Friday, October 21st, 2011

From Now On, You Have to Make Your Own Red Velvet Cupcakes

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 eggs
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.

36 Comments / Post A Comment

Bittersweet (#765)

Oh, yeah. There are some perfectly fabulous red foods out there, but red velvet cake is not one of them. Instead of wasting all that time and energy and butter making red velvet cake, why not just make the frosting and eat it right out of the bowl?

Miss Jolie, I'm a red velvet hater as well. I can't figure out what the flavor is supposed to be, and as for the color, GROSS.

SeanP (#4,058)

@dinosaur_senior Yeah, I have to say that I'm kind of opposed to foods that require that much dye. Why does red velvet cake have to be red, anyway? What's wrong with brown velvet cake?

Inkcrafter (#166,023)

@dinosaur_senior Actual red velvet cake has Dutch-processed (aka Very Tasty/Fancy) cocoa in it, which naturally turns red with a reaction to one of the other ingredients. (Maybe that's why you need vinegar?) Grocery stores just put a shit-ton of food coloring in their cake instead of using the good stuff, though, and I guess it's caught on!

But Jolie! Buttermilk makes baked goods so delicious! And you don't even need to buy the nasty cartons. You can get powdered buttermilk that's way less gross and much easier to use.

freetzy (#7,018)

@TheTrenchantWench My mom taught me this one:

Buttermilk Recipe
A cup or whatever of regular milk
About a teaspoon lemon juice

Mix together and use as needed.

EggsErroneous (#10,609)

@freetzy Samesies, but my mom always used vinegar rather than lemon juice. I will try your mom's way, or a combination. You let it sit a couple minutes and it is supposedly just as grody as the real thing. I do this all the time. I have never bought buttermilk, and I have no idea if it tastes the same.

@TheTrenchantWench Buttermilk is great for waffles. It makes them light and fluffy! And healthier, too.

SeanP (#4,058)

@TheTrenchantWench and (yeah, I'm just going to brave the wrath of Jolie and say it)… buttermilk is fucking delicious. If it weren't for the fact that it usually has a ton of salt in it, I'd drink it all the time.

boysplz (#9,812)

I think the only acceptable use for Red Velvet anything is to make those cakes that look like animals that bleed when you cut them. It's still gross then, but it's gross with purpose.

laurel (#4,035)

@boysplz: If it isn't supposed to appear to be hemorrhaging why does it look like that?

boysplz (#9,812)

@laurel It's a warning mechanism, like the insects that have bright colors so everyone knows they taste bad.

melis (#1,854)

I don't see the part of the recipe where we slowly strangle that coworker of yours?

City_Dater (#2,500)

You know, Mr. Watching His Waistline-Half a Cupcake Guy probably wouldn't be watching his waistline if he could imagine the (generous) concept of preparing food for others that he wouldn't necessarily want to eat himself.

Cream cheese frosting is so very excellent.

C_Webb (#855)

Years ago, some guy I met on Nerve made me go all the way to Fort Freaking Greene (I lived in central Jersey at the time) to eat some sort of famous red velvet cake, and it was SO not worth it. I've resented the red stuff ever since.

hman (#53)

@C_Webb That's Cake Man Raven! I've never been – but only because he was on "Throwdown!" with Bobby Flay, and I do have my principles.

Ooooh, now do carrot cake.

SeanP (#4,058)

@Clarence Rosario speaking of cakes in a rainbow of colors, for her last birthday my daughter insisted that mommy bake her a smurf-blue cake. Blecch. I mean, it tasted fine, but who wants to eat a sky-blue cake? It's well known that there are no blue foods.

delrayser (#319)

<3 you, Jolie. I loathe red velvet cake. My Southern grandmother used to always make it when we'd come visit, and my parents would make me choke a piece down to be polite.

It's red because it's the work of Satan!

Dave Bry (#422)

@delrayser That's why it's so delicious. Because it's the work of Satan! (Man, the red velvet cake at the Cakeman in Fort Greene: yum!)

jhjhjhj (#7,025)

According to my grandmother and her junior league friends, the proper frosting for red velvet is ½ cup of Crisco, ½ cup of butter (they say margarine but….no), 1 cup of Sugar, 1/4 cup flour, 1/2 cup milk and whatever vanilla. i know all that crisco sounds horrid but it's got the texture of whipped cream and is super heat resistant.

For extra zest, top with chicken.

C_Webb (#855)

@NotAndersonCooper Or ground beef. And pineapple!

" you must let them cool completely before you frost them"

Crucial advice! Take heed! If you're running late for the party just put the frosting in a separate bowl and let people DIY it.

elephony (#103,223)

Have you guys seen this article about red velvet cake's origins? I'm not at all into the so-food-colored-it-almost-glows style, because I've never had one that I didn't wish was chocolate instead, but the old school style is really good. Plus, it's also called lightning cake!

@elephony Hmm, the recipe attached to that has no buttermilk, no vinegar, no coloring outside of… what is this? Wine?? I don't think that will pass muster here.

Also, the recipe above should specify a carmine-based coloring for extra grossitude.

oudemia (#177)

I immersion-blended my left index smushing up beets for a hippie red velvet cake. I'm not sure I can ever eat it again.

SeanP (#4,058)

@oudemia well, I'm sure that improved the color, anyway.

As a Southern Person, it really makes me sad how many people hate red velvet cake! It is my favorite!

As revenge, I will inform everyone (especially Jolie, you buttermilk-hater) that my mom's favorite snack is saltine crackers crumbled up in a mug of buttermilk and eaten with a spoon.

Brunhilde (#1,225)

I go to my sister's house and make 5 types of X-mas cookies, two types of fudge, and a fuckload of batches of salted macadamia nut brittle (I swear she thinks I'm on call for that shit, "Everyone loves it so much! I spent $40 on nuts, could you come make more?"), so I hear you on the "making food that I hate" front (I dislike sweets). But her kids are so Damn cute! And smart! My two year old nephew taught me the difference between a backhoe and an excavator! And I find my niece in her pa's office drawing on a legal pad with a pencil and she tells me "I coloring" and I just die.

tigolbitties (#2,150)

p.s. you can actually substitute apple cider vinegar for white vinegar in the recipe, and only the most discerning red velvet cake eater will be able to tell the difference (slightly sweeter with apple cider vinegar).

One time I made green velvet cake because I had a pan that was shaped like Christmas trees. I used a LOT of food coloring in order to make it a really dark green color. The cake didn't come out very well cosmetically but it still tasted good, so I brought it to work to get help eating it.

Because I'd eaten it the night before, I was the first to notice that it made my poop green! Not green-ISH, but REALLY GREEN. Naturally, everyone else at work just had to try a piece and report on the results once it worked through their system. It made the cake quite popular!

This comment is for Jolie Kerr's Red Velvet cake tirade……oh my God!@ ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! That's the most infinately hilarious example of how I feel about RV Cake ! I congratulate you MS Kerr!!!!! You're a Goddess! >:)

Of course I may now have to refer to it as green shit cake as per the other comment here!!!!

Post a Comment