Red Velvet
September 5, 2011, 3:23 pm
Filed under: Dessert, Food and Recipes | Tags: , , ,

Red velvet has a special place in our hearts. It’s one of the few desserts that my husband will eat, and it was served to us on the night of our rehersal dinner. The first Valentine’s Day after we were married, I made these cupcakes in cute little silicone heart shaped cupcake molds. I’ve been making them ever since.

Recently, a group I’m involved with at work had a bake sale. I made these, and people flocked to them. I add a little vanilla bean to the icing so you get those cute little specks througout the frosting. Store leftovers in the fridge to keep the icing at its peak.

Don’t even think about the WW points on this one… It’s a treat, and it’s a Paula Deen recipe. That means butter, lots of it! If I know it’s just going to be and my husband snacking on them, I’ll split the recipe in half. Works good either way!

Red Velvet Cupcakes
Recipe slightly adapted from Paula Deen
Makes 24 cupcakes

For the cupcake:
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cocoa powder
1 cup vegetable oil
1 cup buttermilk, room temperature
2 large eggs, room temperature
2 tablespoons red food coloring
1 teaspoon white distilled vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the Icing:
1 pound cream cheese, softened
2 sticks butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 cups powdered sugar
1 vanilla bean, seeds removed

1. For the cupcakes: preheat your oven to 350. In a bowl, mix together your wet ingredients (oil, buttermilk, eggs, food coloring, vinegar, and vanilla) until well combined. You can use either a hand mixer, whisk, or stand mixer. In a seperate bowl, sift together your dry ingredients (flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, and cocoa powder). Add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix until well combined.

2. Line a muffin pan with liners and fill each cup 2/3 full. Bake for 20-22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

3. Set out cupcakes to cool. While they are cooling, whip together your cream cheese and butter, whipping on medium high until thoroughly combined. Add vanilla extract and beans. Add powdered sugar slowly, whipping on high until icing is light and fluffy. Once the cupcakes are fully cool, cover generously with icing and serve.


Spice Cake

I’m not much on writing today. It’s been one of those dreary mondays. I don’t have a cute, elaborate story for you, and I don’t have much to say in general. I have a headache that refuses to leave, dry, tired eyes, and a cup of tea brewing.

But, what I do have for you is cake…

There are cakes. Then there are spice cakes. I’m not a huge fan of any cake that comes along, but I do love a good spice cake. The deep, rich, and not overly sweet flavors draw me in, make me think of cool air and the holidays, and make me sink back into my chair. It’s a very warm and comforting dessert. Which is a good think, because I think I need something a little warm and comforting today.

Hope you enjoy this dessert as much as my husband and I do!

Spice Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
Slightly adapted from a Giada de Laurentiis recipe


1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon fine salt
1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tablesoon ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
2/3 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Non-stick cooking spray

1. Position a rack in the center of your oven. Preheat oven to 350.

2. In a small bowl, mix dry ingredients: flour, cocoa powder, spices, salt, and baking powder. Whisk to combine thoroughly (or you could sift).

3. In a separate bowl, mix eggs, sugars, oil, applesauce, and vanilla extract. Beat ingredients to combine well and become slightly frothy.


4. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients, small amounts at a time, and stir until just combined.

5. Coat a loaf pan with non-stick cooking spray. Pour in batter and smooth out top. Cook 40-45 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out partially clean (a few crumbs left on it). Cool the cake in the pan for 10 minutes, then unmold and cool completely before frosting.


Cream Cheese Icing
Courtesy Paula Deen

1/2 block of an 8 oz block of cream cheese, softened
1/2 stick butter, softened
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup powdered sugar

1. Beat cream cheese and butter until softened and well combined and slightly fluffy.

2. Add vanilla and confectioners sugar. Beat until well combined and icing is smooth. Use as icing on your spice cake.