I've made Red Velvet Cake before, but a) it was a long time ago, b) that recipe has WAY too much butter in it, and c) I decided we needed some cupcakes instead of actual cake.
My grandma sent us a cupcake-making kit for Valentine's Day, so this weekend was the time to make our red velvet cupcakes.
The recipe I have in my program "to try" was for the Magnolia Bakery red velvet cupcakes, but they were also way too unhealthy. We've gotten so sensitive to butter and oil in our desserts so I really read the ingredients thoroughly to make sure it won't be off-putting. After a lot of searching, I found a highly-recommended recipe for Waldorf Astoria Cake, which is a red velvet cake. I read through my other cupcake recipes and adapted the cooking time from 30 minutes to 17 minutes (I had planned for 20, but the first batch was done in 17 minutes so I put the second one in for 17). Despite my comments on my last attempt at red velvet, I found a one ounce bottle of red food coloring - it's huge! It makes them sooooooo bright! Look at how red the batter was when I put it in the oven! It looks like I put red paint into the pan.
They came out after 17 minutes looking perfect.
I made some light cream cheese frosting to go along with it since I did not want buttercream. I alluded to this recipe in my previous red velvet experience, but never posted it for some reason. I will post it after the cake recipe.
So. Summary: Amazing! AMAZING. I will make this as my standard recipe for red velvet cakes or cupcakes. Remember, 17 minutes for cupcakes. Makes 2 dozen. Use a 1 oz bottle of food coloring. The end.
Waldorf Astoria Cake
Waldorf Astoria / CLBB (dorothyntototoo)
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine, softened
1- 1/2 cups sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk or sour milk*
2 Tbs (one 1-oz. bottle) red food color
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup cocoa
1 tsp salt
1- 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 Tbs white vinegar
1. Heat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour 13x9-inch baking pan.**
2. Beat butter and sugar in large bowl; add eggs and vanilla, beating well. Stir together buttermilk and food color. Stir together flour, cocoa and salt; add alternately to butter mixture with buttermilk mixture, mixing well. Stir in baking soda and vinegar. Pour into prepared pan.
3. Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool completely in pan on wire rack. Frost; garnish with chocolate chips, if desired. About 15 servings.
* To sour milk: Use 1 tablespoon white vinegar plus milk to equal 1 cup.
VARIATION: For heart shapes: Using open-topped heart-shaped cookie cutter (at least 1-1/2 inches deep and 3-inches wide), cut cake into 12 hearts. Frost and decorate as directed.
**Cake can also be baked in two greased and floured 9-inch round baking pans. Bake at 350 F. for 30 to 35 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans. Cool completely. Frost as desired.
Light Cream Cheese Frosting
The Ultimate Southern Living Cookbook page 129
1 8oz package Neufchatel cheese (do not soften)
1 Tbsp light butter (do not soften)
5 cups sifted powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup chopped pecans, toasted (optional)
Beat cream cheese and butter at high speed with an electric mixer until soft and creamy. Gradually add powdered sugar, beating at low speed just until mixture is light. Gently stir in vanilla and pecans. Chill until ready to spready.
Yield: 2 2/3 cups