Ciao Italia Blog Exclusive Recipe: Red Velvet Cupcakes

August 12, 2008


You won’t find this recipe on the Ciao Italia website.  Only here on the Ciao Italia blog.

Red Velvet Cupcakes are a favorite of mine from my childhood.  They are moist and originally called for a whole bottle of red food coloring which gave the cake its red-wine look.  In this recipe, only a teaspoon of red food coloring is called for but, in the past, I have also used red beet juice.

Red Velvet Cupcakes

• 2 1/2  cups unbleached all purpose flour
• 1/2 cup baking cocoa (powdered)
• 1 teaspoon baking powder
• 1/4 teaspoon salt
• 1 teaspoon baking soda
• 2 sticks unsalted butter at room temperature
• 1 3/4 cups sugar
• 5 large eggs at room temperature
• 1 cup buttermilk
• 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
• 1 teaspoon red food coloring

Preheat the oven to 350F

Combine flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a mixing bowl.  Sift dry ingredients three times.

Cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Add eggs one at a time, making sure to beat well after each egg.

Add 1/4 of dry ingredients to creamed mixture then approximately 1/4 of buttermilk alternating until mixed well.  Mix in vanilla and food coloring.

Fill lined cupcake pans 1/2 full of red velvet batter.  Bake for approximately 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Cool cupcakes in pans for 5 to 10 minutes then remove from pans.  Cool completely on wire racks before frosting.

NOTE:  If you don’t have buttermilk on hand you can try this simple substitution:  Place one tablespoon of lemon juice or white vinegar in an empty one cup measuring cup.  Fill with milk to 1 cup.  Let stand for 5 minutes then use in any cake recipe that calls for buttermilk.


8 ounces cream cheese at room temperature
2 tablespoons half and half
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
4 to 6 cups confectioners sugar

Beat the cream cheese, half and half and vanilla together until smooth. On low speed add the confectioners sugar until a frosting consistency is obtained. Frost the cupcakes when they are at room temperature.

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