RED VELVET CUPCAKES
(makes about 28 cupcakes):
- 2 and 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 8 teaspoons natural unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 1 cup canola or vegetable oil
- 4 large eggs, room temperature and separated
- 4 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon distilled white vinegar
- liquid or gel red food colouring
- 1 cup (120ml) buttermilk, room temperature
- Preheat oven to 350F degrees. Line two 12-cup muffin pans with cupcake liners.
- Sift the flour and cornstarch together to make sure it is evenly combined. Whisk this, along with baking soda, cocoa powder, and salt together in a medium bowl. Set aside.
- Using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter on high speed until smooth and creamy – about 1 minute. Add the sugar and beat on high speed for 2 minutes until creamed together fairly well. Scrape down the sides and up the bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed. Add the oil and beat on high for 2 minutes. The butter may look “piece-y” and not completely combine with the oil. This is normal and ok.
- Add two egg yolks and the vanilla. (Set the egg whites aside.) Beat on medium-high speed until combined. Scrape down the sides and up the bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed. Beat in the vinegar and the food coloring– until you reach your desired color. I use 2 Tablespoons. With the mixer on low speed, add the dry ingredients in three additions alternating with the buttermilk, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients, and mixing each addition just until incorporated. Do not overmix. Whisk or beat the 2 egg whites until thick and foamy, about 3 minutes. Fold into cupcake batter with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon. The batter will be silky and slightly thick.
- Spoon batter into cupcake liners filling 1/2 – 2/3 of the way full. Bake for 20-21 minutes or until the tops of the cupcakes spring back when gently touched and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Don’t overbake; your cupcakes will dry out. Allow to cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then transfer to a rack to cool completely.
Cream Cheese Icing:
- 1/2 cup cream cheese, softened
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 3 cups icing sugar
- In bowl, beat cream cheese with butter; beat in vanilla. Beat in sugar in 2 additions until smooth.