Monday, February 22, 2010

Red Velvet Cake and Purple Velvet Cupcakes

Around Valentine's Day it seems that every place offers Red Velvet Cake. Its rich and creamy flavor and red coloring make it perfect for the romantic occasion...

So when Kameran's Bridal Shower was planned to be on Valentine's Day, I thought, "I had to buy her a red velvet cake." It turns out that Nothing Bundt Cake (where Jon and Kameran plan to purchase their wedding cake) have a store in Poway and offer a red velvet bundt cake. Perfect! It's not one of their wedding cake flavors but it would be a nice touch to have a Nothing Bundt Cake for her Valentine's Day Bridal shower. So welcome to the family, Kameran!

I'd have to say that Nothing Bundt Cake's red velvet cake with chocolate chips was delicious. It was very dense and moist, which of course means lots of butter and buttermilk. It was a gorgeous bright red meaning they must have used a ton of food coloring to get such a vibrant color. I loved it! For me, it is right up at the top next to Costco's red velvet cake. Here's a look on the inside:

In the spirit of red velvet cakes, my mother-in-law's birthday was celebrated yesterday. I thought it would be a great chance to make a red velvet cake from scratch. But since my mother in law's favorite color is purple, I would take my chances and try to die the cake purple.

My sister-in-law gave me a cupcake cookbook for Christmas. My first attempt at making cupcakes from the cookbook was for Ryan's birthday. I attempted to make Rocky Road cupcakes. And although they looked great, they were quite dry and mostly ended up in the garbage (hence the reason I didn't share the recipe). The red velvet cupcakes where better but not quite as good as Nothing Bundt Cake or Costco. They weren't as dense or moist, but they weren't dry either. They just didn't taste "velvety". And the "purple" velvet cupcakes didn't turn out so purple. They looked purple before baking and turned brown from the cocoa powder after baking. So if you have any suggestions on making this recipe better, send them my way.

Red / Purple Velvet Cupcakes

Makes about 18 regular cupcakes or 9 jumbo cupcakes.
(I made half the recipe and baked them into 4 large cupcakes.)

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp distilled white vinegar
1 tbsp red food coloring
1 cup buttermilk

1) Mix flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together in bowl and set aside.
2) Cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Blend in vanilla, vinegar, and food coloring. Alternately add flour mixture and buttermilk and beat until batter is smooth. (Next time, I would add some chocolate chips.)
3) Spoon into cupcake pan and bake at 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes or until done. Remove from oven and cool.

4 oz shortening (I always use butter instead.)
1 tbsp milk
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 2/3 cups powdered sugar

1) Cream shortening with milk until creamy. Add vanilla. Gradually add sugar to shortening. Beat until icing is pale, light and fluffy.
2) Ice cooled cupcakes and decorate as desired.

So for my final product, I attempted to make some cute designs with purple sugar sprinkles. But that didn't turn out so well... (I really need to take a cake decorating class so I have better presentation skills.) I ended up sprinkling on the purple sugar and topped each cupcake with a chocolate covered oreo cookie. Viola!


  1. What are you talking about - they look fabulous! The purple sugar reminds me of taro cake though. :)


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