Red Velvet Valentine's Day Cupcakes
With Valentine's Day right around the corner, you're probably on the search for a tasty treat to bestow upon your loved ones this year. Cupcakes are simply sweet desserts that offer something yummy without demanding as much responsibility from you as a cake. They're also easier to eat on the go, which makes them ideal for children. To make things even simpler, you can make many of them by using a boxed cake mix as a base.
Red velvet cupcakes are the mainstay of the Valentine's Day dessert menu, due in part to the red-and-white color scheme, but also because of the luscious deliciousness of every bite. so I'll cut straight to the chase and teach you how to make this splendid little morsel we have all come to know and love.
The cupcakes themselves:
1 package German chocolate cake mix (Duncan Hines, Betty Crocker, etc)
1 small package (3.4-oz) vanilla or chocolate instant pudding mix
1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup buttermilk (Make your own!)
1 bottle (1-oz) red food coloring
1 tsp white distilled vinegar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
3 big ol' eggs
Optional - 1 cup miniature cinnamon, white, or regular chocolate chips
The fabulous frosting:
1 package (8-oz) cream cheese
4+ cups of powdered sugar
1 stick of softened butter
1 tsp vanilla
Let's Do This Thing!
If you are smart, you will have gathered all the necessary ingredients and set them neatly on the counter. If you are not smart, you should do this now. Create the cupcakes first, and while the first batch is baking, tend to the frosting making.
1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
2. Mix your cake mix, pudding mix, cocoa powder, buttermilk, vinegar, oil, and eggs in a big mixing bowl until smooth.
3. Add red food coloring to the batter and continue mixing until a beautiful red color.
4. Pour in the cinnamon or chocolate chips (Optional), and mix yet again.
5. Fill your cupcake liners until they are approximately 2/3 full.
6. Put them cupcake pans in the oven and bake 'em about 18-22 minutes depending how Turbo Speed your oven is. Poke them with toothpicks occasionally until toothpicks come out clean.
7. Wait until your cupcakes are cool to the touch before you apply frosting.
And while you are waiting for the cups of cake to bake, start on the frosting!
1. Mix the vanilla, cream cheese, and butter with a mixer until it's smooth 'n even.
2. Gradually add the powdered sugar, cup by cup, until your desired taste and consistency is achieved. Personally, I use more than 4 cups...
3. Once the frosting is light and fluffy, use a pastry bag (Make it yourself!) to expertly decorate your delicious desserts!
Want To Make Things Interesting?
Aside from folding various flavors of mini chips (cinnamon and white chocolate seem to be favorites), there are a number of flavorful, colorful bits that you can use to mix in or garnish the tops of your cakey concoctions with. Some of these include:
* Dried Cranberries - If you like fruit, use this in place of the mini chocolate chips, or in addition! Toss these into the batter for a yummy little extra.
* Pecans or your nut of choice - Either sprinkle this crushed or place methodically on the top of each cupcake's frosting. Crushed nuts can also be mixed into the batter for a crunchy, earthier taste.
* Red hot cinnamon sprinkles - Especially if you chose cinnamon chips in the batter, you may find this little extra bite of "spicy" to your liking. These are great for some men who enjoy a hotter palate. Sprinkle on top of the frosting.
* Heart candies - these are cute, especially for Valentine's day, and may appeal to the child in some of us! Place these on top of the frosting or sprinkle haphazardly.
* Berries - A personal favorite, berries go surprisingly well with red velvet! Raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, and the tart huckleberries are all excellent choices to top your cakes with.
*Cookies - Dessert on TOP of dessert? All craziness aside, a simple vanilla, shortbread, or chocolate cookie placed artistically off-center on the top of a cupcake can be aesthetically delicious. Here is one simple recipe (barr the jam) for an idea.
Sit, Eat, and Enjoy!
Repeat as necessary.