Red Velvet Cupcakes

Red velvet cupcakes are a Southern classic. So is Paula Deen.

So it goes without saying that I have absolutely nothing to add to improve the taste of a Paula Deen red velvet cupcake recipe. But what I can improve on is the look.

A friend requested a batch of these ruby ‘cakes for her red-and-black bridal shower. I had to find a way to turn a casual, homemade Southern cupcake into something elegant and inherently bridal.

I decided to try my hand at piping dark-chocolate hearts and smothering them (and the cupcakes) with tons of white decorating pearls. The results look incredibly posh, but I promise the technique is super easy.

Just melt some chocolate chips or candy melts right into a microwave-safe squeeze bottle or disposable piping bag. Then, on a sheet of parchment or wax paper, draw a bunch of hearts (or any other design). I free-handed these, but you could easily trace over any print-out through your translucent parchment paper. Sprinkle them with some pearls before placing them in the freezer to set.

After your cupcakes are through, just drop your hearts onto your decorated cupcakes and sprinkle the frosting with some more pearls. See? Easy!

And if you want to try my—ok, ok… Paula’s recipe, here you go.

Red Velvet Cupcakes
Yields 24
For the red velvet cake
  1. 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  2. 1 ½ cups sugar
  3. 1 teaspoon baking soda
  4. 1 teaspoon salt
  5. 1 teaspoon cocoa powder
  6. 1 ½ cups vegetable oil
  7. 1 cup buttermilk, room temperature
  8. 2 large eggs, room temperature
  9. 2 tablespoons red food coloring
  10. 1 teaspoon white distilled vinegar
  11. 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the Cream Cheese Frosting
  1. 1 pound cream cheese, softened
  2. 2 sticks butter, softened
  3. 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  4. 4 cups sifted confectioners' sugar
  5. Chopped pecans and fresh raspberries or strawberries, for garnish
Make the cake
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line 24 cupcake cups with cupcake liners.
  2. In a medium mixing bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, and cocoa powder.
  3. 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 this wet mixture and mix until it's smooth and thoroughly combined.
  4. Divide the batter evenly among the cupcake tins, filling each cup around three-quarters full. Bake in oven for about 20 to 22 minutes, or until they pass the toothpick test. Remove them from the oven and cool completely before frosting.
Make the frosting
  1. In a large mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese, butter and vanilla together until smooth.
  2. Add the sugar and beat until incorporated on low speed. Then, increase the speed to high and mix until your frosting is very light and fluffy.
  3. Ice the cupcakes with a Wilton 1M star tip swirl, then add your decorations.
Adapted from Paula Deen
Adapted from Paula Deen
Taryn Williford

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