July 1 is Canada Day – Canada’s 143rd birthday! In honour of the day (and because I look for just about any reason to make cupcakes), I cooked up these maple-leaf sprinkled Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting. (*Maple Leaf sprinkles available at Bulk Barn in Canada).
Red Velvet Cupcakes have been on my list to make for a long time. I’ve eaten a few over the years and each was a bit different from the other – some really red, some not-so-red, some pretty chocolatey, some hardly chocolatey at all. So when it came to choosing a recipe to try, I did my research!
I visited a number of sites with popular Red Velvet Cupcake recipes and compared the ingredients. I was particularly noticing how much cocoa and red food colouring some of them had. I have to confess, despite the pretty (red) result, I wasn’t completely comfortable with pouring a whole bottle of red food colouring into my mixing bowl.
In the end, I settled on a Garret McCord recipe found on Simply Recipes. I reduced the red food colouring in half (my version of compromise :) So my Red Velvet Cupcakes may be leaning a tad more to pink than red, but they were just as yummy. And the recipe was perfect – moist, flavourful and just the right amount of chocolate taste.
Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Icing
Summary: These are moist, flavourful and just the right amount of food colouring for me.
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, at room temperature
- 2 eggs, room temperature
- 2 1/3 cups cake flour
- 2 Tbsp. cocoa powder
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1 – 1 1/2 Tbsp. red food coloring
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 tsp. white vinegar
- Cream Cheese Icing:
- 1/2 cup of butter (1 stick), room temperature
- 8 oz pkg. cream cheese (1 package), room temperature
- 2 – 3 cups of powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- For the cupcakes:
- Preheat the oven to 350° F. With a large bowl and an electric mixer or in your stand mixer, beat the butter and sugar for 3 minutes on medium speed until light and fluffy.
- Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
- In a large bowl, sift or whisk together the cake flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
- In another bowl whisk together the buttermilk, vinegar, vanilla extract, and the red food coloring.
- Add the dry ingredients into the butter/sugar mixture, alternately with the buttermilk mixture until both are well incorporated into the batter.
- Fill cupcake liners 1/2 – 2/3 full (do not overfill as they rise considerably and may go up and over!). Bake for 18-22 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
- Allow to cool for one minute in the pan then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
- For the Frosting:
- Cream the butter and cream cheese together, about 3 minutes. Add the vanilla extract, then add the powdered sugar as needed to the proper icing consistency and sweetness desired. Pipe or spread onto cooled cupcakes.
Prep time: 15 min | Cook time: 20 min | Total time: 50 min
Number of servings (yield): 24 cupcakes
Adapted from a Garrett McCord recipe via Simply Recipes