Let Them Eat (Cup)cake!

Red velvet cupcakes is a bit of melt-in-your-mouth heaven on earth

Who doesn’t like cupcakes? Cupcakes have to be among the most versatile, easy to make desserts around—and they’re a lot of fun to decorate!

They’ve been around for a long time—the history of cupcakes dates way back to the late 19th century. They were traditionally made using a 1-2-3-4 method: measuring a cup of butter, two of sugar, three cups of flour and four eggs—hence the term ‘cupcakes.’ In the last decade, cupcakes have gained in popularity and are now even being served at weddings as opposed to traditional wedding cakes.

Cupcake flavors are limited to your imagination, ranging from classic vanilla, chocolate, caramel apple to jalapeno cheddar. There’s a cupcake for everyone.

There are lots of cupcake recipes out there, but this red velvet recipe is one of our favorites. Whenever I’m back home in California, I always spend time in the kitchen with my daughter baking cupcakes. This is one of our favorite bonding times. She likes to experiment decorating cupcakes with different shapes and colors. If you love cupcakes, this recipe is really worth a try.

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Red Velvet Cupcake

  • 2 ½ cups sifted cake flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 oz. red food coloring (I use 1 tbsp food coloring and 1 tbsp water so it doesn’t look too artificially red)
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 ½ cups sugar
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup buttermilk, room temperature
  • 1 tsp white vinegar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line two 12-cup cupcake pans with cupcake liners.
  2. Sift together the cake flour, baking powder, and salt into a medium bowl and set aside.
  3. In a smaller bowl, mix the food coloring (and water) and cocoa powder to form a paste without any lumps. Set aside.
  4. In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time, then beat in the vanilla extract and the red cocoa paste. Scrape down the bowl with a spatula as you go.
  5. Add 1/3 of the flour mixture into the butter mixture, beat well, and then beat in half of the buttermilk. Beat in another third of the flour mixture, then the second half of the buttermilk, and then the remainder of the flour mixture. Beat until well combined, making sure to scrape down the bowl with a spatula.
  6. In a small bowl, mix vinegar and baking soda. Don’t use a shallow bowl because it can fizz over. Add the vinegar mixture to the cake batter and stir well.
  7. Fill cupcake cups with cake batter until they are a little under ¾ full.
  8. Bake for approximately 18-20 minutes, until the cupcakes are done.
  9. Cool cupcakes completely on a wire rack before frosting.

“Light” Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 8 oz. cream cheese,
  • room temperature
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • powdered sugar
  1. Keep bowl and beaters/whisk cool in the refrigerator before whipping the heavy cream.
  2. Whip the heavy cream until it doubles in volume and is nice and fluffy.
  3. In a separate bowl, whip the cream cheese until soft and smooth. Add sugar to taste.
  4. Fold in the whipped cream into the cream cheese.
  5. Pipe onto cooled cupcakes and enjoy!

BIO: Vietnamese chef Jack Lee has served a host of Hollywood A-listers from Angelina Jolie to Barbra Streisand, and recently returned to chef for Acacia Veranda Dining (149-151 Nguyen Du, D1). His biography by Oi writer NPD Khanh will be released next year.

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