Be My Valentine Cupcakes

I know you are thinking… wow, she’s making more desserts?! Yes, I sure am!! And RJ is one happy man! He will be on some serious sugar high’s this week! But because it’s Valentine’s Day, I had to bake some more treats! I saw a recipe for Red Velvet Cupcakes and thought I would give it a whirl! I’ve never made Red Velvet anything before, so I was a bit timid about making these, especially when I saw the end result of the cupcake mix! It was so red! But they ended up turning out marvelously!

I did however have a hard time tasting the cocoa powder, so next time I make these, I will definitely add more cocoa powder and see how it turns out. I also decided to add a tsp of almond extract to the cream cheese frosting to give it a little more flavor and it turned out very tasty!

Lets begin by lining your muffin/cupcake tins with paper liners. Preheat your oven to 375ºF. Next take a medium sized bowl and whisking your dry ingredients together. This will be your cake flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt. In an electric stand mixer, combine your eggs, buttermilk, vegetable oil, food coloring, vanilla, and vinegar. Beat on medium speed until blended well, then turn it down to low speed and pour your dry ingredients in small portions. I usually divide into 4 sections. This will take about 2 minutes, or until it is well blended.

Next divide your batter into the cupcake tin as evenly as you can. I use an ice cream scooper to help me keep the same amount. Bake in the oven for 18 minutes, being sure to rotate the pans halfway through. When the timer is up, take a toothpick and insert into the middle of the cupcakes to make sure they are done. You will know this because the toothpick will come out clean. Wait 5 minutes then transfer the cupcakes onto a wire rack to cool completely.

While the cupcakes are cooling, go ahead and make your cream cheese frosting. I have used this recipe before when I made the Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins, one of my favorites! In a stand mixer, cream together your cream cheese and butter on medium-high speed for 2-3 minutes. Make sure your cream cheese is chilled and your butter is at room temp.

Next sift in your powdered sugar. Then add your imitation vanilla extract (this keeps the frosting white!) and almond extract. Mix on low speed for another 2-3  minutes or until well blended and creamy. And for another few minutes beat on high speed.

Now you can decorate your cupcakes!! Make sure they are completely cool before you do so. I used a star shaped tip for my frosting.  I also found those cute sugar letters at Michael’s! I hope you have a Happy Valentine’s Day and treat yourself (and your special someone) to these lovely treats!! Enjoy 🙂

What you’ll need:

For the cupcakes:
2½ cups cake flour
1½ cups sugar
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tbsp. cocoa powder
1 tsp. salt
2 large eggs
1½ cups vegetable oil
1 cup buttermilk
2 tbsp. (1 oz.) liquid red food coloring
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. distilled white vinegar

For the frosting:
10 oz. cream cheese, chilled
6½ tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
3¼ cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
4 tsp. clear vanilla extract

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