cupcakes · dessert

Blood Velvet Cupcakes

Today was our friend Dave’s birthday. To celebrate his 24th year of life I baked him red velvet cupcakes because…

I had never made red velvet cake before but have LOVED it ever since I moved to North Carolina. The first red velvet cake I had, which turned me into such a fanatic, was a strawberry red velvet cake made by my step dad’s aunt, Mary Lou. It’s an under-utilized spin on red velvet, for sure.

I was back and forth on which recipe to use for these cupcakes. Did I want more cocoa? Less food coloring? Butter over oil? I ended up opting for the more cocoa version because I trust Deb when it comes to making cakes/ when does adding more chocolate hurt something? I found special cupcake holders with sports images on them (we were planning on watching the UNC game for Dave’s party after all). 

The recipe called for a full half a cup of cocoa, which left the flour mixture looking like this:

 As for the liquid mixture, it became a science project of my past when it asked you to combine baking soda with white vinegar in a bowl before adding to the mixture… or more commonly known as a VOLCANO! It was neat.

It was around this point in the process that I realized I had bought the wrong kind of food coloring gel and needed to make a run to the nearest grocery store. This, unfortunately, turned out to be the Giant up Wisconsin Avenue. This is the most ghetto urban grocery store I’ve ever been to. Literally, they had a cop car posted up outside the front door and caged surveillance cameras and don’t get me started on the actual food they sell here. After explaining what I needed to three different employees, we found the food coloring. Food coloring. Why had no one in either of the two different grocery stores understood what I was talking about? At any rate, I bought two bottles of it and fled, not before nearly getting backed over by two cars in the parking lot. 

After the batter had been fully mixed and div-yd up into the little cups, I strongly resembled a murderer. I reminded myself of Dexter, which made me happy. I put the first batch into the oven but had enough batter left to make about 6 cupcakes. For these, I cut up strawberries which I mixed with a little cornstarch, and added it to the batter. Phenomenal outcome. Next time, they’re all getting strawberries!

This batter was so good. I licked both beaters which I NEVER do, and I bake a lot. After indulging on red velvet batter, I was craving a salty snack so I went for balsamic vinegar and olive oil with freshly grated Parmesan and pepper to dip French bread into, along with a side of prosciutto and dates. Wowzers, that was a delicious snack. 

When it came time to frost these mini-cakes, I took the piping approach. I spooned the icing into a plastic bag and cut a hole in the corner to pipe a blob of icing onto each one. This made spreading and decorating the cupcakes super easy. I played around with a couple decorations but opted for a simple look.

I hopped in the car to head to Dave’s house with cupcakes in tow.

When there are boys having a party, there is usually a keg to be found nearby. This keg had an original Keg Koozy borrowed straight from the manufacturer himself. This is where I make my pitch on how the Keg Koozy is awesome! and kept the beer so cold! everyone, go buy one!

The next essential at a boys party is the grill. This meant a run to the hardware store to buy a grill, then to the store for ‘burgers and dogs’ then home to assemble. Apparently, this is one of Harrison’s favorite activities.

 Because I’ve been staying away from red meat, I opted for ground turkey and made my own patties to eat along with the guys.

While dinner was a success and the cupcakes were a hit, the game watching its self was not doing it for me. I left that one for the boys and called it a night!

Red Velvet Cupcakes

*I only added 2 ounces of food color because 3 felt a little overkill. 
**Also, throwing in chopped strawberries with cornstarch is a wonderful addition. 

Turkey Burgers

1/2 lb. ground turkey
1 tbsp. Worcestershire 
1 egg
Dash garlic salt, salt & pepper

Leave on the grill until inside is no longer pink. Top it with sliced tomato, pepper jack and guacamole on a bun. 


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