I make a mean red velvet cake and cupcake. It has more cocoa powder and less flour in it than the Paula Deen recipe I used the first time I tried my hand at red velvet, and it is super moist and crazy red. The cream cheese frosting is waaaay less sweet than the miserable dreck that so often sullies the good name of the best frosting in all of Frostingham. But I won’t make them for you. You have to make your own red velvet and here’s why: I despise red velvet cake.
First of all, it takes white vinegar. Which? You can’t see me right now but I’m making a face that my mother would scold me for because if I keep making it my face will freeze like that. Look, I am a great lover of white vinegar. But seriously, in baked goods? The same stuff that I demand my lady readers use to scrub their Boy Smell-y walls? A lil’ squicky. And then there’s the Buttermilk Factor.
You guys? Come on. Buttermilk is soooooooooo grossssssssssssss. That garbage is just a yeast infection in a carton as far as I’m concerned. I mean seriously so. fucking. gross. Just nasty, barfy GROSSNESS.
But if I’m being really honest, hating red velvet isn’t really the entire reason why you have to make your own from here on out. If it were, I wouldn’t have a great red velvet cake recipe in the first place, I guess?
Recently, I made a batch as a birthday treat. And it was truly my pleasure to make them because on one’s birthday one should be indulged. That’s just… right? Do you all not do that for people who you care about, give of yourself to make them feel special and loved? You don’t and I already know that and I’m getting to that part.
There were a dozen cupcakes, and one person can only eat so many and obviously I wasn’t going to ingest any, because BUTTERMILK, BLERRRRRRRG. So I took the leftover cupcakes to the office to foist them on my coworkers. One guy, who is “watching his waistline” and who should really just hang it up already, asked if he could have a half of one and would I like the other half? I declined, explaining that I fucking hate red velvet. He said, “And you made these? I would never make something for someone if I didn’t want to eat it myself.”
I stood there staring at him in the manner of a small simple child. It… it honestly never occurred to me not to make something for someone if they wanted it, regardless of how I felt about things. And maybe? Just maybe? That might be something I’ve gotten wrong. So this: I’m trying a new thing. And that new thing is that from now on, if you want red velvet, you’re going to make your own red velvet.
I’ll tell you how, of course; I’m not a total monster.
First things first, when it comes to cake: Dry ingredients. For this, you want to measure these things into a sifter that you’ve placed over a medium-sized bowl, and then sift sift sift sift sift:
2 ¼ cups flour
1 ½ cups sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 heaping tablespoons cocoa powder
In another bowl, beat up your wet ingredients:
The original recipe here calls for 1 ½ cups of vegetable oil, but, if you object to drinking, you know, one and a half cups of vegetable oil, you could use 2 sticks of softened butter. (That, by the by, is a HALF POUND of butter, but by all means you do you. It’s not like I’m gonna eat this garbage, so who cares?)
1 cup buttermilk (BLERRRRRG)
2 tablespoons red food coloring
1 teaspoon white vinegar
2 teaspoons vanilla
Now mix your dry ingredients into the wet ones, using a hand mixer or a spoon + the force of your giant muscles. When everything is smooth and gory (UGH THIS BATTER UGH UGH UGH SO GROSS BARF BARF BARF), start filling a cupcake tin that you’ve lined with paper liners so that each cup is about ¾ of the way full. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-22 minutes, checking at the 18 minute mark to make sure the tops aren’t getting too browned. You want a glistening, bloody-looking cupcake sans browning.
While the cupcakes are cooling—and you must let them cool completely before you frost them—wash up your hand mixer fronds and then beat together 8 oz. of cream cheese with 1 ½-2 cups of confectioners’ sugar and 2 teaspoons of vanilla. BEAT BEAT BEAT BEAT BEAT. Then frost!
Then, I dunno, throw them all in the trash.
Jolie Kerr doesn’t even want to hear it from the cream cheese frosting deniers.