i’ll frost your cupcakes.

Another office birthday, another baking adventure.  As previously mentioned, I am about as far as you can get from a southern belle. But, one of my favorite culinary discoveries since living south of the Mason-Dixon has been this:  red velvet cake.

While I knew it’s gosh-darn delicious, I had no idea what made it so light and moist and yummy.  Enter: 5th grade science! Baking soda and vinegar get mixed together, producing the bubbling and fizzing well-known to all 8-year-olds, then dumped in the whole mix. Alton Brown could explain the chemistry behind it all. I’m just going to eat another cupcake.

Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting
adapted by Baked Perfection from Martha Stewart
click here for printable version


  • 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1/2 teaspoon red gel-paste food color (next time i would double this. you shall see.)
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners.
  • Whisk together cake flour, cocoa, and salt.

this would be my second attempt at the dry ingredients. first time i put the sugar in too. sparkly, but not the effect i was going for.

  • With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, whisk together sugar and oil until combined.

now we're cooking with gas.

  • Add eggs, one at a time, beating until each is incorporated, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Mix in food color and vanilla.

far out, dude.

  • Reduce speed to low. Add flour mixture in three batches, alternating with two additions of buttermilk, and whisking well after each.
  • Stir together the baking soda and vinegar in a small bowl (it will foam); add mixture to the batter, and mix on medium speed 10 seconds.

really wished i had a volcano to put this in.

  • Divide batter evenly among lined cups, filling each three-quarters full. Bake, rotating tins halfway through, until a cake tester inserted in centers comes out clean, about 20 minutes.

i have exceptional proportional abilities.

  • Transfer tins to wire racks to cool completely before removing cupcakes.

Cupcakes can be stored overnight at room temperature, or frozen up to 2 months, in airtight containers. To finish, use a small offset spatula to spread cupcakes with frosting. Refrigerate up to 3 days in airtight containers; bring to room temperature before serving.

mmm...not so much with the "red," huh?

AND FOR MY NEXT ACT: I will make the frosting and apparently fail to take any pictures.

Cream Cheese Frosting

recipe from Martha Stewart


  • 8 ounces (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 12 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 pound (4 cups) confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • 3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


  • Beat butter and cream cheese with a mixer on medium-high speed until fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes.
  • Reduce speed to low. Add sugar, 1 cup at a time, and then vanilla; mix until smooth.

Frosting can be refrigerated for up to 3 days; before using, bring to room temperature, and beat until smooth.

even the progressive infrastructure needs some sprinkles.

The birthday boy (another northerner) soundly approved–as he reached for number 2.


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