Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

I was surprised to learn that Brett had never heard of Red Velvet Cake before me, so for those of you who like him, have no idea what I am talking about, I want to bring Red Velvet to you! It seems that Red Velvet has been more heavily adapted in the Southern part of the United States.

Red Velvet is sometimes called Waldorf-Astoria cake, as it was for a long time the signature dessert of the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York City beginning in the 1920s.

Red Velvet is a wonderfully delicious cake. Brett and I neither one care for cake much, but both of us will eat Red Velvet. Red Velvet is actually considered to be a “chocolate” cake. It does have a small amount of cocoa, but the chocolate flavor is very faint if at all.

Traditionally Waldorf-Astoria cake has a boiled frosting, which is a perfect compliment to the cake. For this project I chose to use a Cream Cheese Frosting because I wanted to be sure the frosting was a consistency that I could pipe onto the cupcakes. If you are going to make this into a layer cake I would recommend using the traditional frosting but if you are going to “decorate” it may be good to use a buttercream or cream cheese frosting.

As with mostly any recipe, there are a number of variations on this recipe. The cake recipe I used is a version that has been passed down in my family.

The Recipe:

1/2 cup butter
1/ 1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs
1 bottle red food coloring
2 tbsp cocoa
1 tsp salt
1 cup buttermilk
2 1/4 cups sifted cake flour
1 tsp vanilla
1 tbsp vinegar
1 tsp soda
Cream shortening, sugar and eggs. Make paste of food coloring and cocoa and add to above. Add salt and buttermilk alternately with flour. Add vanilla. Add vinegar and soda. Use low speed on mixer. Makes 2-9″ layers or about 20 cupcakes. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

Paste of food coloring and cocoa:

Finished Cake Batter:

Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe:
8 oz. cream cheese
1/2 c. butter
1 tsp. vanilla
~5-6 c. powdered sugar to reach desired consistency
Beat cream cheese and softened butter until smooth. Add vanilla and powdered sugar to reach desired consistency.
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