Red Velvet Cup Cakes
by Bobbie Lloyd, Magnolia Bakery, New York City

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Makes 3 dozen cupcakes. Total preparation time: 1 ½ hours.Image

Cup Cake Ingredients:

In a mixer, blend the butter by itself on medium speed for 3 minutes. While that's running, sift the flour. Slowly add the sugar to the butter on low speed. Carefully discard the egg shells and slowly add the eggs to the butter and sugar. Mix the cocoa, food coloring and vanilla together in a small bowl with a whisk. Add the entire red mixture to the butter and mix on very low speed at first gradually increasing to medium speed. Add the salt to the buttermilk. Gradually add the sifted flour, alternating with the salted buttermilk to the mixing bowl. Scrape the mixing bowl occasionally. Do not over-mix. Combine vinegar and baking soda together. Then add it to the mixing bowl while still on low speed. Scrape the bowl one last time. Preheat the oven to 350 °F. Place pleated paper cups in the muffin pans. Scoop the mix into each paper cup filling them half way. Bake for about 20 minutes but check ocassionally to see that the ones on the bottom are cooking at the same rate as the ones at the top of the oven. When done, remove and let cool on a wire rack for 10-15 minutes. Remove them from the pans and allow to cool, still in the paper cups, an additional 15-20 minutes. Continue with the Icing Video.

"Red Velvet Cake" was the signature dessert at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel during the 1920s. Before food coloring, the red color came from boiled beets. James Beard describes a red velvet cake in his 1972 American Cookery where the vinegar and buttermilk reaction better revealed the red anthocyanin in the cocoa, turning the cake a bright red. It's been associated with Valentine's Day ever since. The Magnolia Bakery, 401 Bleecker St. in Greenwich Village, opened in 1996 specializing in cupcakes. It's not unusual for the line to wind around the block with a one hour wait lasting almost until midnight. Patrons are limited to 12 cupcakes per person!

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