Red Velvet Cupcakes with a Perfect Cream Cheese Frosting

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.
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 😀
unnamed (1)
Best used the same day, but can be refrigerated for up to two days.
And now  😀