Red velvet cupcakes are a classic dessert that is loved by people of all ages. They are perfect for any occasion, from birthday parties to weddings to holiday celebrations. Red velvet cupcakes are known for their moist, tender texture and their rich, chocolatey flavor. They are also known for their iconic red color and cream cheese frosting.
History of Red Velvet Cupcakes
The exact origins of red velvet cupcakes are unknown, but they are thought to have originated in the southern United States in the early 1900s. One theory is that they were accidentally created when cocoa powder was added to a vanilla cake recipe. The cocoa powder reacted with the buttermilk in the recipe to create a red color. Another theory is that the red color was created by adding beets to the cake batter.
Whatever their origins, red velvet cupcakes quickly became a popular dessert. They were especially popular in the 1950s and 1960s when they were often served at fancy restaurants and hotels. Today, red velvet cupcakes are still a popular dessert, and they can be found at bakeries and grocery stores all over the world.
My personal experience with Red Velvet Cupcakes:
I had not made red velvet cupcakes in a long time, and I was tempted when I received a complimentary recipe book from Food & Wine Magazine. When I read the cupcake recipe, I found it easy to follow, except for the icing. The icing required a bit of tender loving care. A basic recipe with cream cheese and confectioner’s sugar always saves the day. Add a few drops of vanilla extract, and you have a tasty icing.
One of the main ingredients for the frosting is small pearl tapioca, which I had never bought or used before. I have used tapioca flour, but I didn’t want to experiment with it this time because I wasn’t sure how it would turn out and also because the author didn’t provide any substitution notes.
I believe that there are several recipes that everyone should follow at least 2 or 3 times before starting to omit or substitute ingredients. However, there are also many recipes that anyone can follow with partial instructions, which is the case for this one. Deleting or replacing ingredients is not always easy for me.
I have to think about the results and what might happen during preparation. Because I have tried my best to learn the characteristics of many ingredients, I can often foresee the results. Not all results are satisfactory, but it doesn’t hurt to try. As they say, it’s all trial and error.
How to Make Red Velvet Cupcakes
- Cake flour: Cake flour is a type of flour with a lower protein content than all-purpose flour. This gives cake flour a lighter and softer texture, which is ideal for making cakes.
- Unsweetened Dutch process cocoa powder: Dutch process cocoa powder is a type of cocoa powder that has been treated with an alkali, such as baking soda. This process gives the cocoa powder a darker color and a richer flavor.
- Baking soda: Baking soda is a leavening agent that helps baked goods rise.
- Salt: Salt is used to enhance the flavor of the cake.
- Buttermilk: Buttermilk is a fermented dairy product that is slightly sour. It helps to make the cake moist and tender.
- Liquid red food coloring or gel coloring concentrate: Red food coloring is used to give the cake its characteristic red color.
- Distilled white vinegar: Distilled white vinegar is a mild acid that reacts with the baking soda to help the cake rise. It also helps to activate the red food coloring.
- Pure vanilla extract: Vanilla extract is a flavoring extract that is made from vanilla beans. It is used to enhance the flavor of the cake.
- Sugar: Sugar is used to sweeten the cake and to help it rise.
- Canola oil: Canola oil is a neutral-flavored oil that is used to moisten the cake.
- Large eggs: Eggs help to bind the ingredients together and to give the cake structure.
Filling and frosting ingredients:
- Small pearl tapioca: Pearl tapioca is a type of tapioca that is made from starch pearls. It is used in the filling to add texture and to help it thicken.
- Unsalted butter softened: Butter is used to add richness and flavor to the filling and frosting.
- Confectioners’ sugar: Confectioners’ sugar, also known as powdered sugar, is a fine-grained sugar that is used to sweeten the filling and frosting.
- Marshmallow Fluff: Marshmallow Fluff is a marshmallow spread that is used to add sweetness and creaminess to the filling.
- Heavy cream: Heavy cream is a high-fat dairy product that is used to make the frosting rich and creamy.
- Semisweet chocolate chopped: Semisweet chocolate is a type of chocolate that contains sugar and cocoa solids. It is used in the frosting to add flavor and richness.
To summarize the recipe, you should first preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and line 24 muffin cups with paper liners. Then, in a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. In a separate bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, red food coloring, vinegar, and vanilla extract. In a large bowl, using a handheld electric mixer, beat together the sugar, oil, and eggs. Then, beat in the buttermilk mixture and the dry ingredients until just combined. Pour the batter into the prepared muffin cups and bake for about 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
To make the tapioca filling, bring a large saucepan of water to a boil. Add the tapioca and cook for 15 minutes or until softened. Drain and cool the tapioca. In a medium bowl, beat together the butter, Marshmallow Fluff, and tapioca. To make the white glaze, whisk together the remaining confectioners’ sugar with a few teaspoons of water until smooth. To make the chocolate frosting, bring the cream to a boil in a small saucepan. Remove from the heat and add the chocolate. Let it stand until melted, then whisk it until smooth.
To assemble the cupcakes, pipe the tapioca filling into the center of each cupcake. Then, dip the tops of the cupcakes in the chocolate frosting and let set. Finally, pipe the white glaze onto the top of each cupcake in a spider web design.
Notes & Tips for the Red Velvet Cupcakes
Here are some recipe tips for the Red Velvet Cupcakes with Tapioca Filling and Glaze:
- Make sure the oven is preheated before you start mixing the batter. This will help the cupcakes rise evenly and prevent them from becoming dry.
- Don’t overmix the batter. Overmixing can make the cupcakes tough.
- Fill the muffin cups two-thirds full. This will give the cupcakes enough room to rise without overflowing.
- Bake the cupcakes in the upper and lower thirds of the oven. This will help them cook evenly.
- Let the cupcakes cool completely before frosting them. This will help the frosting set properly.
- To make the tapioca filling, be sure to cook the tapioca until it is softened but still slightly chewy. If the tapioca is overcooked, it will become mushy.
- To make the white glaze, add just enough water to make it a loose piping consistency. If the glaze is too thick, it will be difficult to pipe.
- To make the chocolate frosting, be sure to use semisweet chocolate. Semisweet chocolate has the perfect balance of sweetness and bitterness for this recipe.
- To assemble the cupcakes, pipe the tapioca filling into the center of each cupcake before dipping them in the chocolate frosting. This will help prevent the filling from leaking out.
- To pipe the spider web design, start in the center of the cupcake and spiral outwards. Drag the tip of a skewer or toothpick from the center outwards to form the spider web design.
- To make your own design for the red velvet cupcakes, simply pipe the tapioca filling or the glaze into the piping bag attach the tube of preference and make the design you want.
Here are some additional tips:
- Use room temperature ingredients. This will help the batter mix together more easily and produce a smoother texture.
- Measure your ingredients carefully. This is especially important for the baking powder and baking soda, as too much or too little can affect the way the cupcakes rise.
- Sift the dry ingredients before adding them to the wet ingredients. This will help remove any lumps and ensure that the batter is well-mixed.
- Be careful not to overbake the cupcakes. Overbaked cupcakes will be dry and crumbly.
- Allow the cupcakes to cool completely before frosting them. This will help the frosting set properly and prevent it from melting.
Here is the recipe for Red Velvet Cupcakes from Food & Wine:
For the cupcakes
- 2 ½ cups cake flour
- 2 tablespoons unsweetened Dutch process cocoa powder
- 1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1 ounce liquid red food coloring or 1 teaspoon gel coloring concentrate
- 2 teaspoons distilled white vinegar
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 ½ cups sugar
- 1 ½ cups canola oil
- 2 large eggs
Filling and Frosting
- ¼ cup small pearl tapioca soaked in warm water for 15 minutes and drained
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter softened
- 1 ½ cups confectioners’ sugar
- ½ cup Marshmallow Fluff
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 10 ounces semisweet chocolate chopped
To make the cupcakes
- Preheat the oven to 350 degree and line 24 muffin cups with paper liners. Spray the paper liners with vegetable spray. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt. In a small bowl, whisk the buttermilk with the red food coloring, vinegar and vanilla. In a large bowl, using a handheld electric mixer, beat the sugar with the oil and eggs at medium speed until combined. Beat in the buttermilk mixture until blended, then beat in the dry ingredients at low speed until smooth; scrape down the side and bottom of the bowl as necessary.
- Pour the batter into the prepared cups, filling them two-thirds full. Bake in the upper and lower thirds of the oven for about 30 minutes, until the cupcakes are risen and a skewer inserted in the centers comes out clean; shift the pans from top to bottom and front and back halfway through baking. Let the cupcakes cool slightly in the pans, then turn them onto a rack and let cool completely.
For the filling and design
- Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil. Add the tapioca and boil, stirring, until softened but still slightly chewy, about 15 minutes. Drain the tapioca and cool it under running water; shake dry.
- In a medium bowl, beat the butter with ½ cup of confectioners’ sugar until fluffy. Add the Marshmallow Fluff and beat until smooth. Fold in the drained tapioca. In a medium bowl, whisk the remaining 1 cup of confectioners’ sugar with a few teaspoons of water to make a white glaze that is loose enough to pipe.
- In a small saucepan, bring the cream to a boil. Remove from the heat and add the chocolate. Let stand until melted, then whisk until smooth. Transfer the chocolate frosting to a shallow bowl.
To decorate the cupcakes
- Fill a pastry bag fitted with a ¼ inch plain tip with the tapioca filling. Poke the tip deep into the center of each cupcake and pipe in the tapioca filling; wipe off any filling that oozes out of the top. Dip the tops of the cupcakes in the chocolate frosting, and then stand the cupcakes upright onto a baking sheet.
- Fill a pastry bag fitted with a fine tip with the white glaze. Pipe a fine spiral or concentric circles on the top of each cupcake, then drag the tip of a skewer of toothpick from the center outwards to form the spider web design. Let the frosting and glaze set before serving.
- Or, fill a pastry bag fitted with a spiral tip with the white glaze. Pipe a spiral design. Let the frosting and glaze set before serving.
Please keep in mind that nutritional information is a rough estimate and can vary greatly based on the products used.
Nutrition info is automatically generated and provided as a courtesy and as an estimate only.