If you always thought that a red velvet cupcake was just a chocolate cupcake with red food coloring, I’m right there with you. I just learned the difference this year. It took me a while to understand that red velvet really does have a distinct taste of its own. There is some cocoa powder in here, but not enough to call it a chocolate cupcake.
I think the flavor really comes from the smooth cream cheese frosting. The sour tang from the cheese combined with the sweet cake is just to die for! The name Sprinknolia pays homage to both Sprinkles of Beverly Hills and Magnolia Bakery of New York and their famed cupcakes. Now, it’s famous in my house!
Sprinknolia’s Red Velvet Cupcakes
3½ cups flour
¾ cup (1½ sticks) unsalted butter, softened
2 ½ cups sugar
3 large eggs, at room temperature
6 tbsp (3 oz) red food coloring
3 tbsp unsweetened cocoa
1½ tsp vanilla extract
1½ tsp salt
1½ cups buttermilk
1½ tsp cider vinegar
1½ tsp baking soda
12 ounces cold cream cheese
1 1/2 sticks (12 tablespoons) butter, firm but not cold
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 pounds (6 cups) powdered sugar, sifted
1 teaspoon vanilla
Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and lightly flour 2 cupcake pans (24 cupcakes).
To make the batter: In a small bowl, sift the cake flour and set aside. In a large bowl, on the medium speed of an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar until very light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. In a small bowl, whisk together the red food coloring, cocoa, and vanilla. Add to the batter and beat well.
In a measuring cup, stir the salt into the buttermilk. Add to the batter in three parts alternating with the flour. With each addition, beat until the ingredients are incorporated, but do not overbeat. In a small bowl, stir together the cider vinegar and baking soda. Add to the batter and mix well. Using a rubber spatula, scrape down the batter in the bowl, making sure the ingredients are well blended and the batter is smooth.
Divide the batter among the prepared pans. Arrange the oven racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven and bake the cupcakes, switching positions of the pans halfway through baking, until a tester comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Cool the cupcakes in the pan 10 minutes, then remove from the pan and cool completely on a rack before icing. To ice, mound about ¼ cup of frosting on top of each cupcake and use an icing spatula to make a swirl on top. If desired, decorate with colored sprinkles.
Combine butter, salt, and cream cheese in mixer and beat on medium speed 2-3 minutes.
Add sugar until just incorporated. Don’t over mix. It should be thick but not fluffy.
Add vanilla. If necessary, add milk to thin.