It’s that time of year again. The sun is starting to shine, farmers markets are popping up around the block and I’m no longer hibernating in my apartment for fear of another Snowpocalypse. It’s also time for another throwdown.
If you’re a dedicated reader of my blog – and I assume you all are – you remember the famous peanut butter cookie throwdown of 2010. It was pretty epic. Because I lost. I know, I know. It was a huge shock to us both. But I have to say, my competitor really put his best foot forward. When I ran into Chad a few weeks ago and found out we both live in Chicago, we knew it was fate. A rematch would ensue.
I suggested cupcakes for round 2, and Chad came up with the red velvet theme. I’m no red velvet expert, but I am a ginger who loves cream cheese frosting, so I wasn’t about to complain.
I scoured the internet for every red velvet cupcake recipe out there, and you’ll never guess where I found the winning recipe. My weird friend Sarah (the one who doesn’t like sweets) sent over a recipe from Paula Deen, Food Network’s Southern butter-lover, and I knew it was going to be the winner.
I was a bit concerned about Paula at first because of a few of my long-standing pet peeves:
- People who refer to their husbands as “hubby.”
- Anyone who describes food, or anything for that matter, as “yummy.” I’m fine with the word without the “y”, though (the same does NOT apply for #1).
- Not enough frosting.
Red Velvet Cupcakes with Maple Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting
Adapted from Food Network’s Paula Deen
Makes about 24 cupcakes, or 12 full size and a ton of mini cupcakes
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder (I used a dark chocolate variety)
- 1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
- 1 cup buttermilk, room temperature
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- 2 tablespoons red food coloring (a bit less than 1 entire container)
- 1 teaspoon white distilled vinegar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Maple Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting
A GingerFoodie Creation
- 1 pound (or 2 regular sized packages) cream cheese (please don’t buy the low-fat variety for this one)
- 2 sticks of unsalted butter, softened
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- ~ 3 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 2 tbsp real maple syrup (I use the leftovers from my morning brunch)
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- Mix together flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, salt and cocoa powder. Well, really you should sift. But we aren’t all so lucky to own one of those.
- In a separate large mixing bowl, combine oil, buttermilk, eggs, food coloring and vanilla. I saved a couple drops of red dye for my frosting decorations. Beat with an electric mixer. Be sure to watch those sneaky eggs…
Oops. When that happens, you have nothing to do but replace it with a fresh one. But that won’t be room temperature. If you’re in a hurry, this is the process to warm the egg. That’s not weird at all. I think babies were on the mind this weekend…
The three judges did an incredible job of deciding on the criteria and rating system. Check out how they rated us plus the final verdict by watching this very special video.