Friday, February 14, 2014

Red Velvet Cupcakes

What says Valentine's Day better than Red Velvet Cupcakes?
Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese frosting piped to look like a rose!

These cupcakes have a few steps to them, but if you really want to WOW your valentine, these cupcakes can't be beat.

I'll be honest, though. My husband doesn't get super excited about red velvet. I made these more for me than for him. With that said, he still thought these cupcakes were delicious!

Red Velvet Cupcakes with Ganache Filling and Cream Cheese Frosting

Ganache Filling:
Note: I prepared my ganache the day before making the cupcakes, so it had time to firm up in the fridge overnight.

1/2 C heavy whipping cream
1 C semisweet chocolate chips

1. Place chocolate chips in a heat-proof bowl. Set aside.
2. In a small saucepan, heat the heavy whipping cream over low heat. Cook until bubbles just start to form around the edges of the pan. DO NOT bring to a boil. *You can do this in the microwave if you prefer, but it's impossible to see through the "window" of my microwave, so I always end up overheating the cream when I try.
3. As soon as the cream is ready, pour over the chocolate. Quickly cover the bowl with foil.
4. Let sit for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, mix the chocolate and cream mixture, using a whisk, until fully combined. The result will be a shiny, smooth chocolately ganache.
5. Refrigerate until ready to use.

1 box Betty Crocker Red Velvet Cake Mix
1 1/2 C Water
1/2 C Vegetable Oil
3 Eggs
1/4 C Sour Cream
1 3.4oz package vanilla pudding

1. Preheat oven to 350.
2. Combine all ingredients and mix until well blended. Do not over beat.
3. Fill lined cupcake tins about 2/3 full each with batter.
4. Bake for 15-18 minutes, or until toothpick inserted comes out clean, with just one or two crumbs.
5. Transfer cupcakes to wire rack to cool.

While cupcakes are cooling, prepare the frosting.

Cream Cheese Frosting:
8 oz Cream Cheese, softened.
1/2 C Butter, softened
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
3 1/2 - 4 C Powdered Sugar
1-3 Tbsp Heavy Whipping Cream

1. In a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, combine cream cheese and butter. Whip for about 2 minutes, pausing to scrape down the sides of the bowl periodically.
2. Add vanilla extract, and beat until combined.
3. 1 Cup at a time, add powdered sugar. Beat until combined after each addition, scraping down the sides of the bowl before adding more.
4. When powdered sugar is all mixed in, add the cream, 1 tbsp. at a time, until desired consistency is reached. If you will be piping, leave the frosting on the thicker side.

1. Cut a small hole in each cupcake.
2. Scoop a small amount of ganache into the hole.
3. Cover ganache with the removed cupcake piece.
4. To frost the cupcakes like a rose, fit a piping bag with a large star or flower tip. I used Wilton 1M tip.
5. Fill the piping bag with prepared frosting.
6. Starting from the center of the cupcake, slowly pipe a swirl of frosting on the cupcake.

1. For the decorations, I found some Red Velvet Candy Melts on sale after Christmas. If you can't find any, regular Red Candy Melts will work just as well.
2. Melt the candy melts according to package directions. Place the melted candy in a small zip bag or pastry bag. Cut a small hole in the end of the bag.
3. I found pictures of hearts online that I like, and printed them on regular printer paper. I laid a piece of parchment paper over the printer paper, then traced over the designs with the candy. I made WAY more toppers than I needed, knowing that some wouldn't look as good, and some might break if they are too fragile. For more fragile designs, it helps to go over it a few times to make the candy thicker.
4. Place a candy decoration on top of each cupcake.

Let me know if you make these. I'd love to see how yours turn out!

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