Sunday, February 13, 2011

"Faux" Red Velvet Valentine Cupcakes

With Valentine's Day right around the corner, I wanted to do something fun and creative, and knew it had to be sweet!  I got my inspiration from the mini "green" velvet cupcakes I made last year for St. Patrick's Day.  The only thing that changed in the recipe is the color for the batter, and the sprinkles!  I also made these normal sized cupcakes instead of mini.  I am calling them "faux" since they truly don't have a red velvet batter (chocolate cake mixed with red food coloring).  Don't be fooled by how "impressive" they might look.  They are ridiculously easy to make!  Also, if you don't have a fancy decorating tip like mine, anything will do.  It's all about the fun colors, sprinkles, and of course taste!  I have to give "props" to Jenny over at Picky Palate for the original recipe.  Speaking of, I "liked" a comment on Facebook about a week ago from Picky Palate, and won this cute cookie tin from Nestle, and coupons for free cookie dough!  My first ever win online from a blog, etc... Pictured inside are these scrumptious cookies:  a peanut butter, white chocolate, pretzel, sea salt combo that is out of this world.  Here is a link to the recipe, also from Picky Palate.

Now onto the cupcakes!  Gather up your ingredients...pictured here is all the fun stuff.

When you have your batter made, drop in a few good drops of food color gel or paste.  I used a Wilton brand one.  You could use food coloring, it just won't be as bright or vibrant. Mix it well into the batter til you get the color you like...

Matthew had a great time helping "lick" the beater attachment when I was done with it...

Here they are ready to decorate with my dual-chamber frosting tool by Kuhn Rikon.  Love it!  I made half the frosting a light pink, and the other half I left white.

Oh my these look to good to eat!  Almost...

Up close view of frosting/sprinkles...


Here is the recipe:

"Faux" Red Velvet Valentine Cupcakes

1 Box yellow cake mix
4 eggs
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 small box instant vanilla pudding mix
1/2 cup plain yogurt or sour cream (I used plain yogurt)
5-8 drops Red gel or decorating paste, or more til desired color

8 oz. softened cream cheese
1 stick softened butter
1 lb. powdered sugar
Pink food coloring or gel (optional, if you are going to go with the two colored frosting route)
Red sugar sprinkles, and Valentine sprinkles if you have them

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In a stand or electric mixer, add cake mix, eggs, water, oil, pudding mix, and yogurt.  Beat on medium for 1 1/2 minutes.  Slowly beat in 5-8 drops of red gel/decorating paste, until you get the desired color of red.  Scoop batter in paper lined cupcake tins.  Bake for about 22 minutes or until cooked through.  Let cool completely.

2.  To prepare frosting, beat cream cheese and butter until creamy.  Slowly add powdered sugar until creamy and thick.  Divide frosting into two bowls and add a couple drops of pink food coloring/gel to one bowl.  Blend in well.

3.  Frost cupcakes and sprinkle with red sugar sprinkles, and Valentine sprinkles if desired.  *Note:  I would have loved to have used some pink pearl dust as well if I had some, but forgot to pick it up at the store!

Makes about 24 regular cupcakes.

Make them for your Valentine today and enjoy!

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