Thursday, February 14, 2013

red velvet cupcakes

Somehow it has become socially acceptable to dislike Valentine's Day.  Some people say that it's a meaningless marketing scam run by card and chocolate companies.  Others try to be witty, saying that we should profess our love every day of the year.




You all need to relax.  I hate Halloween -- but you don't hear me complaining!
I remember in lower school we would get to decorate a big envelope with glitter, puffy paint, and heart shaped doilies. Everyone in the class would exchange cut-out Dora the Explorer valentines and Hershey's Kisses.  
...and everyone liked Valentine's Day. 


Fast-forward 5 years, and (unlike a few of my friends) I still like Valentine's day -- maybe I'm a bit biased because I love arts and crafts, chocolate, and sparkly, corny love notes. 


Valentine's Day shouldn't be a day to be sad that you're single, or rolling your eyes at every lovey-dovey couple you see.   It's a national holiday, so you might as well get into it. I can't think of a better way to do that than with cupcakes. There's something special for everyone (and it all starts with these cupcakes).

If you have a significant other, good for you.  Make a batch of these cupcakes, turn on a good movie or romantic music. Valentine's Day = done. 


If you're crushing for someone, an you see a glimmer that he or she might feel the same -- maybe you can finally get something going.  What better way to do so than with a cupcake that says "text me" on it.  Bazinga.  Valentine's Day + new number = done. 


If there is a boy who's always on your bus, and you've been wondering what his name is, what books he reads, and what your children would look like, speak up today! Better an 'oh well' than a 'what if' right?! If you get a positive vibe, you can go back to your place and give him one of these cupcakes.  New love  + Valentine's Day = done. 


If you're spending Valentine's Day with your girlfriends,  thank them for listening to all of your boy woes for the past year.  Nothing says "thanks for listening" quite like red velvet.


If your friends are all with their boyfriends or they don't condone Valentine's day (their loss), it's all good. Just make these cupcakes and share some with all of the people in your life who touch your heart every day -- teachers, little kids in the neighborhood, the ladies at the local community center, and the postman with the really nice smile. 
 
It's Valentine's Day, why not spread a little love?
With love, 
Erica

Red Velvet Cupcakes

Ingredients 
1 (18.25 ounce) package red velvet cake mix
1 (3.4 ounce) package instant chocolate pudding mix
1 cup sour cream
1 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs, lightly beaten
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 tablespoon coffee granules dissolved in 1/2 cup warm water



Preheat oven to 350
degrees F.   Line 24 muffin wells with paper liners.
Beat together the cake and pudding mixes, sour cream, oil, eggs, vanilla and instant coffee mixture until well combined.
Distribute the batter between 24 muffin wells. (I like to use an ice cream scoop)
Bake for 18-22 minutes or until the tops of the cakes spring back when lightly touched. Allow cupcakes to cool inside muffin tins for about 10 minutes.
Remove cupcakes from muffin tins and allow to fully cool on a wire rack. Once cupcakes are cool, prepare your frosting.

 Cream Cheese Frosting

Ingredients 
 

1 stick softened butter
1/2 cup crisco

8 oz. cream cheese, room temperature

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

5-6 cups powdered sugar

1-3 tablespoons milk

 

Place butter, crisco and cream cheese in the bowl of a stand mixer and beat until smooth.
Add vanilla extract and powdered sugar (1 cup at a time) and blend on low speed until combined. Increase to medium speed and beat until it begins to get fluffy.

Slowly add the milk until you reach desired consistency.

Beat until fluffy, about 1 minute.



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17 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Hahaha glad you're on the same page! Happy Valentines Day!

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  2. Hahah, bazinga! You're so cute :) I hope some worthy young male got one of these lovelies!

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  3. I love your photography! And I miss those days when we just sent everyone in our class cute little Valentine's cards and candies.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you! I miss those days as well, I still make a point of baking little VDay treats for my friends.

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  4. Yes, love it! Having a movie night in with my girlfriends eating copious amounts of chocolate. Perfect single VDay. These cupcakes do look delicious though!

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  5. Erica, these cupcakes are so cute. The first photo is absolutely beautiful!

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  6. Cuuute post. And so true! Red velvet makes everything absolutely better...and I love the idea of slipping one of these into the path of the boy next door and seeing what happens. Have you seen the Paperman short video Pixar came out with last year? Totally reminiscent of that (and if you haven't seen it, you should! I can't find it online, but nonetheless.)

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    Replies
    1. Haha that was my favorite one of the ideas as well. I have not seen the Paperman video, but I am going to go look for it now! I love Pixar!

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  7. These look so good! So cute too.
    You've photographed them so well.
    Sacramenta xx

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  8. How did these cupcakes taste? Would love to hear how the recipe went as I've been trying out different red velvet recipes. :)

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