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Real Deal Red Velvet

February 13, 2012

Okay, I totally get the whole “food coloring is bad” argument.

I mean what is it even made of??  It certainly can’t be natural.  So you probably shouldn’t be putting it in your body.  Right?  Err, right.

Except that I just can’t give up red velvet.  I’d be willing to bet a few drops of food coloring a few times a year, won’t kill you.  In fact, I’m living proof that it won’t.

I’ve been eating red velvet since I was little and I’m still quite alive.

And now that we’re all on the same page, let’s make some red velvet cupcakes, okay?  It’s all in the name of Valentine’s Day I tell you.  And even if you don’t have a Valentine, you should make these for yourself.

Red Velvet Cupcakes

My mom has been making red velvet cake for as long as I can remember.  The pictures of me as a toddler with uneven bangs, licking red batter of the beaters are classic.  And every child who’s been raised eating red velvet knows it’s a combination of cocoa powder, buttermilk, red food coloring and just a bit of vinegar that really makes the recipe.

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 T cocoa powder
  • 2 oz. red food coloring
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 t salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 T vanilla
  • 2 oz. (1/4 cup) water
  • 1 t baking soda
  • 1 t vinegar
  1. Preheat oven to 350º.
  2. Cream butter and sugar until fluffy.  Add eggs and beat well.
  3. Make paste of cocoa and red food coloring.  Add to butter mixture.
  4. Sift flour and salt.  In a measuring cup, mix buttermilk, vanilla and water, then add alternately with flour to the butter/food coloring mixture.
  5. Add soda and blend well.
  6. Add vinegar last, but do not beat, just stir in gently.
  7. Bake in lined muffins pan (or in 2 greased and lightly floured cake pans) for 20-25 minutes.
  8. Cool and frost with Fluffy Butter Frosting.

Fluffy Butter Frosting

  • 4 T flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  1. In a saucepan over medium heat, mix flour and milk, cook until thick, stirring constantly.  Keep stirring until cool.
  2. Add butter, sugar and vanilla.  Beat for 10 minutes.
  3. Frost generously and refrigerate.

Let’s talk about something serious for a second.  I hate cream cheese frosting.  Like hate it.  Which is why out of all the red velvety things I’ve ever had, my mom’s always wins.

See that?  It’s buttercream frosting.

Buttercream frosting > cream cheese frosting.  It’s a proven fact.

This recipe is so near and dear to my heart.  If you want someone to feel how much you love them, always, always bake them red velvet.  Mom taught me that much.

Red Velvet = Love.

9 Comments leave one →
  1. February 13, 2012 2:46 PM

    Red velvet does equal love, but the only kind of dressing I’ll eat is cream cheese. That’s why I like red velvet and carrot cake 😉

  2. February 13, 2012 3:32 PM

    They look beautiful, I love the colour! Great post, how apt 😀

  3. February 13, 2012 6:22 PM

    So cute! I love red velvet cake!

  4. February 13, 2012 8:39 PM

    It’s true, red velvet does = love. Such a pretty cake and so tasty, too. Let the haters hate on by themselves, food coloring will not kill you.

  5. February 14, 2012 7:37 AM

    I made red velvet cupcakes on Sunday for my friend’s birthday!!! but I used a box… hahaha don’t tell him! 😉

  6. February 14, 2012 10:03 AM

    Red velvet…..yes please! I have no problem with any ingredient when it comes to dessert 🙂

  7. February 22, 2012 10:57 AM

    wow your photographs are beautiful! do you have any photo tips to share with us?
    this recipe doesn’t sound as hard as i thought red velvet cupcakes would be!
    must try…

    • February 22, 2012 11:08 AM

      I work from a Mac, so I make sure to take my pictures during the day, near a window so there’s plenty of light, then I use the editing software on iPhoto. Usually I use the boost setting, then play with the amount of contrast, shadow, highlight, saturation, etc.

      The recipe does seem a little complicated and lengthy, but it’s really pretty easy 🙂

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