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How to Make the Best Red Velvet Cupcakes

Learn how to make the best red velvet cupcakes from professional cake decorator Amanda Oakleaf in this Howcast video.


Hi. My name is Amanda Oakleaf. I am owner, head baker, decorator of Amanda Oakleaf Cakes in Winthrop, Massachusetts, where we do cupcakes, custom cakes, wedding cakes, birthday cakes. Anything you can think of, we can make it into a cake. And today, I will be talking to you about baking cupcakes. So now, we're going to make red velvet cake and we have two and a half ounces of butter. And you mixing it with the paddle attachment. And you can turn it on medium speed. We have a cup and a half of white sugar. And we're also going to add an eighth of a cup of canola oil. Butter gives the cake lots of flavor and the canola oil keeps it nice and moist. And we can turn that up and let it whip until it is nice and fluffy. We can also add the vanilla. We got one teaspoon of vanilla. While that's whipping, we can get our dry ingredients ready. We have two and a half cups of cake flour. And we have two tablespoons of cocoa, one teaspoon of baking powder and a half of teaspoon of salt. And you want to just whisk them together. That breaks up any lumps and also incorporates the baking powder and the salt. And we can get our last ingredient which is the buttermilk ready. We have one cup of buttermilk and we're also going to add some red food coloring. It's two tablespoons of red and we're going to add that to the milk. And that's ensures that the red will be incorporated smoothly. You can give the butter a scrape down to make sure everything is getting mixed in. So when the butter and sugar is nice and fluffy, we're going to add the eggs. We have two eggs. You want to add one at a time. And scrape down between each addition. Add the last egg. OK. Now with the mixer on low, we're going to alternate the flour mixture and the buttermilk. You want to start and end with the flour. I try to do it in three additions; a little bit of the flour, a little bit of the milk. When your just about to the end, give it a stop. Scrape it down. Just as the flour's incorporated, we can take it off the mixer. We have one last ingredient to add, a mixture of two ingredients which is kind of the secret of red velvet. We have a teaspoon of vinegar, white vinegar in a small bowl. And we're going to add a teaspoon of baking soda. And just like elementary school volcanoes, it fizzes. And make sure it's stirred until it's all the way dissolved. And you want to stir it by hand into the batter. Make sure it is all in there. And that's going to create extra rise in the batter, so it's a nice and fluffy cake in the end. The vinegar also gives the batter a little zing. So that's our batter and we want to fill our cupcake tins. I use a two ounce ice cream scooper. You can use a fourth of a cup. And the red velvet bakes up quite a bit, so you can only fill them up about three quarters of the way full. Any more full, they'll probably bake over the edge and become more like muffins. Makes about a dozen and a half cupcakes. And we want to bake on 350. And after about twelve minutes, we can take our red velvet cakes out of the oven and check for doneness. Take a toothpick, insert it into the middle of a cupcake. If it comes out clean or with a few small crumbs, then it's done. Let it cool. If it comes out with some gooey batter on it, just throw it back in the oven for another two to three minutes, but just let them cool and you're ready to frost.

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