Tag Archives: cream cheese

Red Velvet Cupcakes with Coconut Cream Cheese Frosting

When I think red velvet, I think Rhett Butler and Scarlett O’Hara—sitting in a grand dining hall, dressed in ball gowns AND eating red velvet cake. Well, Rhett wouldn’t have worn a dress, but they could have eaten cupcakes.

For my first experience with this cake, I have to admit slight disappointment. At least I can cross it off my list of “Must Try” foods. Without the frosting, all I taste is a cavity waiting to happen. Taste aside, however, as a cake or cupcake, they’re absolutely gorgeous, like seriously stunning. The deep, intense red is so sexy. I loooove it!

So I followed the recipe exactly, except for the frosting, to which I added a cup of coconut flakes—because coconut makes everything taste better. This makes 24 cupcakes, but I halved the amounts and just made 12.

Enjoy!

Red Velvet Cupcakes (ever so slightly adapted from Cook’s Illustrated via Gonna Want Seconds)

printable recipe

Makes 24 cupcakes or two 9-inch cake layers

INGREDIENTS

Cake

2 1/4 cups (11 1/4 ounces) all-purpose flour

1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

pinch of table salt

1 cup buttermilk or 1 cup whole or reduced-fat milk plus 1 tbsp lemon juice (let sit for at least 10 min.)

1 tablespoon white vinegar

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 large eggs

2 tablespoons natural cocoa powder

1-1 ounce bottle red food coloring

12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened

1 1/2 cups (10 1/2 ounces) granulated sugar

Coconut Cream Cheese Frosting

16 tablespoons (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened

4 cups (16 ounces) confectioner’s sugar

16 ounces cream cheese, softened and cut into 8 pieces

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla

pinch of table salt

1 cup dried, unsweetened grated coconut, optional

METHOD

Cake

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour two 9-inch cake pans or line cupcake pans with liners.
  2. In a medium bowl mix flour, baking soda and salt.
  3. In another bowl add buttermilk, vinegar, vanilla and eggs and whisk to combine.
  4. Sift cocoa into a small bowl the mix with food coloring until it forms a paste.
  5. Beat butter and sugar together, in a standing mixer, set on medium, for 2 minutes. Scrape down bowl.
  6. Add 1/3 of flour mixture and and beat on medium speed just until it’s incorporated. Add 1/2 the buttermilk mixture and beat on low until combined.  Scrape down the bowl. Add 1/3 of flour mixture and beat on medium until incorporate. Add the rest of buttermilk mixture beat on low until combine. Add last 1/3 of flour mixture and beat on medium until just combined.  Scrape down the bowl.
  7. Add the cocoa paste mixture and beat on medium until incorporated. Scrape down the bowl and make sure the bottom of the batter is incorporating as well. Give the batter a final good stir with a rubber spoonula to mix completely and pour into prepared pans.
  8. Bake cake/cupcakes in preheated oven about 25 minutes for cake and 20 minutes for cupcakes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. (18 would’ve sufficed for me.) Cool cakes in pans 10 minutes, then turn out onto wire rack to cool completely, at least 30 minutes.

Frosting

  1. In a stand mixer, beat butter and sugar on medium until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add cream cheese, 1 piece at a time, and beat until incorporate. Beat in vanilla, salt and if using, grated coconut. Spread or pipe on completely cooled cakes/cupcakes.

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Zucchini Swirl Bread

It’s freezing outside and they say it’s going to S-N-O-W! I’m a city girl and a big scaredy pants in winter weather! So, with bad weather a-threatening outside and the kitchen so warm and inviting inside, I’m in the mood for baaaaking!

Zucchini bread—it surprises me every time. How can something so green and bitter become so moist and sweet? And how come it doesn’t taste anything like zucchini??? “I don’t know. It’s a mystery!” (Gold star to anyone who knows which film that’s from!) I used a recipe I found on CookWomanFood.com, and the only thing I changed was to add a cream cheese swirl—an excellent addition in my opinion.

Anyway, this was just delightful. No butter—love that (I might even replace the oil with applesauce next time); all my favorite warming spices—hooray for fall; and lots of lots of crunchy bits—I do adore those. 🙂 It’s irresistable; my mama couldn’t stop eating it!!

Enjoy!

Zucchini Swirl Bread (from CookWomanFood.com)

printable recipe

Makes 2 loaves

INGREDIENTS

3 cups flour

1 cup white sugar (I used raw cane)

1 cup brown sugar

2 tsp baking soda

1 tsp ground cloves

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp nutmeg

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp baking powder

2/3 cup vegetable oil

4 cups chopped zucchini

3 eggs

1 cup chopped nuts (I used almonds)

1 cup golden raisins (I used regular)

8 oz cream cheese at room temp, plus 1/4 cup sugar, or to taste

METHOD

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 F.
  2. Mix the flour, sugars, baking soda, ground cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt and baking powder in a large bowl.
  3. In a blender, mix together vegetable oil, zucchini and eggs until smooth.
  4. Pour wet ingredients into dry and stir until just combined. Add in raisins and nuts and again, stir in quickly.
  5. Mix together cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Set aside.
  6. Fill each loaf pan to half full. Then, spread the cream cheese filling equally among the two pans. Pour the remaining batter into both pans. With a knife or end of a wooden spoon, gently draw a few swirls in the batter to marbleize it.
  7. Bake for 1 hour, or until a skewer inserted comes out clean.