Fall [red] Velvet Cupcakes


In the least dramatic sense possible, Fall Velvet changed my world this week. Who knew adding 1/3 less food coloring to a cake batter would give me such a thrill? (That or I'm obsessed with fall-anything and even remotely fall-like things make me squeal with delight). Anyway, fall velvet is a thing - trust me. I am generally able to resist my baking creations, but these are too moist, flavorful, and delicious to pass up. They are simply divine and the perfect portable treat for a fall gathering.

Fall [red] Velvet Cupcakes with cream cheese frosting
Makes 36 cupcakes

Cupcake Batter
2 cups vegetable or canola oil
2 ¼ cups granulated sugar
3 large eggs, at room temperature
2 tablespoons red food coloring
1/2 teaspoon yellow food coloring (for the slightest of autumnal orange tints)
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
1 ¼ cup buttermilk
3 ½ cups cake flour
½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 ½ teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 ½ teaspoons white vinegar

Cream Cheese Frosting
1 package cream cheese
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
5 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste (or 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract)
2 teaspoons lemon zest
2 tablespoons milk

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare your cupcake tin with liners.
  2. On top of a large sheet of parchment paper, sift together the cake flour, cocoa powder, salt and baking soda. *
  3. In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, mix together the oil and sugar.  
  4. On slow speed, add the eggs one at a time.
  5. Remove the bowl from the standing mixer and slowly stir in the red food coloring and vanilla so that it does not splatter.  
  6. Alternate adding the buttermilk and dry ingredients (beginning and ending with buttermilk) and mix until just combined.  
  7. Gently stir in the white vinegar and mix until incorporated.
  8. Pour batter into cupcake molds until they are 2/3 full.
  9. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until a knife inserted comes out clean.
  10. Cool completely before frosting.
  11. As the cupcakes cool, beat the cream cheese and butter together until completely combined.
  12. Add the powdered sugar one cup at a time, mixing thoroughly after each new addition.
  13. On slow speed, add the vanilla, lemon zest, and milk.
  14. Beat for 2-3 minutes until the frosting is light and fluffy.
  15. Scoop frosting into a piping bag fitted with your desired pastry tip and frost away.

*I like to sift ingredients on parchment paper and use it as a vehicle for incorporating the ingredients into the bowl of a standing mixer. Bowl on bowl pouring has never gone so well for me.