Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Red Velvet, take two

Martha Stewart knows how to create a damn good cupcake. I found this Red Velvet Cupcake recipe on her website, and they are soooo fluffy (I think because of the cake flour. Side question: should cake flour smell weird? I'd never used it before, and I googled it and found that it is chlorinated [sounds healthy, right?], so maybe that's why it smells weird? If it should smell neutral like good ol' all purpose flour, let me know so I can get rid of the stuff I have!)

Anyway, the cupcakes are moist and fluffy, but they are not red. But I don't think they're really supposed to be, because the ones pictured in the cookbook aren't either. From now on when I make red velvet anything, I'm leaving out the food dye. It never works anyway. Plus, I added a few drops of really strong Americolor dye to just a little bit of batter to see if I could actually get red cupcakes, and they tasted AWFUL. Very bitter (I always assumed food dye was flavorless. I was wrong). Here's a link to the recipe.

I didn't use her cream cheese frosting recipe though, because I don't like it with so much cream cheese. I used slightly different amounts than are typical to get a stiffer, sweeter frosting.

Less Cream-Cheesy Cream Cheese Frosting

4 oz. regular cream cheese
1 stick of unsalted butter, at room temperature and cut into about 6 pieces
1 t. vanilla (imitation or pure)
2 1/2 c. powdered sugar
  1. Beat together cream cheese and butter until well-combined and fluffy
  2. Mix in vanilla
  3. Mix in powdered sugar in 2-3 batches (so as not to end up covered in powdered sugar by the end)
I just spread the frosting on, but it might have been thick enough to pipe, especially if I'd stuck it in the fridge for 5 or 10 minutes. I used more sugar and less cream cheese than other recipes, and I think the proportions work out better, though if you prefer it tangy add more cream cheese.

Here is my not-at-all-red batter

I used red liners, hoping they would give the illusion of red cake. Didn't really work, but still.

And here are the somewhat red and freakishly pointy experimental cupcakes from the end:

I really don't know why it looks like that. I'm so paranoid about food dye right now that I am blaming it. Apparently it served as a growth hormone for my cupcakes. Creepy.


  1. Never used cake flour so I don't know what it should smell like. Chlorinated? Does it smell like a swimming pool?

  2. I think cake flour is chlorinated to make it stay so white... but yea i'm not sure how strong a smell it should have, if any. If you ate it and its fine though, i think what you is probably fine.

    As for the actual red cake... I have no idea how to make it red without making it taste weird. Maybe you can ask down at the cheesecake factory, see if they'll divulge any secrets haha. Or maybe they just use much less cocoa powder and nobody notices... who knows.