Red Velvet Cupcakes

I promise this is the LAST post from the bridal shower!  As a thank you for attending the bridal shower, Elizabeth (amazing bridesmaid who helped bake desserts and cohost the shower) baked these red velvet cupcakes and placed them in mason jars for each guest, while I simply packaged them with a spoon, label, and twine.  Yep, I got off easy on this task.  Since I wasn’t actually the preparer of said dessert, I unfortunately do not have step-by-step pictures to accompany the instructions, but luckily our creative idea source over at Cakies has extremely helpful pictures if you need them!  The best part about this recipe is that you can simply make the delicious cupcakes and frosting and decorate them like normal cupcakes!

Ingredients:

for the cupcakes:
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 1/4 tsp cocoa powder
1 1/2 cup canola oil
1 cup buttermilk, room temperature
2 large eggs, room temperature
2 tbsp red food coloring
1 tsp white distilled vinegar
2 tsp vanilla extract

for the cream cheese frosting:
1 pound cream cheese, softened
2 sticks butter, softened
2 tsp vanilla extract
4 cups sifted powdered sugar

Directions:

for the cupcakes:
In a medium mixing bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, and cocoa powder. In a large bowl gently beat together the oil, buttermilk, eggs, food coloring, vinegar, and vanilla with a handheld electric mixer. Add the sifted dry ingredients to the wet and mix until smooth and thoroughly combined.  Spray the cupcake pan with Pam and fill each 2/3 full with batter.  Bake in oven for about 17-20 minutes at 350 degrees turning the pans once, half way through.  Remove from oven and let cool five minutes before removing and letting cool completely on a wire rack before frosting.

for the frosting:
In a large mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese, butter and vanilla together until smooth. Add the sugar and on low-speed, beat until incorporated. Increase the speed to high and mix until very light and fluffy.

for the mason jars:
Once the cupcakes have cooled completely, slice them in half creating a stack of tops and bottoms.  Place 1 bottom in each mason jar followed by a layer of frosting.  Take the top of the cupcake and place on top of the layer of frosting.  Gently smash the top into inside the jar to create a flat surface on top.  Add another layer of frosting, cover with lids, and package however you would like!

Packaging Supplies Used:

Ball 8 Ounce Mason Jar
Birchware Compostable Wooden Spoons
Avery Print-to-the-Edge Round Labels in Kraft
Regency Baker’s Twine in Red

**Source:  Original Cupcakes Recipe, Updated Recipe and Mason Jars**

Red Velvet Brownies

Once a month I join together with a few gal pals to partake in booze book club, a disguised excuse for us to eat appetizers, drink wine, and share life updates.  On Friday, I made these red velvet brownies with white chocolate buttercream frosting to share with the ladies, one who even stated “one of the best red velvet I’ve ever had”.  I apologize about the lack of quality and number of photos, I made these brownies quickly and took last minute pictures with my phone while at book club.

Ingredients:

for the brownies:
3 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1 oz red food coloring
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs, room temperature
1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt

for the white chocolate buttercream frosting:
1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
4 oz quality white chocolate, I used Ghirardelli
1-2 tbsp heavy cream

Brownie Directions:

1.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Butter and flour an 8″ x 8″ baking dish.

2.  In a small bowl, stir together the cocoa powder, food coloring, and 1 tsp vanilla slowly until a thick paste without any cocoa remains forms.  Set aside.

3.  Using a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, beat together the butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.

4.  Add eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition.  Stir in the remaining 1 tsp of vanilla.

5.  With the mixer off, add in the cocoa mixture.  On medium speed, beat the two mixtures together until they are one consistent color.

6.  Slowly add in the flour and salt; mix on medium-low speed just until combined.  Do not over-mix.

7.  Remove the bowl from the mixer.  Using a rubber spatula, stir the batter once or twice to ensure all of the flour has been mixed thoroughly.

8.  Pour the batter into the prepared baking dish and bake 30-40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the center of the brownies.  Allow the brownies to completely cool in the pan on a baking rack about 45-60 minutes.  Frost brownies in the pan.

Buttercream Frosting Directions:

1.  Using a stand mixer and the paddle attachment, cream butter until soft and fluffy.

2.  Beat in the vanilla.

3.  Turn the mixer to low speed, slowly add in 1/2 cup of powdered sugar at a time allowing the sugar to mix in completely before adding more.  Once all the sugar has been added, beat on medium speed 30 seconds and scrape down the sides of the bowl.

4.  Add in the melted white chocolate and beat on medium speed.

5.  On low, mix in heavy cream 1 tbsp at a time until frosting has reached your desired consistency.

***Recipe Source:  Smells Like Home***