Christmas is one of those seasons that has a contagious mood, and it makes everyone want to be happy. The lights, the colors, and the happiness of the season is amazing.
My family isn’t Christian, but since we’ve been in America for so long, we’ve taken on some of the traditions, and added many of our own.
The week before Christmas when I was four I saw a red velvet cake for the first time. This may sound strange, but in my little four year old head there were only to types of cupcakes: chocolate and vanilla, and chocolate was the better one. When I saw this red velvet cupcake, frankly: it blew my mind, I was amazed, and immediately obsessed. So for that Christmas, a new tradition started: we would have red velvet cake for a snack on Christmas along with our tea. A strange tradition, yes, but it’s something I just love and look forward to every year.
The tradition has altered a little, now instead of just having cake, my sister decided that cupcakes were I quote: In style, and definitely cuter. Admittedly, I don’t like red velvet cake as much as I used to, the cake part’s flavor isn’t all that amazing. However my mother and sister are great fans, and I still remain a fan of cream cheese icing on the cake, so the tradition remains.
Red Velvet Cupcakes
From Confetti Cakes Cookbook, via Smitten Kitchen
- 3 1/2 cups cake flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1 ½ cup canola oil
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 3/4 cup of melted and slightly cooled semi sweet chocolate
- 3 large eggs
- At least five table spoons of food coloring (this can be increased or decreased by the red color you want, since this recipe has a good amount of chocolate in it, it takes a whole lot more coloring to make it red and same goes for any other colors you feel the urge to try out)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
- 1 ¾ cup buttermilk
- 2 teaspoons baking soda & 2 1/2 teaspoons white vinegar mixed together
- Preheat oven to 350 and line cupcake tray with liners.
- Whisk together the cake flour and salt in a medium sized bowl.
- Mix together the canola oil, sugar, the chocolate and the eggs( don’t put the chocolate in immediately after heating it! Let it cool down a little, other wise it can scramble the eggs) in a large bowl until smooth.
- Add the food coloring
- Add the butter milk and the flour alternately to the oil/egg/sugar/chocolate bowl, and mix to smoothness, then add the vinegar/baking soda mixture…
- fill the cupcake trays
- bake for about 25 minutes(i reccomend letting it bake fifteen minutes, then coming back and checking, every five or six minutes after), until you are able to put a tooth pick in it, and pull it out cleanly.
- 8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter room temperature (you need it at room temperature, other it won’t blend smoothly)
- 3 cups confectioner’s sugar, sifted ( you may need more if you want a stiffer icing, in these pictures i used 4 1/2 cups)
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon espresso (optional, i just find that it adds something extra to the whole cupcake)
- Mix together cream cheese, butter, vanilla extract, and espresso.
- add cup, by cup of sugar and beat it, till fluffy and light. (mixers make it easier)
Enjoy, and happy holidays!