Paula Deen's Red Velvet Cupcakes

I'm sure I've mentioned this in a previous post somewhere, but Will's absolute favorite kind of cake in the world is red velvet. I made it for his birthday a few years ago, thinking "well he grew up in the South, of COURSE he's had red velvet!" Nope. Turns out that was the first time he had ever tasted red velvet cake before. He was immediately hooked, and as a result he would beg me for red velvet cake throughout the year. I rarely make cakes, because I think it's a time-consuming pain, and I also don't like having a lot of sweets in the house. However, since we moved to the Boston area Will's co-workers have been so generous about giving him time off to get settled, come with me to doctor appointments, giving us baby gear, that I decided I would make a batch of cupcakes for them once a week as a thank you. Last week I made Ina Garten's Chocolate Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Icing, and this week I decided to make Will's favorite. I had never made Paula Deen's recipe before, but I'm glad I did. All things considered, it was very quick and painless to put together, and I really liked the cream cheese frosting recipe. However, I feel the need to warn you about what can happen when you add too much powdered sugar to your stand mixer...

Yeah. I'm a dork. The powdered sugar exploded EVERYWHERE. After about 30 seconds of standing in complete shock and 5 minutes of swearing, I managed to clean it up. My dog, on the other hand, was very happy. He took care of the floor for me!


  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
  • 1 cup buttermilk, room temperature
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons red food coloring
  • 1 teaspoon white distilled vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the cream cheese frosting:

  • 1 pound cream cheese, softened
  • 2 sticks butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 cups sifted confectioners' sugar
  • Chopped pecans and fresh raspberries or strawberries, for garnish (I didn't have any on hand)

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 (12-cup) muffin pans with cupcake papers.

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 the wet and mix until smooth and thoroughly combined.

4. Divide the batter evenly among the cupcake tins about 2/3 filled. Bake in oven for about 20 to 22 minutes, turning the pans once, half way through. Test the cupcakes with a toothpick for doneness. Remove from oven and cool completely before frosting.

For the Cream Cheese Frosting:

1. In a large mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese, butter and vanilla together until smooth. Add the sugar and on low speed, beat until incorporated. Increase the speed to high and mix until very light and fluffy.

2. Garnish with chopped pecans and a fresh raspberry or strawberry.

Cook's Note: Frost the cupcakes with a butter knife or pipe it on with a big star tip.


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