Food & Drink

Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting | What’s Cooking

Moist red velvet cupcake recipe from scratch with cream cheese frosting. Nordstrom; photo by Jeff Powell.

Those right there (↑↑↑) are some moist red velvet cupcakes…in case you’re into that sort of thing. These little guys are just the right amount of sweet with a light, fluffy crumb and their hue is a deep, cherry red, which I prefer to the usual candy red variety of red velvet cakes. The perfect foil for these? Our Cream Cheese Frosting with just a little lemon for a hint of tangy brightness.

I wanted to top these with a generous amount of icing, so I doubled the frosting recipe and piped out a tall, spiraling tower of creamy deliciousness. Bring a batch of these to your next party (I did!); they’ll be the most popular thing there.

Moist red velvet cupcake recipe from scratch with cream cheese frosting. Nordstrom; photo by Jeff Powell.

Red-Velvet-Cupcakes-Ingredients

Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting
From our Family Table Cookbook and Marketplace Café
(Makes 24 cupcakes)

Red Velvet Cupcakes
2 1/2 cups cake flour (not self-rising)
1/3 cup Dutch-process cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups canola oil
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup buttermilk
1 tablespoon red food coloring
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon cider vinegar

1. Position racks in center and top third of the oven and preheat it to 350°F. Line 24 standard muffin cups with paper liners.

2. To make the Red Velvet Cupcakes, sift the flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt together into a large bowl. In another large bowl, beat the oil and eggs with an electric mixer on high speed until thickened, about 3 minutes. Gradually beat in the granulated sugar, then the buttermilk, food coloring, vanilla and vinegar. In thirds, with the mixer on low speed, add the flour mixture, occasionally scraping down the sides of the bowl, and mix until smooth.

3. Divide the batter evenly among the muffin cups, filling each two-thirds full. Bake, with one pan to a rack, until a wooden toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Let cool in the pans for 5 minutes. Remove the pans and transfer to wire racks to cool completely.

Cream Cheese Frosting
1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, at room temperature
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
2 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
24 fresh raspberries for garnish
Chocolate curls for garnish (see note below)

1. To make the cream cheese frosting, beat the cream cheese, butter, vanilla, and lemon juice together in a large bowl with an electric mixer on high speed. With the mixer on low speed, gradually beat in enough of the confectioners’ sugar; when it’s smooth and spreadable, it’s ready to frost. After frosting, top each cupcake with a fresh raspberry and a few chocolate curls. (The cupcakes can be made up to 1 day ahead, stored in an airtight container at room temperature.)

Frosting cupcakes with a piping bag.

Moist red velvet cupcake recipe from scratch with cream cheese frosting. Nordstrom; photo by Jeff Powell.

Note: To make the chocolate curls, let a chunk of chocolate (at least 6 ounces) stand in a warm place in the kitchen for about 1 hour. Working over a plate, use a vegetable peeler to shave curls from the chocolate. Refrigerate for at least 15 minutes to firm the curls before using.

Try this recipe and others at a Nordstrom restaurant near you, and find more recipes to make at home in our What’s Cooking series and Nordstrom Cookbooks (available in selected Nordstrom restaurants and Ebars).

Have a favorite dish or beverage from our restaurants or cookbooks that you’d like to see featured? Let us know in the comments!

—Jeff Powell (photos and intro)