Red Velvet Cupcakes with a Perfect Cream Cheese Frosting

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Red Velvet is a pretty cake! Basically it’s vanilla cake with a hint of chocolate and a tender moist velvety crumb. And of course the rich deep red hue, which gives it the name and makes it look all fancy and exciting.

I recently bought Neeta Mehta’s ‘Cupcakes and Brownies’ and was keen to do a batch of cupcakes in the new oven. The first recipe was red velvets. I have done red velvet cake sometime back where I used home- made cream cheese for the frosting.

This Bombay visit I picked two tubs of cream cheese and tried the frosting from ‘Joy of Baking’. The cupcakes came out moist and delicious. So much so that I had to actually bake a second batch to serve them frosted!
This gorgeous cream cheese frosting, is good enough to die for!

Here is the recipe for the cake (adapted from Neeta’s cook book)

1 1/3 cup (150 grams) APF/Plain flour/Maida
1 tbsp cocoa powder
¼ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
1 tsp Raspberry Red liquid food colour (add a little more to get the desired shade of red)
1 cup buttermilk (or a mixture of ¾  cup milk and ¼ cup yogurt/curd/dahi)
¼ cup butter, room temperature
1 cup powdered sugar
½ tsp pure vanilla extract
1 egg
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp vinegar

Preheat  the oven to 180C/350 F and line a 12 muffin pan with paper liners.
1In a medium bowl, sift the flour and whisk with the salt, baking powder and cocoa.
2In a large bowl, beat the butter for a minute. Add sugar and beat for another couple of minutes.
IMG_7142IMG_7143Add the vanilla extract and egg and mix till incorporated.
IMG_7147In a bowl add the food colour to the buttermilk.

IMG_7145IMG_7165Now add one thirds of the flour mixture and mix in.
IMG_7150Then half the buttermilk-colour mixture and mix and continue till all the flour is used up, starting and ending with the flour.
IMG_7166Take the vinegar in a small bowl and add in the baking soda. It will bubble. Quickly stir and add to the batter and mix well.
Using a spoon or an ice cream scoop, spoon in the cake batter into the lined muffin pan.
IMG_7168Bake for 20 minutes or till a toothpick inserted into the centre of a cup cake comes out clean.
4Transfer to the wire rack and cool completely before frosting.
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Cream Cheese Frosting
This, by far, is the best frosting I have ever had. Mildly sweet with a hint of tang, this totally trumps all others in the flavour arena. Or maybe I feel that being a die-hard citrusy dessert lover 😛
The recipe is from Joy of Baking ( with minor changes)

180 grams cream cheese, at room temperature (I used 1 tub of Britannia Processed Cream Cheese)
½ tsp pure vanilla extract
50 grams icing or powdered sugar , sifted
125 millilitres of heavy cream /whipping cream ( I used Rich cream), chilled

Put a steel bowl in the freezer to chill.
Beat the cream cheese till smooth (about 30 seconds).
IMG_7187IMG_7188Add the sugar and vanilla and beat till soft and creamy (2 minutes).
IMG_7192Now get the chilled steel bowl and the chilled heavy cream out of the fridge and beat the cream to stiff peaks. I put it the bowl over a bed of ice because of the afternoon heat and the temperature in high 30s. It helped.
IMG_7193IMG_7194IMG_7196Add the cream cheese mix to the heavy cream and whisk together for half a minute.
IMG_7198It becomes nice, thick and creamy and doesn’t drop easily even if the bowl is inverted.
IMG_7199Fill the piping bag and push all the frosting down till  the frosting peaks from the tip of the piping bag.
IMG_7203IMG_7204With a firm and steady hand, make swirls over the cupcakes. Well I am a beginner and a very reluctant ‘froster’ as you can see here 😛 But it did get better by the fourth cupcake 😀
IMG_7205Too lazy to do that? Simply slather all over the cuppies and enjoy country style!
Heaven either ways ❤
And if you have the heart to do it, crumble a cuppie and sprinkle all over the frosted others 😀
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Best used the same day, but can be refrigerated for up to two days.
And now  😀

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Red Velvet Cake with homemade cream cheese frosting

Red Velvet Cake with homemade cream cheese frosting

The Red Velvet- I was enamoured with the colour and texture of this beautiful cake ever since I saw it for the first time and dug into it, at a small patisserie in Edinburgh. The allure of this double-hued delight mesmerized the eye and the taste buds! I promised myself I’d bake it someday.

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Now, baking is something that I have taught myself pretty late in life. I am not your natural expert baker. Hence started a series of trials, in more ways than one! The Red Velvet had me on my toes the past few weeks, seemingly mocking all my efforts!

The first attempt was complete rubbish! By the third, I got the crumb right but the colour couldn’t decide whether it wanted to be mahogany or burgundy :-/. The beet ‘route’ didn’t work for me at all and I decided food colour was the way to go!

Yesterday my friend Sirisha Mantha posted a lovely chocolate-date cake  recipe on the  facebook food group I am a memeber of. It said cocoa,it said vanilla, it said buttermilk- My heart said
Red Velvet!!

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So here is my version of the red velvet –  beautiful red colour, perfectly soft crumb and delectably moist!

I make no claim to its authenticity as a true red velvet but a big slice of this with some capsicum corn pockets on a plate and I had all the three guys at home smiling wide!

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Red Velvet Cake

All Purpose flour/Maida – 1 ½ cup
Sugar – 1 cup
Eggs – 2
Butter – 1/2 cup
Butter milk – 3/4 cup
Baking powder- 1 tsp
Cocoa powder – 1 Tbsp
Vanilla extract – 1 Tsp
Liquid Red food colour- 1 Tsp ( Add slowly and adjust as per the shade of the red desired)

Preheat the oven to 180C and grease and line a 9 inch pan

In medium sized bowl, sift flour, cocoa powder and baking powder 2-3 times

In a big bowl, beat the butter and sugar till creamy. Add egg to the butter-sugar mixture and mix well.Add in the buttermilk and mix.Now add the red food colour gradually till you get the desired shade of red. I used a little more than one tsp.Add the flour mix in three batches, mixing after each addition. Add in the vanilla essence.

Bake for 30-35 minutes or till a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.Let it cool fully, cling wrap and refrigerate for an hour. This helps in slicing the cake.After an hour, remove from the fridge and with the big serrated knife slice horizontally into two halves

 

Cream Cheese Frosting

Cream cheese is difficult to come by in the small town I live, so I made mine at home.

Fresh homemade cottage cheese- 200 grams(Find the recipe here for making cottage cheese at home)
Thick Yogurt/curd  2-3 Tbsp
Powdered Sugar- 1 Tbsp
Heavy Cream 200 Mils
Vanilla essence ½ tsp

Crumble the cottage cheese and blend with the powdered sugar and  2 Tbsp of yogurt adding more yogurt only if required. Ensure that the yogurt/curd is not sour.  The mixture needs to be thick, creamy and smooth. This is your homemade cream cheese.

Beat the heavy cream till stiff peaks form and gently fold in the cream cheese and the vanilla essence.

Spread the cream cheese frosting between the two layers of the cake. Cover the top and the sides generously. Smooth over with a wet spatula. Actually, I quite liked the rustic look.

Slice and enjoy!

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