If there’s one recipe that brings back a lot of great memories – it has to be Red Velvet cupcakes. This was probably one of the first recipes, the first cake/cupcake recipe that I tried with stellar results. It was around mid-March of last year that I made a really great Red Velvet, as a response to Julie Ruble of Willowbird Baking’s call for a cheesecake challenge. I made Cheesecake Stuffed Red Velvet cupcakes with Streusel, and that pretty much set the bar on how I want my Red Velvets.
March last year was a great month for me. Coinciding with the production of these great cupcakes, I really started to solidify my love for cooking. The last few posts in my old blog were devoted to food. The pictures, though not as great as I wanted it to be, reminded me of the baby steps I was taking.
Last year, I had around two weeks without anything to do after my final exams, so I cooked while waiting for my graduation. Graduating with honors left me with an incomparable high that took time to abate. And I’m glad I had to review for my licensure exam and put my blog on hold because that just made me go into food blogging more determined to put myself out there. I said goodbye to my old blog and here I am, reincarnated so to speak.
And personally, out of all the recipes on my blog, I’m really happy that I get to share this one the most because, well, I love it so much. It has been a long time coming.
No Red Velvet I’ve tasted so far comes close (immodesty aside; hey, I don’t brag a lot). This time, however, after much thought, I decided to not to use Julie’s recipe and use Ginny Roces’ Red Velvet recipe from her book, Bake Me A Cake. There are a few subtle differences between the two recipes, but I just really hoped Ginny’s red velvet recipe would be as good as Julie’s.
The verdict: after increasing the amount of chocolate needed, I’m really pleased with the outcome. For those of you who have tried Julie’s recipe, this is just as good. For those who have yet to make a red velvet, well, this is a perfect recipe to pave way for a fruitful love affair with the little cake flavor that could.
You can forego the streusel, but I just think that streusel + cream cheese + red velvet is the one. Everything is done for good measure after all. And seriously, this is something full of good measure.
Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cheesecake and Streusel Topping (makes around 35 – 36 cupcakes OR two 9-inch round cakes; adapted from Bake Me A Cake by Ginny Roces de Guzman)
Cream Cheese Filling
- 1 cup/ 8 ounces (227 grams) cream cheese, room temperature
- 1/3 cup (65 grams) granulated white sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/3 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup butter, cubed
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/3 teaspoon salt
- 3 – 4 tablespoons cocoa powder
- 1 1/2 cups butter (I used 1 cup/1 block butter AND 1/2 cup vegetable shortening)
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 2 eggs
- 4 egg yolks
- 1 1/2 cups evaporated milk
- 2 tablespoons red food coloring (liquid, like McCormick)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- Make the cream cheese filling: In your electric mixer, or with a hand mixer, beat the cream cheese until smooth. Add the sugar, egg, and vanilla extract and beat until creamy and smooth. Set aside in the refrigerator.
- Make the streusel: In a bowl, combine the ingredients together and mix well. Using a fork or a pastry cutter, “cut in” the butter pieces into the flour and sugar mixture until it resembles coarse crumbs. Set aside in the refrigerator.
- Make the cupcakes: preheat oven to 350 F/180 C. Line a 12-piece cupcake tin with paper cups/liners. If you’re baking cake, line two 9-inch round baking pans with wax or baking paper.
- Using a fine mesh strainer, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cocoa powder in a bowl.
- In a bowl, beat the butter with an electric mixer until light and creamy. Add the sugar gradually and continue to beat until light and fluffy, around 5 – 10 minutes. Add the eggs and the egg yolks one at a time, while continuing to beat until well mixed.
- Combine the evaporated milk, red food color, and vanilla in a bowl. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the flour mixture and milk alternately to the butter mixture. Scrape down the sides of the bowl to make sure the batter is thoroughly mixed.
- Pour the batter into the prepared tins, until halfway up the sides. Resist the urge to overfill. Using a tablespoon, add the cream cheese mixture on top.
- Two methods in adding the streusel: Method 1 – You may choose to add it immediately prior to baking. This partially melts the streusel and you are left with a few coarse crumbs on top (which is still pretty good). Put it in the oven and bake for 20 minutes, or when a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the center of the cupcake.
- Method 2 - After adding the cream cheese topping, place the pan into the oven and bake for around 5 – 7 minutes, or until the batter is beginning to rise. Remove from oven and sprinkle streusel over the batter. Return it to the oven and bake it for around 15 – 20 minutes more, until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the center of the cupcake. This will yield cupcakes with a more generous, prominent streusel topping. This is more taxing but if you’re after the streusel, then it’s really worth it.
- When done, remove from oven and allow to cool slightly. Serve warm or cold and enjoy!