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Classic Red Velvet Cupcakes

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I picture my grandma’s smile and hear her laugh every time I whip up a batch of these classic red velvet cupcakes.

Classic red velvet cupcakes are a southern staple and the perfect treat for Valentine's Day, a sweet spring picnic, or a backyard barbque!

There are few things in this world that have to be authentic for me to enjoy them. But if I just had to make y’all a list it would be Pennsylvania Dutch chicken and waffles {boiled chicken and gravy NOT fried with syrup, thankyouverymuch}, biscuits, and red velvet cupcakes.

I’m not picky about sweet tea or fried chicken or mac and cheese. To be sure I prefer the southern versions of those things because to me they taste better and they remind me of home and growing up. But I won’t refuse to eat fried chicken in the state of Michigan just because it isn’t southern.

I need those good southern biscuits though. With the flaky layers and buttery top crusts. I have yet to enjoy anyone’s version of chicken and waffles besides my grandma’s old family recipe. Chicken boiled with bullion cubes and served over a savory waffle with chicken gravy. It makes me think of her and smile every single time. Fried chicken and syrup just don’t do it for me.

Classic red velvet cupcakes are a southern staple and the perfect treat for Valentine's Day, a sweet spring picnic, or a backyard barbque!

And then there’s red velvet cake. While they SAY it originated in New York city, my dad’s family has a recipe for red velvet cake that has always knocked my socks off. It makes my mouth water just thinking about it. My favorite part of the hand me down recipe is the hand written note scribbled on the bottom of the recipe card to add food coloring to make it red.

When I asked my grandma about that she said that you didn’t used to need food coloring to make it red which surprised me. When I went to ask The Google I was pretty surprised by the answer.

Back before we started overtreating and over preserving our food the cocoa powder in the recipe would react with the acid from the vinegar and the buttermilk and make the cake red. But once that stopped happening red food coloring was needed.

Classic red velvet cupcakes are a southern staple and the perfect treat for Valentine's Day, a sweet spring picnic, or a backyard barbque!

Boom. Science.

P.S. Don’t forget to grab the recipe for the perfect cream cheese frosting!

Classic red velvet cupcakes are a southern staple and the perfect treat for Valentine's Day, a sweet spring picnic, or a backyard barbque!

 

Classic red velvet cupcakes are a southern staple and the perfect treat for Valentine's Day, a sweet spring picnic, or a backyard barbque!

Classic Red Velvet Cupcakes

Yield: 24 cupcakes
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup butter,, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 large eggs,, room temperature
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 cup buttermilk,, room temperature
  • 1 Tbs white distilled vinegar

Instructions

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer cream together butter and sugar until fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Then add vanilla.
  2. In a separate bowl sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and cocoa powder. Add the flour mixture alternating with the buttermilk and vinegar, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients.
  3. Add red gel food color until batter reaches desired shade.*
  4. Fill a lined muffin tin just over 2/3 full and bake at 350 degrees for 20-22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  5. Turn onto a clean surface and allow to cool completely before frosting.

Notes

*I typically start with 1/4 Tbs and add in increments until it reaches my desired shade of red

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