How to make moist red velvet cupcakes with chocolate ganache baked right into the mix. Get luscious unmistakable chocolate flavor that's seriously good topped with melt-in-your-mouth cream cheese frosting. Red velvet cupcakes are ever popular but it's hard to find a good recipe. Now you're privy to our secret recipe. This recipe has been in the works. We've worked and reworked it until we got it just the way we like red velvets to taste. We hope you'll like it too. The cake should be moist, taste good on its own even without frosting, have distinct chocolate flavor, not be just red, not be just sweet, and by the way, isn't too sweet. Pair it with perfect luscious cream cheese frosting. Together, they're fabulous. Moist. Chocolatey. Velvety. Creamy. Cheesy. Did we mention moist? Make jumbo cupcakes, standard cupcakes, or mini cupcakes with this recipe. Just follow the appropriate bake time for each size above.
Our secrets? Guess they're not secrets anymore! For the cupcake batter, we use equal portions of cake flour and all purpose flour. To make moist cupcakes, skip the butter in the batter as some traditional recipes dictate and use oil instead, but not just any vegetable oil. We use sunflower seed oil, a neutral-tasting odorless oil that can handle high heat and happens to have nutritionally beneficial properties. It's a healthier oil but it's not always the easiest to find. Just so you know, we've consistently found it at Whole Foods. Then we use just enough food color to achieve that beautiful red gem-like hue that's expected of these cupcakes without going overboard. Oh, and let's not forget the chocolate ganache made from Ghirardelli bittersweet chocolate baked right into the mix. We make a quick ganache by coarsely chopping the bittersweet chocolate bar and melting it with cream in the microwave using the lowest power level. That's added right into the batter. The chocolate ganache not only adds yummy chocolate flavor, it also deepens the red color of the cake to a dark crimson, a much more appetizing color than bright red in our opinion. It also contributes to making super moist cupcakes. Lastly, preheat your oven early on. Get it hot. It'll make your cupcakes rise into the best domes. No level plateaus here.
For efficiency, we use an ice cream scoop or a cookie dough scoop (depending on desired size) with a spring release squeeze handle to quickly divvy and fill cupcake liners. If you're an avid baker, these tools will reduce prep time and help create uniform cupcakes. For the jumbo cupcakes, a 3" ice cream scoop works well. For standard cupcakes, use a 4 TBSP scoop. And for mini cupcakes, a 1 1/2 TBSP cookie dough scoop is perfect. As for cupcake liners, you've got options. Plain white paper liners are widely available and cheap. Grease proof liners come in many colors and patterns and may cost a little more but will keep your cupcakes from leaking oil onto surfaces and they also keep cupcakes moist.
For the frosting, we like one with pronounced buttery cream cheese flavor that's sweet, but not too sweet. We think we've got the best cream cheese to butter to powdered sugar ratio for a perfect flavor combination and pure melt-in-your-mouth texture. For starters, our recipe calls for Kraft Philadelphia original cream cheese. We add to that Challenge "European style" salted butter for its silky creamy texture. Yes, we said salted butter. We went ahead and used salted butter instead of having to add salt granules to the frosting ourselves. For structure, we add just enough powdered sugar to get the frosting to lightly crust and hold its shape without being exceedingly sweet. Why do we want it to crust? Because crusting makes it easier to handle and transport, smearing less readily. Because the crust acts as a barrier to the elements and keeps our frosting fresh and moist underneath. Because it holds our beautiful frosting in spectacular shape for the final reveal. It won't deflate or melt over time. This frosting begins to crust in 30 minutes uncovered, keeps well at room temperature, and doesn't need refrigeration after it's been piped onto the cupcakes. Keep in mind, room temperature is roughly 77°F. This frosting makes our moist red velvet cupcakes creamy, a little tangy, and utterly fabulous.
A match made in cupcake heaven.
What size cupcakes should you make? What best decides which size to make is really what event you're making cupcakes for. Check our chart above to see how many cupcakes can be made from a batch and see how many batches you need for the number of people attending. Now, ask yourself how much time you want to spend in the kitchen baking. A single batch can make as many as 48 mini cupcakes. Jumbos are ideal as individual gifts, one per person, for wedding favors, bake sales or more intimate small birthday gatherings. Standard size cupcakes are great for medium size birthday parties. But mini cupcakes are our favorite. Minis are fantastic for large group gatherings like potlucks, picnics, family get-togethers, church events, business functions, or for when you want to encourage people to try lots of different foods, as in a tasting event.
We love mini cupcakes. They offer perfect bite-size indulgences that won't make you feel guilty. This recipe makes 48 mini red velvet cupcakes. That's 2 sheets of 24-cup minis. Follow the bake time above to bake perfectly domed minis. As they bake, they'll rise and puff up to the quintessential cupcake shape, but in miniature form. Then use a light hand and a smaller decorating tip to pipe on the frosting. We used a Wilton #10 round decorating tip for the mini cupcakes above. You can easily overdo the ratio of frosting to cake if you pipe it on too thick and upset the balance of flavor. Mini cupcakes are the cutest things and people really respond to them. Stand by and watch as they gobble up your minis in no time!
Make moist homemade red velvet cupcakes that rival bakery cupcakes. It's a recipe with perfect measurements for moist luscious red velvets so you don't have to experiment. Leftovers, if any, store well at room temperature in a closed container. Don't skimp on the ingredients. Use quality ingredients and you'll get amazing cupcakes. You have to try it to believe it.