Can you remember your birthday parties from WAY WAY back?  I didn’t have many, but I can still visualize my 5th birthday party like I was looking through slides. One of the things I remember best was the red velvet cake my mom made.  Back then it wasn’t Duncan Hines or Pillsbury, it was scratch recipes.  I think I’ve reconstructed that recipe pretty well here.

Red Velvet Cupcakes  Yields 12 delicious cupcakes
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour3 tablespoons cocoa powder1/2 teaspoon baking soda3/4 cup salted butter, firm but not cold – just beginning to soften1 cup + 2 tablespoons granulated sugar2 large eggs1 tablespoon red food coloring2 teaspoons vanilla extract1/2 cup whole milk1 teaspoon white vinegar

  • Preheat oven to 350˚. 
  • In a mixing bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder and baking soda, set aside. 
  • In a separate large mixing bowl, using an electric mixer, cream together the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy, about 4 -5 minutes. 
  • Add in eggs one at a time stirring after each addition. 
  • Now stand back and add red food coloring and vanilla extract and mix until combine. 
  • In a small bowl combine milk and vinegar. 
  • Add milk mixture and flour mixture to cupcake mixture, alternating in two separate batches, mixing until combined after each addition. 
  • Divide batter evenly among 12 paper lined muffin cups, filling each cup about 2/3 full. 
  • Bake in preheated oven 20-23 minutes until toothpick inserted into center of cupcake comes out clean. 
  • Remove from oven and allow to cool about 2 minutes in muffin tin, then transfer to wire rack to cool for 10 minutes, then transfer to an airtight container to cool completely (this just helps them retain more moisture). 
  • Once cooled completely, spread generously with Cream Cheese Frosting

Cream Cheese Frosting
1/2 cup salted butter, firm but not cold (if using unsalted add 1/8 tsp salt)
6 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 1/2 cups powdered sugar

  • In a large mixing bowl, using and electric mixer, cream together butter and cream cheese until pale and fluffy (about 1 minute on high speed, then 3-4 minutes on medium high speed). 
  • Mix in vanilla extract. 
  • Add powdered sugar and beat until smooth. 
  • Frost and go wild – add nuts, sprinkles or cookie crumbs.