Jan 29 08
by cara
at 9:19 PM
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Red Velvet Cupcakes


Being from the South, I decided it was about time I tasted Red Velvet Cake, the classic, beautiful Southern dessert that I’m always seeing in cookbooks and on TV.  I attempted to make Red Velvet Cupcakes, after seeing Chockylit’s recipe on Cupcake Bakeshop.  I made a few adjustments to the recipe, including a decrease in the batch size to 12 cupcakes and a substitution for buttermilk.  Additionally, I used red food coloring instead of paste.  I clearly did not add enough, since my cupcakes only had a faint red hue.  But really, the redness is just a novelty and adds nothing to the flavor, so I suppose you could omit it completely.  The cupcakes turned out with an excellent texture and a light cocoa flavor.  They were good, but I’m not sure that I’ve become a Red Velvet devotee.  Not the recipe’s fault though.  I just think they look a lot prettier than they taste, and there are plenty of more chocolate-y cupcake and cake flavors I prefer.

Red Velvet Cake is typically served with Cream Cheese Frosting, but Nathan doesn’t like Cream Cheese Frosting.  I made half with Cream Cheese Frosting and half with Portsmouth Frosting from The Fannie Farmer Baking Book.  The Portsmouth Frosting is a relatively simple vanilla buttercream, which can also be used as a filling for a layer cake (even better if combined with chopped nuts).

Portsmouth Frosting

from The Fannie Farmer Baking Book

Makes 1 1/4 cups.


  • 4 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract or rum
  • 3 cups confectioners’ sugar


Combine the butter, cream, and vanilla or rum in a mixing bowl.  Slowly beat in the sugar until the frosting is thick, smooth, and spreadable.  If too thick to spread, add droplets more cream; if too thin, beat in a little more sugar.  You will have enough to fill and frost an 8-inch two-layer cake.

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