Valentine's Day means all-things red velvet. You can be traditional and go with cake or cupcakes, or you can step outside the box and red velvet-ize other desserts: brownies, cobblers, cheesecake, oreos... These cupcakes fall somewhere in between. It's a no-frills (yet still fantastic) red velvet cupcake base. But instead of the typical cream cheese frosting, I topped these with strawberry cream cheese frosting. They still have all the familiar flavors, but with extra sweetness from the strawberries. The tangy, slightly chocolatey flavor of the cupcake really pairs well with the tangy-sweet frosting. And aren't they festive? The only thing more festive than a red velvet cupcake is a red velvet cupcake with pink frosting.
When I initially tasted one of the cupcakes, I didn't think the strawberry flavor was very prominent. But the next day, it was much stronger. So I'd recommend making the frosting at least one day before you plan to serve them.
I hope everyone has a wonderful Valentine's Day, filled with lots of kisses and chocolate!!
Red Velvet Strawberry Cupcakes
Red Velvet Cupcakes
adapted from Saveur magazine, via Annie's Eats and Apple a Day
makes about 24 cupcakes
I've tried several recipes for red velvet cake, and this one is my favorite - both for flavor and ease of preparation. It has the perfect balance of sweetness, richness, and tang. And the color is so pretty!
- 2½ cups cake flour
- 1½ cups sugar
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 Tbs cocoa powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 large eggs
- 1½ cups vegetable oil
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 2 Tbs (1 oz.) liquid red food coloring
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp distilled white vinegar
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line two cupcake pans with paper liners.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the cake flour, sugar, baking soda, cocoa powder, and salt. Set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix the eggs vegetable oil, buttermilk, food coloring, vanilla, and vinegar until well combined, about 1-2 minutes. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the dry ingredients, and mix until just combined and smooth.
Divide the batter evenly among the liners. Bake 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean. Cool for about 5 minutes in the pan, then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.
Strawberry-Cream Cheese Frosting
adapted from Confections of a Foodie Bride
- 2 cups chopped fresh strawberries
- 1-2 tsp granulated sugar
- 12 ounces cream cheese (still cold - not softened)
- 8 Tbs unsalted butter, softened
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 3 3/4 cups confectioners sugar, sifted
Puree the strawberries and sugar in a food processor, then strain the puree through a mesh strainer to remove the seeds.
Chill the frosting for about 30 minutes before piping or spreading onto cupcakes.