I love food — eating it, making it, sharing it. My passion for the kitchen — especially baking sweet treats — inspired me to start a video blog for The Observer, Scene Around Campus, along with a cooking column for the Scene section, Cupcake Boy. In this Valentine’s Day edition, my good friend Kicki and I make sinfully delicious red velvet cupcakes.
Cupcake Boy: Valentine’s Day Edition
American capitalism may try to pitch the concept of Valentine’s Day to consumers as one of love and passion to sell flowers, jewelry and cards. But I’m not buying it. The only thing I love come V-Day is sugar and lots of it.
That’s why Scene writer Kicki Astuno and I chose Red Velvet Cupcakes with White Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting as this week’s “Cupcake Boy Recipe.” With their brick-red cake, creamy white frosting and red sugar sprinkled on top, these are the perfect treat for Valentine’s Day. Remember: A cupcake can never disappoint you, but a boyfriend or girlfriend can.
Whether you are celebrating today by spending time with that special someone or staying in to enjoy the company of your Netflix account and your cats, these cupcakes are the perfect treat to cap off your day. The best part is they are super easy to make and taste scrumptious. Why be lazy and by stale store-bought baked goods when you can make your own tasty goodies at home?
So what are you waiting for? Fire up that oven because you have some Valentine’s Day treats to make.
This recipe is adapted from Serious Eats and makes a dozen cupcakes. You’ll need a mixer and a cupcake tray. Be sure to check out a video demonstration Kicki and I as we make these cupcakes on ndscmobserver.com!
1 3/4 cup flour
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
10 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened, divided
1/2 cup plus 1/3 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 large egg
1 tablespoon red food coloring
2 teaspoons vanilla extract, divided
3/4 cup milk
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon vinegar
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
3 cups confectioners’ sugar
3 ounces white chocolate, melted and cooled slightly
1/4 cup red sugar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and line the cupcake tray with cupcake liners. Mix the cocoa powder and flour in a medium-size bowl. Using the mixer, cream six tablespoons butter, the sugar and salt on medium speed for two minutes until light and fluffy. Beat the egg, food coloring and one teaspoon of the vanilla until combined. Mix in the flour/cocoa powder mixture and milk, alternating between the two and beginning and ending with the flour/cocoa powder. In a small bowl, stir the baking soda into the vinegar, letting it fizz. Immediately add it into the batter.
Using a spoon or scooper, distribute the batter between the cupcake cups. Bake for 17 minutes until firm to the touch, turning the pan halfway through. Let the cupcakes cool in the pan for five minutes, then remove and let cool completely before you frost them.
To make the frosting, use the mixer to beat the cream cheese, four tablespoons butter and confectioners sugar on medium speed for three minutes until light and fluffy. Beat in the white chocolate and remaining teaspoon of vanilla until just combined. Using an offset spatula, frost the cupcakes (there will be plenty of frosting for each.) Sprinkle the red sugar on top to garnish.