A good friend of mine turned 30 recently and when I offered she asked for Red Velvet Cupcakes. I suggested Red Velvet Cupcakes with strawberry mascarpone frosting. She said yes and a good time was had by all. This recipe is the cupcake version of my Red Velvet Cake. They are moist, fluffy cupcakes with just a hint of chocolate. If you're looking for a birthday treat for family or friends or the perfect party treat try this recipe.
How to Make Red Velvet Cupcakes
This recipe came about because I wanted to make something nice for the staff at my husband's rehab facility. They were taking good care of him and I wanted to do a little something for the staff as a way to say thank you. And who doesn't love cupcakes? They are a perfect sized treat and they're easy to share. The staff enjoyed the cupcakes and even started to leave hints with my husband of other treats they would enjoy.
I tinkered a little with my favorite Red Velvet Cake recipe to ensure the cupcakes had a nice rise. I learned through trial and error to only fill the baking cups about 1/2 full until 2/3 full. Like my cake, I used whipped cream in the recipe which makes the cupcakes fluffier, but will also cause them to overflow the baling caps.
I've made Red Velvet cupcakes before and usually struggled with the cupcakes overflowing the cupcake liners and sticking to the top of the cupcake pan. The cupcakes were still edible, just not pretty. And of course, the same thing happened with this recipe. These cupcakes contain whipped cream to help make them fluffier and I did not take that into account when filling the cupcake liners. The second time around I filled them about half-full, maybe a little less and they came out perfect.
Strawberry Mascarpone Frosting
The strawberry frosting is a simple variation of my mascarpone frosting I used for my Red Velvet Cake recipe. I used freeze-dried strawberries to get that intense strawberry flavor and it was delicious. Freeze-dried strawberries are great because the flavor is intense and unlike a strawberry purée you don't have to worry about too much moisture making the buttercream grainy. I get my freeze-dried strawberries from Trader Joes, which carries a variety of freeze-dried fruits.
To me, cupcakes are the perfect size for parties and get-togethers and no one has to stand at the table or counter cutting the cake. I think if you try this recipe it will become one of your favorites.
Red Velvet Cupcakes
- 2.25 cups cake flour sifted
- 2 tablespoons natural cocoa powder sifted
- 1.5 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1.5 cups sugar
- 8 tablespoons unsalted butter room temperature
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs room temperature
- 1 cup buttermilk room temperature
- 1 tablespoon vinegar
- Food gel red
- 0.5 cup heavy cream
- 16 ounces mascarpone cheese room temperature
- 8 ounces unsalted butter
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 1.25 cups freeze dried strawberries
For the Red Velvet Cupcakes
- Place the beaters and the bowl for the heavy cream in the refrigerator.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line the cupcake pan(s) with cupcake liners.
- Sift the flour and cocoa into a large bowl to remove lumps. Add the baking powder, baking soda and salt and whisk to combine.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer beat the butter and the sugar and with the paddle attachment on medium-high speed until it is pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the vanilla and beat on medium speed for 30 seconds. Scrape the sides and sides and bottom of the bowl
- Add the eggs one at a time, beating on medium speed until well combined. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl and beat for another 30 seconds.
- Add 1/3 of the flour mixture and mix on low speed just until incorporated. Add 1/2 of the buttermilk. Continue to alternate the flour and the buttermilk. Scrape down the sides and the bottom of the bowl. Add three squirts of red food gel and the vinegar and mix on medium speed until the food gel and vinegar are well combined into the batter. Scrape the bottom of the bowl one more time and mix on low speed until the batter is the same color.
- For the whipping cream, remove the bowl and the beaters from the refrigerator. Beat the heavy cream until soft peaks form. Stir about 1/4 of the whipped cream into the cake batter. Then gently fold the rest of the whipped cream into the batter.
- If you have only one 12-cup cupcake pan, you cake the first batch, remove the cupcakes from the tin and bake the remaining cupcake batter.
- Fill each cupcake liner 1/2 full with batter. Do not fill more than that. The addition of the whipped cream causes the cupcakes to rise a lot. Bake the cupcakes for 18-20 minutes, remove them from the oven and place the pan on a cooling rack. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from the cupcake tins. Place 12 more cupcake liners in one of the pans and bake the remaining batter.
- Let the cupcakes cool completely for about 1 hour. Store the cupcakes in an airtight container. The cupcakes can be stored at room temperature for about 48 hours or frozen up to 2 months.
- If freezing the cupcakes, wrap each cupcake in plastic wrap. Place the cupcakes in a freezer bag or an airtight container and place them in the freezer. To unthaw the cupcakes, unwrap the cupcakes and allow them to thaw at room temperature.
For the Strawberry Mascarpone Buttercream
- In the bowl of a food processor combine the dried strawberries and 1 cup of the powdered sugar. Process until the dried strawberries and powdered sugar are thoroughly combined and the powdered sugar is pink.
- Combine the mascarpone and butter in one bowl and beat on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes. Add the powder sugar and mix on low until the sugar is well combined. Increase the speed to medium-high and beat for 3 minutes or until fluffy and smooth.
- Use a piping bag and piping tip to frost the cupcakes. If you use a knife to frost the cupcakes you might tear the top of the cupcake.