I had not made Red Velvet Cupcakes for many months and was tempted when I received a complimentary recipes book in the mail from Food & Wine Magazine. When I read the recipe for the cupcakes, I did not find it difficult at all except the icing. The preparation for the icing required a little bit of tender loving care. A basic recipe with cream cheese and confectioner sugar always save the day. Add a few drops extract, and you have a tasty icing.
One of the main ingredients for the frosting is small pearl tapioca, which has not bought or used yet. I have used Tapioca Flour and did not want to experiment with it just because I was not sure how it would turn out and also for the simple reason that the author did not provide any substitution notes.
There are several recipes that I do believe anyone should follow 2 or 3 times before starting to omit or substitute ingredients. There are many other recipes also that anyone can follow partial instructions, which is the case for this one. For me to delete or replace is not always easy.
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 foresee results. Not all results are satisfactory, but it does not hurt to try. As they say, it’s all trials and errors.
I have to say that this is a pretty good recipe. The batter was not lumpy, and the cakes are very moist.
This recipe requires cake flour, one great tip I can share is always to check the sodium count on the box cake or cake container flour you are purchasing. If you can create your own cake flour that is much better and you can save money.
One last tip, buy healthy ingredients!
The recipe is from Food & Wine.
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.