Red Velvet Cupcakes with Heirloom Frosting

Category: Dessert

Red Velvet Cupcakes with Heirloom Frosting


  • 1 cup flour
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup buttermilk
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 oz red food dye
  • ½ tsp white vinegar
  • ¼ cup hot coffee
    Heirloom Frosting
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter softened, but not warm, cut into pieces


    For the cupcakes:
  1. Preheat oven to 325, and prep your cupcake pan (s) with paper liners.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cocoa, and salt, and set aside.
  3. In a large mixing bowl (if you’re using a standing mixer, fit it with the paddle attachment), combine the sugar and oil.
  4. Add the eggs, buttermilk, vanilla, and no-taste red dye until fully incorporated, then pour in the coffee and vinegar. Don’t skip the coffee. Remember, I have a rolling pin and I’m not afraid to use it.
  5. Reduce the mixer speed to stir, and add the dry ingredients a little at time until just combined, but there are no dry streaks left.
  6. Pour the batter by scant ¼ cupfuls into each liner. I got exactly 15 cupcakes, but you may get more or less depending on how many tastes of the batter you snuck in while you were mixing (don’t bother denying it, we all do it).
  7. Bake the cupcakes in the middle rack for about 20 minutes, or until the cake springs back when lightly touched. Mine took exactly 20 minutes, but yours may take more or less, depending on your oven.
  8. Let the cupcakes cool for about 10 minutes, then turn them out onto a cooling rack and allow them to cool completely.
    For the frosting:
  1. Combine the flour, milk, and sugar in a medium saucepan and heat over medium heat until thick, whisking constantly – and I do mean constantly. You may be tempted to increase the heat to speed up the process, but don’t. Just be patient, grasshopper.
  2. When the mixture is thick (kind of like a slightly thin pudding), remove it from the heat and allow to cool completely. It will thicken further as it cools.
  3. Transfer the cooled mixture to a large mixing bowl and stir in the vanilla. With the mixer on medium-high speed, add the butter a piece at a time until it has all been added. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, and continue beating until the frosting is thick, smooth, and fluffy throughout.
  4. Heap the frosting on the cupcakes, and enjoy!


If your butter is too cold, the frosting may look curdled at first. Just continue beating on high until the frosting smooths out.

Recipe and Photo: The Haute Meal / CC BY-SA

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