Sunday, May 22, 2011

Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting.

Red Velvet Cupcakes!! So.. red. So.. devilish. So.. traffic-stoppingly gorgeous..!

My first attempt at making these little red devils for my 1st wedding anniversary last year was quite a failure. I thought there was something horribly wrong with the recipe, but in the end it turned out that i'd measured the ingredients wrongly! I wasn't very familiar with measuring ingredients using measuring cups, therefore I made a terrible mistake of packing the flour tightly into the measuring cup. As a result, my cupcakes were dry, hard and almost tasteless...!

And that is why, ladies and gentlemen, proper measuring of ingredients is critical to baking. You DON'T want your cupcakes to end up having a texture of a tennis ball. If you have no idea on how to measure ingredients using measuring cups, you can always go to a cooking conversion website to convert the cups measurement to whichever unit measurements that you are familiar with (eg. in kilograms, ounce or pounds). Here is my go to website:

So I'd finally get around to give this recipe a second try (after i've perfected my measuring skills, of course), and the result was so so so much better! The cupcakes were tender and oh-so-moist with a hint of chocolatey and unique velvety taste to it. And the creamy, tangy and sweet cream cheese frosting gave the cupcakes a satisfyingly rich finish. I totally love this. And so do others who have tasted the cupcakes =)

Rating: 8/10

(Adapted from Joy The Baker, Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook)

Makes one dozen cupcakes, double recipe to make 2 9-inch layer cakes

4 Tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg
3 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
2  Tablespoons red food coloring
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 cup plus 2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons distilled white vinegar


Place a rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fit with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about three minutes.  Turn mixer to high and add  the egg.  Scrape down the bowl and beat until well incorporated.

In a separate bowl mix together cocoa, vanilla and red food coloring to make a thick paste.  Add to the batter, mixing thoroughly until completely combined.  You may need to stop the mixer to scrape the bottom of the bowl, making sure that all the batter gets color.

Turn mixer to low and slowly add half of the buttermilk.  Add half of the flour and mix until combined.  Scrape the bowl and repeat the process with the remaining milk and flour.  Beat on high until smooth.

Turn mixer to low and add baking soda and white vinegar.  Turn to high and beat a few more minutes.

Spoon batter into a paper lined cupcake baking pan and bake at 325 F for 20-25 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the center cupcake comes out clean.

Let rest in the pan for 10 minutes, then place them of a cooling rack to cool completely before frosting.


Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting
(Adapted from Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook)

double recipe to frost a 2 layer 9-inch cake

2 1/3 cups powdered sugar, sifted
3 Tablespoons butter, room temperature
4 ounces cream cheese, cold (I used room temperature)
scant 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Beat the powdered sugar, cinnamon, and butter together in the bowl of a stand mixer fit with a paddle attachment. Mix on medium-slow speed until it comes together and is well mixed.

Add the cream cheese all at once and beat on medium to medium-high until incorporated.

Turn the mixer to medium-high and beat for 5 minutes, or until the frosting becomes light and fluffy.

Do not over-beat as the frosting can quickly become runny.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Hot Pink Zebra Print Cake.

Zebra print is all the hype nowadays, especially on cakes, and i knew that i had to make one for my sister's birthday! I just LOOOVVVEEE the combination of Zebra print and hot pink! Totally chic!

I'm not sure whether my 9 year old sister loved it as much as i do. She had a slightly puzzled expression on her face when i presented the cake to her. She might as well be thinking that i'd gone nuts.

Can't blame her on that one though. If i were a 9 year old girl and had somebody made for me a zebra cake for my birthday, i would... give a wail of a lifetime.

 Because as a 9 year old, i would want a princess cake. Or a Barbie cake. Or any cake that had got nothing to do with the content of a zoo.

But! I'm really happy with my work. =)

I know that i need to work on the zebra print. I spent almost 2.5 hours on it!

Have i ever mention that i work at a speed of a freakin snail?


My brother commented that my cake looked like leeches were crawling all over it.

Have i ever mention that my brother can be such a leech sometimes?


But seriously.


My sister finally got over her shock of seeing zebra prints all over her cake and agreed to proceed with the cake cutting session. :D