Someone’s birthday is coming up and you really want to make something special. Cakes can be a pain in the butt, lets be honest. I love cake don’t get me wrong, but cupcakes are a more personal individual way downsize a bulky cake.
The two types of cupcakes I decided to make were red velvet and spice. These two can be simple and I really wanted to put my own twist on them and make them extraordinary.
I came up with a Red Velvet Cupcake with Coconut Cream Cheese Frosting, and a Spiced Cake with Currants and a Toasted Almond Cream Cheese Frosting.
The results were a hit! It was hard to decided which cupcake prevailed. So I ask you to try these and let me know…Which cupcake won the war?
Red Velvet Cupcake
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon of baking soda
- 1 teaspoon of baking powder
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- 3 Tablespoons unsweetened, cocoa powder (this may seem like a lot compared to most recipes but I love how the cocoa comes through. NOTHING worse than red velvet cake that tastes like a red vanilla cake….ugh.)
- 2 cups white sugar
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 2 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract
- 2 oz. red food coloring
- 1 teaspoon of white distilled vinegar
- ½ cup of prepared strong hot coffee (I used a Starbucks Dark Roast)
Here’s how to start!
In a large bowl, sift together flour, cocoa powder, salt, baking powder and baking soda. In a separate bowl, whisk together sugar, oil, eggs, vanilla and buttermilk until combined. Fold your dry ingredients into the wet until just combined. Slowly, whisk in the hot coffee.
Pour the cupcake batter into a greased and lined muffin tins. Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 18 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Let cool.
Coconut Cream Cheese Frosting
8 oz. Cream cheese, softened (to lighten it up use Greek Cream Cheese and Greek Yogurt)
1/2 cup softened butter
1/8 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 vanilla bean scraped (tip: use the back of your knife to avoid ripping the pod)
1/2 cup coconut flakes, toasted
This is easy…
Whip together cream cheese and butter till smooth. Whisk in sugar, vanilla and vanilla bean until combined. Pipe onto cooled cupcakes and sprinkle generously with toasted coconut.
Spiced Cupcakes with Currants
- 2 1/2 cups flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
- 1 cup dark brown sugar, packed
- 2 eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 1/4 cups buttermilk
- 3/4 cup currants (feel free to substitute raisins)
- 1/4 cup toasted almonds, chopped
This recipe method varies slightly from the red velvet….
In a large bowl sift together your dry ingredients (first eight.) In a separate bowl whip your softened butter with your sugars. Beat these until light and fluffy. Add in your eggs one at a time until incorporated.
Add your dry ingredients alternating with the buttermilk. Pour this batter into greased and lined muffin tins. Bake at 350 degrees for 18-20 minutes. The cream cheese frosting for the spice cake is the same as the red velvet except the garnishes are different. Top the spice cake with toasted crushed almonds.