Red Velvet Cream Cheese Buttercream with Chocolate Cupcakes

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This red velvet cream cheese buttercream is undoubtedly the star of the show. The chocolate cupcakes are great of course but when topped with generous swirls of this magical, wickedly good frosting, they outdo themselves.

The buttercream recipe was what intrigued me at first. I had all the ingredients on hand and so I set about whipping up a batch. Not only did it not disappoint, it had me weak in the knees with excitement. It was just like biting into a fantastic red velvet cake – sweet, tangy, a tiny bit chocolaty and oh so delicious!

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It was only when I had had three tablespoons of frosting, straight from the bowl, in the name of taste testing that I realized I needed to find an accompanying cupcake recipe for it and a bunch of people I could share those cupcakes with. Being home alone with a big bowl of addictive frosting was not going to end well.

Happy to report, I gave them away to the teachers at my toddler’s school and they loved it!

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You should definitely give this one a go. It will change your life. Baking life at least.

Read the notes at the end of  this post for an egg free version of these cupcakes made using Aquafaba

Ingredients

Cupcakes

  • All  purpose flour – 3/4 cup
  • Unsweetened cocoa powder – 1/2 cup
  • Baking powder – 3/4 tsp
  • Baking soda – 1/2 tsp
  • Salt – 1/4 tsp
  • Large eggs – 2
  • Granulated sugar – 1/2 cup
  • Light brown sugar – 1/2 cup
  • Vanilla extract – 2 tsp
  • Oil – 1/3 cup (Anything neutral will work. No olive oil) 
  • Buttermilk – 1/2 cup*

*I always make buttermilk by whisking yogurt with water. Here I added 1/3 cup yogurt in a measuring jar, topped it up with water till the 1/2 cup mark and whisked them to combine

Red Velvet Cream cheese Buttercream

  • Salted butter – 1/2 cup
  • Unsalted butter – 1/2 cup
  • Package of cream cheese (8 oz or 226 grams) – 1
  • Red food coloring – 6 to 8 drops*
  • Icing sugar – 3 to 4 cups
  • Unsweetened cocoa powder – 1/4 cup + 1 tbsp

*I used McCormick’s red food color. You can use any brand you want. Just follow instructions as given below

Note: This buttercream needs to sit for a few hours to reach its rich, deep red color. Aim for a dark terracotta color when you make it, store it for a few hours in the fridge (preferably overnight) and thaw it out before frosting. The color will have enough time to mature and you’ll have a true red velvet colored frosting to go on your cupcakes

Yield – 22 small cupcakes with frosting

Method

Cupcakes

  • Preheat oven to 350 F or 180 degree Celsius. Make sure all your ingredients are at room temperature. Line a cupcake pan with paper liners
  • In a large bowl whisk all your dry ingredients together – flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt
  • In another bowl add eggs, granulated sugar, light brown sugar, vanilla extract, and oil. using a handheld mixer or a whisk, mix these ingredients thoroughly until combined well
  • Pour half of the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and whisk very briefly to mix. Add half of the buttermilk and whisk again. Repeat this process once more time with the rest of the wet ingredients. Be very careful not to over mix
  • The batter will be thinner than a regular cupcake batter. Pour the batter into the liners till they are half to two thirds full. No more! These cupcake rise quite a bit
  • Bake in a preheated oven for 12 to 15 minutes. Turn the tray around once in between. When done a tester inserted into the cupcakes should come out clean
  • Allow the cupcakes to cool in the pan for 5 minutes and then transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely before frosting

Red Velvet Cream cheese Buttercream

  • Make sure your butters are softened and the cream cheese is chilled. In a bowl sift 3 cups of icing sugar and cocoa powder together and set aside
  • In a large bowl, using a mixer, whip salted and unsalted butter until it turns fluffy and light. This takes 5 to 7 minutes
  • Add the cream cheese and continue to whip until fully incorporated. About 5  minutes
  •  Add the vanilla and food coloring and whip on high speed until it turns light and fluffy
  • Gradually add the icing sugar-cocoa powder mixture to the butter and cream cheese mixture while whipping on low speed
  • Once you’ve added all the sugar and cocoa powder whip the buttercream on high speed until it is well combined. This takes 2 to 3 minutes
  • At this point you can add one or two more drops of food coloring to the buttercream. You can also add more icing sugar, one quarter cup at a time till you arrive at your desired level of sweetness
  • Keep in mind that the color of the buttercream deepens gradually over time. So aim for a deep terracotta color and keep it covered in an airtight container in the fridge for a few hours (preferably overnight)  and the color will turn a true bright red as you see in the pictures

Frosted cupcakes can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for a couple of days. For anything longer than that they will need to be refrigerated.

Notes – To make these cupcakes egg free use 6 tbsp (3 tbsp = 1 egg) of aquafaba. Whip it in a bowl till it turns frothy. Proceed with the rest of the recipe instructions as given. The egg free cupcakes will be a little more tender than those made with eggs but will taste just as fabulous! 

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The cupcake recipe is adapted from Sally’s Baking Addiction and the buttercream recipe is adapted from Wicked Good Kitchen

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Eggless Red Velvet Bundt with Cream Cheese Glaze

Husband wants red velvet so husband gets red velvet. I am an obedient wife you see.

But more importantly, I needed an excuse to use up leftover cream cheese glaze. This bundt here is the perfect vehicle. And since mum was going to want some too….I made it eggless.

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It’s a super simple one bowl recipe. You can bake it in a regular cake tin or even a loaf tin if you don’t have a bundt pan. It will taste just as good.

Ingredients

Cake

  • All purpose flour – 1 & 3/4 cups + 2 tbsp
  • Sugar – 1 & 1/2 cups (I whizz the sugar briefly in a blender to break down the large sugar granules)
  • Cocoa powder – 2 & 1/2 tbsp
  • Baking soda – 1 & 1/2 tsp
  • Salt – 3/4 tsp
  • Oil – 3/4 cup
  • Milk – 1 & 1/2 cups
  • White vinegar – 2 tbsp
  • Vanilla extract – 2 tsp
  • Red food colouring – 2 tsp (I used Wilton Red-Red)

Cream cheese glaze

  • Cream cheese – 180 grams or 3/4 cup approx. ( I used one tub of salted Britannia cream cheese)
  • Whipping cream – 1/4 cup
  • Icing sugar sifted – 1 cup
  • Vanilla extract – 1 tsp

Method

Cake

  • Preheat oven to 170 degree Celsius
  • Coat the bundt pan with a thin layer of oil and dust it with flour. This step is important as it ensures the cake slides out of the pan neatly and in one piece
  • Sift together flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt and set it aside
  • In another bowl, whisk the oil, milk, vanilla extract and red food colouring till the mixture becomes frothy
  • Add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and stir just until combined. Do not over-mix.
  • Add the vinegar and stir to combine
  • Pour it out into the bundt pan. Smooth the top of the batter and bake in a preheated oven for about 20 minutes.
  • Rotate the pan once at the 10 minute mark. The cake is done when a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean

Cream Cheese Glaze

  • Whip cream cheese and whipping cream till it becomes light and fluffy
  • Add icing sugar and whip thoroughly till it is combined
  • Add vanilla extract and whip for about 3 minutes
  • Glaze should be runny. If it becomes too thick you can thin it out by adding milk 1 tsp at a time. If it is too thin you can add icing sugar 1 tbsp at a time.
  • Leftover glaze can be stored in an air tight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days

Pour glaze over the cake and enjoy!

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