Red Velvet Cupcakes Turned Gift

It’s almost here – that day of LOVE! My personal belief is you should exude kindness and love every day of the year. But, if we need a special day to remind us, let’s do this.  Here’s how to turn red velvet cupcakes into special little gifts to show your love to friends and family.

We start with a batch of decorated cupcakes.  Put the cakes into the refrigerator for at least an hour to stiffen the icing.  Buttercream icing works the best for this as it really holds its shape during handling.

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Red Velvet Cupcakes With Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

Recipe credit: Joy The Baker

Servings: 12 Cupcakes
Ingredients
Red Velvet Cupcakes
  • 4 Tbls. unsalted butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 3 Tbls. unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 Tbls. red food coloring
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1 cup + 2Tbls. all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 1/2 tsp. distilled white vinegar
Vanilla Buttercream Frosting
  • 3 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 3 Tbls. vanilla extract
Instructions
Cupcakes
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F and line 12 cupcake tines with paper liners.

  2. In a bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about three minutes. Turn mixer to high and add the egg. Scrape down the bowl and beat until well incorporated.

  3. In a separate bowl, mix together cocoa, vanilla and red food coloring to make a thick paste. Add to the batter mixing thoroughly until completely combined.

  4. Turn mixer to low and slowly add half the buttermilk. Add half of the flour and salt and mix until combined. Scrape the bowl and repeat the process with the remaining milk and flour. Beat on high until smooth.

  5. Turn mixer to low and add baking soda and white vinegar. Turn to high and beat a few more minutes.

  6. Divide the batter evenly into the cupcake liners and bake for 20-25 minutes or until toothpick inserted into the center of the cupcake comes out clean.

  7. Let rest in the pan for 10 minutes, then place them on a wire rack to cool completely before frosting.

Frosting
  1. In a stand mixer, cream the butter until light and fluffy.

  2. Slowly add the powdered sugar, scraping down the bowl often.

  3. Add the vanilla and beat until all is incorporated.

For the packaging you will need:Valentine Cupcake Supplies

  • Clear plastic cocktail cups
  • Clear treat bags
  • Ribbon
  • Construction paper hearts – add names or a quote

Place the cocktail cup into the bottom of the treat bag.  Gently add the cupcake being careful not to damage the frosting.  Gather the top of the treat bag and

tie with the ribbon. Thread one end of the ribbon through the personalized paper heart and tie the ends of the ribbons together into a bow.Valentine Cupcake Gift

Now hand out those personalized little cupcake treats to your friends and loved ones and spread some joy!

 

Valentine Cupcake Gift 2

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Let me know how it turned out for you! Leave a comment below and share a picture on Instagram with the hashtag #wistfullywarped.

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Chaos Checked – Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting for A Daughter’s Wedding

Wedding accomplished and airborne!  It was a beautiful day at the Outer Banks of North Carolina. Cheers to the beautiful bride and her soldier boy!

There’s nothing like a weekend spent with a gaggle of Army Airborne Soldiers.  (Let’s get her to play “The Green Valley” and “The Number Game”. My new nick-name is now “Birth Giver”. Ahhh, boys are fascinating. . .)

Although the beach to the house (there is no road to the house, a 4-wheel drive is necessary to drive along the beach to access the house)  was washed out during Sandy, all was well by Wednesday.  As I don’t have a 4-wheel drive, it was an adventure to get the unfrosted cupcakes, mixer, supplies and my stuff to the house.  No problem for the Soldiers of the 82nd. Dang, I need one of those at my side! 

30+ people staying at one house yielded tons and tons of cooking, fun and drama.  Luggage was lost, car issues, too much alcohol (or something), no sleep for some – I’m still recovering. These are the moments you will never forget!  Weddings – YAY!

Anyway, the Cupcake Fairy’s adventure unfolded this way. . .After trying several Red Velvet recipes, Joy The Baker won out with her recipe for cupcakes and frosting adapted from the Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook.  Owning a KitchenAid 5-quart mixer requires repeating multiple batches and Joy’s recipe was consistent.  I am so going to have to invest in a bigger mixer to continue with my work (*hint, hint* CHRISTMAS PRESENT? *hint, hint*).

Red Velvet Cupcakes – Yields 12

  • 4 Tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 3 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 Tablespoons red food coloring
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1 cup plus 2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons distilled white vinegar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and line 12 cupcake tins with liners.

In a bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about three minutes.  Turn mixer to high and add the egg.  Scrape down the bowl and beat until well incorporated.

In a separate bowl, mix together cocoa, vanilla and red food coloring to make a thick paste. (I NEVER got it to make a paste, if anyone does, please let me know!) Add to the batter, mixing thoroughly until completely combined.

Turn mixer to low and slowly add half of the buttermilk.  Add half of the flour and salt and mix until combined.  Scrape the bowl and repeat the process with the remaining milk and flour.  Beat on high until smooth.

Turn mixer to low and add baking soda and white vinegar.  Turn to high and beat a few more minutes.

Spoon batter into lined cupcake pan and bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes or until skewer inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean.

Let rest in the pan for 10 minutes, then place them on a cooling rack to cool completely before frosting.

Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 2 1/3 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • 3 Tablespoons butter, room temperature
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • scant 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

My personal instructions to create the frosting:

Cream the butter and cream cheese in a stand mixer, fitted with a paddle attachment at medium to medium-high speed.

Turn the mixer to low and add the powdered sugar and cinnamon a bit at a time until all is incorporated.  Turn the mixer to medium-high and beat for 5 minutes or until the frosting becomes light and fluffy.

Do not over-beat as the frosting can quickly become runny.

Completion. . .

Prior to whipping up the frosting, I created 80+ red chocolate hearts.  I melted a small quantity of red chocolate candy chips in the microwave and poured the melted candy chips into a plastic sandwich bag which I had reinforced one corner with tape.  I then cut a tip out of that corner and drew 80+ hearts. These were placed in the frig to harden while I made the frosting.

The cupcakes were frosted, sprinkled with white and red Wilton Cake Sprinkles and a red chocolate heart was added.

Cupcakes, Daughters, Weddings – YAY!

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Broken Glass Cupcakes

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Recently, a friend challenged me to come up with a Halloween themed cupcake. There is an image of a cupcake floating around on the internet that I thought was fantastic and decided I had to try to recreate it.  Turns out the credit for this concept goes to Martha Stewart (who seems to have a decidedly wicked side.)

My rendition of her cupcake was to use a red velvet recipe for the cupcake (more like “blood” and I’ve been experimenting with red velvet recipes for the upcoming Daughter’s wedding.)

However, before even attempting a cupcake, the “glass” decoration had to be created.  Martha describes how to create the sugar glass, so I tried her recipe.  It didn’t work for me. Perhaps I didn’t follow Martha’s recipe correctly, so I tried again. It still didn’t work for me. Disappointed, I created the classic sugar glass recipe below. The results speak for themselves.

Note: Sugar glass will only keep for a short time, and I had executed my glass too far ahead of time. I had to create a new batch. I overcooked this batch and it turned amber.  No worries – broken beer bottle cupcakes!

Sugar Glass Candy

  • 3 cups sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup WHITE corn syrup

Prepare a jelly-roll pan by lining with aluminum foil. This will make a thick glass. If you would prefer a thinner glass – my suggestion would be to cut the recipe in half. Since I haven’t tried this, I can’t guarantee the results.

Combine sugar, water and syrup into heavy saucepan. Set a candy thermometer in pan making sure thermometer doesn’t touch the bottom of the pan. When the temperature reaches 300°F (or a drop of the sugar mixture turns to threads when dropped into a glass of water), pour into prepared pan.

Note: Carefully watch and stir the sugar mixture constantly as it will turn amber if cooked too long. (I would also suggest using the “thread” test before relying on the thermometer, unless you are absolutely sure your thermometer is calibrated correctly.)

Note: Use safety when pouring the sugar and handling the pan as it is extremely hot.

The mixture will immediately start to cool and harden.  Store in the refrigerator until totally cool.  Now it’s time to break the glass since the effect is to have shards.  The pan can be dropped, or you can use any heavy item to break the glass into shards.  I just hit it with my metal ladle until I achieved the desired results.

For the cupcakes, and after much research, I ended up trying a recipe I found at Joy the Baker (delightfully beautiful site!) of which she found in the Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook. The recipe is actually complicated and must be executed in the correct order.

 

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Red Velvet Cupcakes
Servings: 12 Cupcakes
Ingredients
  • 4 Tbls. unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 3 Tbls. unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 Tbls. red food coloring
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1 cup + 2 Tbls. all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 1/2 tsp. distilled white vinegar
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F and line muffin tins with 12 paper liners.

  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Turn the mixer to high and add the egg. Scrape down the bowl and beat until well incorporated.

  3. In a separate bowl, mix together cocoa, vanilla and red food coloring to make a thick paste. Add to the batter, mixing thoroughly until completely combined. Scrape the bowl to make sure the color is completely incorporated into the batter.

  4. Turn mixer to low and slowly add half the buttermilk. Add half the flour and salt and mix until combined. Scrape down the bowl and repeat the process with the remaining milk and flour. Beat on high until smooth.

  5. Turn mixer to low and add baking soda and white vinegar. Turn to high and beat a few more minutes.

  6. Spoon batter evenly into paper lined cups and bake for 20-25 minutes or until toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

  7. Let rest in the pan for 10 minutes. Place on a wire rack to cool completely before frosting.

Although the traditional frosting for Red Velvet is a Cream Cheese Frosting – I used my Vanilla Butter Cream Frosting. The decor needed a frosting stiff enough to hold up the “glass” and cream cheese frosting is just too soft.

 

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Vanilla Buttercream Frosting
Ingredients
  • 1 lb. unsalted butter, softened
  • 5 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • 2 Tbls. vanilla extract
  • Splash heavy cream
Instructions
  1. In a mixer, cream the butter until light and fluffy.

  2. Turn the mixer to low and slowly add the powdered sugar. Occasionally scrape down the bowl to make sure all is incorporated.

  3. Add the vanilla extract and splash of heavy cream and mix until smooth and and desired consistency. (Add more cream if necessary.)

Assemble the cupcakes and add “blood”:

Frost each cupcake with a generous amount of butter cream.  Add several shards of the sugar glass.

To make the “blood”, add 1/2 cup cherry preserves to a microwavable bowl and microwave for about 20 seconds. Strain the warmed preserves and let cool slightly. Drizzle the strained preserves over the glass.

Obviously, cherry preserves (or at least the preserves I purchased) are not a deep enough red.  Perhaps strained raspberry preserves would have been better?

Lessons learned and now on to the next cupcake creation!
Happy baking!

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Did you try this recipe?

Let me know how it turned out for you! Leave a comment below and share a picture on Instagram with the hashtag #wistfullywarped.

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