it, I have no idea or heard of it before. Even the restaurants and cafes I frequent don't have it in their menu. One day though, I was browsing all the recipes at Joy of Baking when I saw this photo of a cake. It looked simple but the combination of colors caught my attention. The burst of red made it interesting and intriguing. I studied the recipe and read it over and over again. I haven't even started yet but I was already intimidated. I couldn't quite figure it out but somehow my subconscious knew that I was doomed for a failure. And I did. I made it that day and even after the 40 minutes were up, the cake still looked creamy and nowhere near completely baked. I replaced it in the oven and baked for another 5 minutes... and another 5... and another 5. In the end, I baked it for twice as much as was said on the recipe and the top was burnt and I had to cut that part.

Two years later, I saw a recipe for red velvet cupcakes using a different method. So I tainted my hands with red yesterday and I dare say, they were really good. They were the softest cupcakes I ever made and tasted! It's not as red as I hoped it would be but that can easily be repaired. What's important is, I FINALLY found the perfect recipe! 


Red Velvet Cupcakes


2 1/4 cup cake flour, sifted
1 cup vegetable oil
1 3/4 cups sugar
1 cup buttermilk
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp vinegar
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 oz (30 ml) red food color
1 1/2 tsp cocoa powder

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 deg C). Line muffin tins with cupcake liners
  2. Measure cake flour in a bowl.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine buttermilk, eggs, vanilla, baking soda, vinegar and salt.
  4. In the bowl of your mixer, beat sugar and oil until well blended.Alternately add flour and wet mixture in three additions beginning and ending with flour. Mix in cocoa powder and food color.
  5. Fill muffin tins to half-full and bake to 15-17 minutes or  until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Remove from oven and let cool in tins for a few minutes. Remove from tins and allow to cool completely before frosting.

       *Makes about 30 3-oz cupcakes
       *I am using a small oven that can only accommodate 9 cupcakes at a time. What I do is bake
         them on the lower rack for 15 minutes and then transfer them to the middle rack and bake for
         another 3-5 minutes.   

Recipe adapted from She Make and Bakes

Baking Project #3: Basketweave Cake

Life is all about choices.  Variety is the name of the game.

I already have my go to recipe for yellow cake, but I would never pass up a chance to try a new recipe if it sounds promising. I was cleaning my drawer the other day and when I got to the bottom I found copies of cake recipes that I printed a year ago. I read everything and decided to try the yellow cake for our anniversary. Julius and I became together officially on August 10 and because it fell on a Sunday this year, I already made my decision to make a cake and also try the basketweave frosting idea. I did both and I was really happy with the result. After I finished with the frosting, I excitedly showed it to Ate Janet and she was pleased with it too. I couldn't find a flat tip from the store despite checking every week so I used a small sized open star tip. And I do think that it was even better. As for the cake, it's my brother's opinion that I always ask, and my question is always like this: "Is it good? Should I make it again?" And if he says yes, then I'm fine with doing it again. And in case you're wondering, he said yes yesterday.


     4 cups plus 2 Tbsp cake flour, sifted
     2 tsp baking powder
     1 1/2 tsp baking soda
     1 tsp salt
     1 cup unsalted butter ( 2 sticks), softened
     2 cups granulated sugar
     2 tsp vanilla extract
     4 large eggs, room temperature
     2 cups buttermilk

  1. Preheat oven to 350 deg F (175 deg C). Grease 2 8-inch round pans. Grease also parchment papers and place at the bottom of the pans.
  2. Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a separate bowl and set aside. 
  3. In the bowl of your mixer, mix butter and sugar until fluffy. Beat in vanilla. Add egg and beat well after each addition. Be sure to scrape the bottom of the bowl. In a low speed, mix buttermilk just until incorporated. Add flour in three batches and mix just until incorporated.
  4. Divide batter into pans and bake for 40-45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool in pans for 10 minutes and then run a knife around the edges and invert into racks. Remove parchment paper and allow to cool before frosting. 
For the frosting recipe, click here:

Note: Recipe adapted from Smitten Kitchen.
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