Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Red Velvet Cupcakes with Vanilla Bean Cream Cheese Frosting

Hi There! On Saturday, the fam and I went to visit one of my favorite people.  We all went to NYC and hung out for the day.  It had been years since I had been in the city, and boy did I miss it.  It was awesome to watch my guys stare with wide eyes at the tall buildings and ahem, some of the more strange sights New York City has to offer.  We spent the day taking the subway (a treat for the boys, who had never been on a real train), and walking through Central Park.  It was a great day filled with memories I will cherish for years to come.

My Uncle, who we went to visit, loves red velvet cake.  So of course, I took a break from all the kitchen organizing and made some.  In my spice cabinet I had a real vanilla bean just waiting for the perfect dessert to flavor.  It sat patiently while I grabbed my vanilla extract for cookies, and other cupcakes, even while I made lemonade with vanilla flavoring (yum!!).  That little long bean didn't realize I was saving it for the perfect frosting.  You see it's not everyday, I have real vanilla bean.  Not every dessert deserves to be flavored with the aromatic deliciousness that is real vanilla.  I knew I wanted that bean for a frosting.  I wasn't sure if I was going to use it for a buttercream, an Italian buttercream, or a Swiss meringue buttercream.  In the end of course I decided it would be TDF (to die for) in some cream cheese frosting on top of a decadent red velvet cupcake.

I had to do a bit of searching to find the perfect cream cheese frosting that called for real vanilla bean as apposed to an extract.  Now, don't get me wrong, while I am a total frosting snob (no love here greasy canned frosting) I have no qualms with using an extract for flavor.  This frosting, however, was to be a special treat, and that it was.  I found my perfect frosting here.  I only read the recipe for the cupcakes, but it appears, she has some good stuff going on over there.

The red velvet was a little more easy to make since I have made red velvet cake before.  A wonderful red velvet cake with a cheese cake center.. say what?! Check mine out here.  Then go visit recipegirl.com.  This woman has a lot of great cakes, and I will definitely be back to try some more.

These cupcakes... They, are the kind that when a crumb falls down your shirt into your bra... You get that crumb and eat it.  Wait, was that TMI?? Lol, seriously though, these cupcakes were everything you want in a red velvet cake.  The perfect crumble, moist, not overly sweet, with a nice chocolaty flavor, and the frosting, oh my gosh... The frosting!  Perfect, creamy and delicious, the kind that you are actually sad when it's gone.  The fact that you can see the tiny vanilla seeds running throughout just adds to the joy of eating.  Trust me, you want to make, then eat, these cupcakes.

RED VELVET CAKE ALA Recipegirl.com
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 cups granulated white sugar
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutch process)
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups vegetable or canola oil
1 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup (two 1-ounce bottles) red food coloring (If you use Gel food color you can use less.)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 teaspoons white vinegar

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.  Line cupcake tin with liners.  In a large bowl, whisk together your flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, and salt.  This is the time to really whisk the crap outta the dry mix.  When you mix it with your wet ingredients, you can't go all mixing cray cray!

At this point, I like to measure out my buttermilk and mix in the vanilla.

In a stand mixer with paddle attachment, or of course a hand mixer, or if you're ol' school using your hand (People did make cake before this things were invented.. right?), mix the butter and oil on medium-high.  Again, I like to whip it, and whip it good!  Add eggs one at a time, beating until each is incorporated.  Scrap down the sides as needed.  Mix in food coloring, and vinegar.  Beat it all really well.

Turn Mixer to low and add dry ingredients in batches of three, alternating with buttermilk(and vanilla).  So dry mix then buttermilk, dry mix then buttermilk, then dry mix.  Scrape down the sides and bottom as needed.

Fill cupcake about 3/4 full. and bake for about 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Place tins on a wire rack to cool for 10 minutes before removing cupcakes.  If you're like me and only have 1 cupcake tin, then remove cupcakes and repeat.  :)

Once cupcakes are completely cooled, frost with the Vanilla Bean Cream Cheese Deliciousness. 

Vanilla Bean Cream Cheese Frosting
8oz (1 package) cream cheese, at room temperature
2 sticks (1/2 cup) unsalted butter room temp (this was a happy mistake, the original recipe calls for 1 stick and I added two... Seriously, when could extra butter be a problem?)
3-4 cups confectioners' sugar (I believe I only added 3)
1 vanilla bean pod, split lengthwise and seeds removed.

You can do this while your cupcakes are cooling.  In a stand mixer with paddle (or with a hand mixer), cream the cream cheese and butter until smooth.

Reduce mixer to low (or you"ll cover your kitchen with sugar) slowly add the confectioners' sugar until its all smooth and creamy.  I like to taste after the additions so I know when to stop adding more.

Add the seeds and mix until well combined.  Frost cupcakes, and devour!!

I'll be back later this week with more kitchen updates!!

Thanks for reading,


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  1. You did an amazing job!! Your cupcakes look like they came from a highend bakery.