Red Velvet Cupcakes

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I’m all about doing special things for my family. For Valentines Day I always make a special dinner. I always cook something nice, but the focus is the dessert. Of course it’s usually chocolate. This year I found a recipe for a lemon dessert which was in between a lemon souffle and a custard with a raspberry sauce. Much of what I cook is either my own recipes or handed down to me by my mom, but I am not ashamed to say I occasionally use cookbooks and have my favorite chefs that I will refer to when I use their recipes. So, I went shopping, and bought Godiva chocolate and itunes gift cards for my daughters and husband( they just got iphones). I set a beautiful table, made a simple but delicious dinner and made this lemon dessert. We had a great meal and a nice afternoon.  During the week I had made Linzer cookies filled with dark cherry preserves and dark chocolate. I packaged them in cellophane bags and pink ribbon and gave them out to friends and coworkers. I also made the red velvet cupcakes that I get many requests for and gave those out as well. My daughter, Alexa, posted a picture on facebook of the cupcake and got dozens of comments saying, “I need one now!” So this will be the first recipe I share with you. Your friends and family will love you.
Red Velvet Cupcakes
2 1/2 cups flour                                                           1 1/2 cups sugar
1 tsp. baking soda                                                       2 eggs
2 tsp. cocoa                                                                1 1/2 cups veg. or canola oil
1 tsp. vinegar                                                              1 ounce red food coloring
2 tsp. vanilla                                                                1-1/4 cups greek yogurt
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Sift flour, cocoa and baking soda together. In a large bowl, beat sugar and eggs. In a separate bowl, mix oil, food coloring, vinegar, and vanilla. Add to egg mixture until combined.  Add the flour and greek yogurt, alternating dry and wet ingredients, starting with the flour. Pour batter into paper cupcake liners. Bake for 25 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Cool on baking rack.
Cream cheese frosting
1 cup unsalted butter                                                     2- 8 oz. packages of cream cheese
2 pounds confectioners’ sugar                                        1 tsp. vanilla
1 vanilla bean (optional)
Cream softened butter and cream cheese. add sugar and vanilla. If using vanilla bean, slice the bean longwise and scrape out beans. Mix well into frosting. Fill a pastry bag to frost cupcakes then have fun decorating. Simple sprinkles or chocolate shavings are perfect.

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