Christmas is a mere 10 days away, which is an excuse to eat as many red baked goods as possible. Well, really it's an excuse to just eat baked goods in general. I've been on a bit of a health kick lately (shocking, I know) and I made these cupcakes after an early morning work out #ironic. But they're for a good friend and co-worker of mine, Kenya. My internship at Myjive is ending on Friday, and to say that I'm sad to leave is an understatement. The people that I've met here have turned into friends and family, and even though I'll still see them I'm going to miss working with them day in and day out. But the point of this story is that I NEED A JOB. And Keyna, my beloved Kenya, put in a good word for me at an agency in town that I'm dying to work for. When I told her I would repay her with any baked good her heart desired, the immediate answer was "Red velvet cupcakes!!!"
So on the menu this morning... Red Velvet Cupcakes. The perfect post-workout breakfast.
Recipe courtesy of Georgetown Cupcakes (because honestly what's better?)
12 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 1/2 tablespoons cocoa powder, sifted
4 tablespoons no-taste red food coloring
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups whole milk
3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
For the vanilla cream cheese frosting:
6 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
4 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
For the cupcakes: Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Line 2 standard cupcake pans with paper baking cups.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream together butter and sugar at medium speed for 3-5 minutes or until light and fluffy. Lower speed and add eggs, one at a time, mixing slowly after each addition. In a small bowl, whisk together cocoa powder, red food coloring, and vanilla. On low speed, slowly add this to the stand mixer bowl, mixing until well incorporated. In a small bowl, combine salt and milk. On a low speed, alternate between adding a third of the flour, followed by a third of the milk, and mix. Repeat and mix until incorporated, and stop to scrape down the bowl as needed. In a small bowl, quickly stir baking soda and apple cider vinegar together (it will fizz!) then pour this reaction into the batter. Mix until just incorporated.
Using a standard-size, spring-release ice cream scooper, scoop batter into the lined cupcake pans so each well is 2/3 full. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Transfer the pan to a wire rack to cool completely.
For the frosting: In the bowl of an stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment; beat cream cheese and butter on medium to high speed until light and fluffy. Beat in vanilla extract. On a low speed, slowly mix in confectioners' sugar until well combined. Then beat on a high speed for at least 2 minutes to ensure a light and fluffy frosting.
Transfer frosting into a plastic piping bag fitted with a round metal tip. Make sure cupcakes are completely cooled before piping the frosting on each cupcake.