I have cream cheese frosting in my hair.
Lovely, I know. You don’t have to tell me. And right after I washed it, too. Good timing has always lacked presence in my life.
Do yourself a favor.
Make these. For dessert. Or for breakfast. Whatever.
And eat the biggest one.
These cupcakes took all of thirty minutes to make. From beginning to end. Well, let’s not talk about the hour and a half wait for the red food dye to be picked up at the grocery store – thanks, pop. We had every other color of dye imaginable… five blues, four greens, two oranges, a purple even, but no red. Like really? Are you joking? It’s like that time when my dog ate through three different pairs of twin’s soccer cleats. Every time she would destroy the left cleat, ripping it to shreds with her teeth. The left cleat only, not the right. But why only the left one?
… I’m still wondering why.
We have bizarre animals living under our roof. And I’m not just talking about the sisters.
But back to these cupcakes. I slaved and slaved over the electric mixer bowl for… seven minutes. Harsh reality, I know. I then spent another seven minutes licking the bowl clean of the batter. I also spent seven minutes cleaning cream cheese frosting out of my hair because someone decided to smear it across my face… Jenny. Thank you. I bake you a Christmas present and you slather it all over my mouth. How considerate of you. Really. What a gem… what a doll. Can I kick you now? Or serve you banana cream pudding that’s actually melted butter? I’d like to see you recover from that one. Ha. Ha.
I made these for my sister, Jen, who has been pushing my buttons for months asking me to make her some red velvet. So for Christmas, she received a very scrumptious, short-lived gift that was wisely, or not so wisely consumed by my entire face. Personally, I’m not usually a fan of red velvet. It’s so “West Coast”… until I licked some of the frosting and cupcake bits off of my face.
My sister would have also loved these for Christmas. But can you imagine trying to get sticky bacon bits out of your hair?
I don’t think so.
Oh, I forgot…
I hope you all had a good Christmas. I know I did… I stayed in my flannel all day and unwrapped fuzzy socks, free AMC movie tickets, and more cookbooks. I’m good for the year.
Red Velvet Cupcakes
adapted from Joy
For the cupcakes: 1 tsp vanilla. 1 heaping tbsp red food dye. 3 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder. 1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour. 1/2 tsp sea salt. 1/2 tsp baking soda. 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, softened at room temperature. 3/4 cup brown sugar, packed. 1 large egg. 1/2 cup half-and-half cream (I use fat-free). 1 tsp white vinegar.
For the cream cheese frosting: 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, softened at room temperature. 2 oz 1/3-less-fat cream cheese, softened at room temperature. 1 tsp vanilla. 1 tbsp milk. 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar.
To make 12 cupcakes:
Place a rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F. Line a muffin pan with cupcake papers and coat with non-stick spray. Set aside.
In a small bowl, whisk together vanilla extract, food coloring, and cocoa power until the mixture becomes thick. Set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, salt, and baking soda.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat together butter and brown sugar on medium speed until fluffy, about 5 minutes. Beat in the egg.
Beat in the red cocoa paste. Incorporate well, beating on medium-high speed. Add half of the flour mixture, alternating with the milk. Add the vinegar. Beat well.
Divide the batter between the 12 cupcake tins and bake for 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from the oven and let sit in pan for 10 minutes before moving to a wire rack to cool.
To make the frosting:
With an electric mixer, beat cream cheese on medium speed until soft, about 1 minute.
Add softened butter and continue to beat on medium-low speed until butter and cream cheese are thoroughly combined. Add powdered sugar, vanilla extract, and milk and beat until well incorporated.
Place frosting in the fridge for an hour before frosting if you’d like to firm it up a bit. Pour frosting in a ziplock bag and cut out a corner. Spread evenly across cupcakes.
Nutritional information: 260 calories, 9.5g fat (6 sat, 2 mono, >1 poly), 40.5g carbs, 3g protein