Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Icing.

Looking for the best homemade red velvet cake recipe out there? Your search ends here.

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I know that’s a bold statement. But it’s true. This recipe is perfect. Not only is the flavor great, but the TEXTURE! Light, fluffy, perfectly moist. I had a cupcake in an airtight container in the fridge for an entire WEEK and it was still moist! You can thank the buttermilk and oil for that, but the low-and-slow baking time helps, too!

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There’s nothing crazy about the ingredients; in fact, I bet you probably have everything you need to make this cake right now. Except maybe the red food coloring. I had never bought food coloring before I started testing out red velvet cake recipes, and I had a hard time finding it at first. A word of wisdom: GEL food coloring is not the same as LIQUID food coloring. Trust me. The recipe calls for liquid, and, being a food-coloring-novice, I decided to try the gel variety (because that’s all I could find in my local Kroger). Mistake. That round of batter turned out a pale pink. Epic fail. Don’t do it, mmkay?

One more note about the food coloring: yes you will use the whole 1 oz bottle. Yes, that’s a lot of food coloring and your batter will be bright, bright red. Don’t worry! It’ll bake up beautifully like this:

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The frosting is super simple, too. The only way you can mess up the frosting is by not using room temperature butter and cream cheese. That’s non-negotiable, otherwise your frosting will be too thick, won’t mix well, and won’t be easy to spread.

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I am also including the instructions for other cake baking times (round cake, square cake, mini-cupcakes, etc.) at the bottom of the post. And guys, this is definitely a rich dessert, so no…it’s not exactly healthy. Just enjoy in moderation and share with friends!

Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting.

For the cupcakes:

  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup buttermilk (you can also mix 1 cup milk with 1 tbsp lemon juice, stir, and let it sit for 5 minutes.)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp white vinegar
  • 1 oz bottle red food coloring

For the icing:

  • 1 box powdered sugar
  • 8 oz cream cheese (full-fat), softened
  • 1 stick butter (I used salted), softened
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

1). Preheat the oven to 300F. If making cupcakes, place paper liners in muffin tins (I got about 16-17 in a standard muffin tin).

2). In a large bowl, beat the eggs, then add sugar, oil, and buttermilk.

3). Add the flour and baking soda, mixing well to blend.

4). Add the vanilla extract, vinegar, and red food coloring. Mix until well blended (it should all be red–make sure there’s no white batter hiding at the bottom!)

5). Carefully fill muffin tins 3/4 full. Bake for about 25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

6). For the frosting: in the bottom of a stand mixer or in a large bowl, beat the butter and cream cheese until light and fluffy. Add the powdered sugar gradually, continuing to blend.  Add the vanilla extract and combine again.

Alternate baking times:
If making a 3 layer cake: bake 25 minutes.
If making mini-cupcakes: bake 15 minutes.
If making a 9×13 cake: bake 30 minutes.

Recipe from my go-to cooking friend at church. Thank you for sharing!! : ) 

 

Homemade Strawberry Shortcake.

Happy Strawberry Shortcake Day!! This is the perfect excuse to share my strawberry shortcake recipe with you. It’s one of my favorites. The simplicity of sweet strawberries, whipped cream, and a homemade shortcake screams summertime dessert.

Title Strawberry Shortcake
Many people turn to store-bought cake as the base of their strawberry shortcake. Is it easier? Sure. Does it taste as good? Not a chance! Homemade is always best. If you have a cookout or party planned, add this to the dessert menu. It’s easy to make ahead for guests because you can chop up your strawberries, make your whipped cream, AND make the shortcakes before they arrive. You could even let your guests assemble their own!

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I really want to turn your attention to the foundation of the shortcake. It’s a cross between a cake and a biscuit. No, it’s not exactly the same kind you’d eat for breakfast, but it is close. It’s much sweeter than a traditional biscuit (and sooooo, so good!). I’ll go ahead and warn you–it’s not healthy. I tried to make a healthier version and it was awful! Just treat this like the dessert it is and indulge sparingly. So, back to the star of this sweet treat. In addition to being rustic and unique, there’s one major reason to use this shortcake instead of angel food cake as your base: it’s sturdy enough to really handle the juices from the strawberries without falling apart or getting mushy. It’s buttery, flaky but dense, golden, sweet, and delicious.

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If you have ever made biscuits or pie crusts in the past, you probably already have an idea of the steps involved. If you’ve never made anything like this before, don’t worry! This is one of the first biscuit recipes I ever made and it’s very easy, perfect for beginners. I’m going to take you through the process with step-by-step photos. These are drop biscuits, which means once you have the dough combined you literally just drop them on the baking pan. They’re not supposed to be perfect! Start by putting all your dry ingredients (flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt) into a bowl like this:

dry ingredients
Next add in very cold butter. Use a pastry blender (or two knives) to cut the butter into the flour until it looks like this:

adding butter
Now, in another small bowl whisk together the egg, sour cream, and milk. Add it to the butter/flour mixture and combine. I used a fork to stir everything together. Your dough may be a little crumbly, but it should be able to adhere to itself well if you press it together. Here’s a visual:

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Time to form the biscuits! Like I said earlier, just take (mostly) even amounts of dough and drop them on a baking pan. Warning: it will be VERY, very, sticky and you will get dough stuck all over your hands, so you may want to use a spoon to help you do this!

buiscit prebaked
When the biscuits are done baking, allow them to cool on a wire rack. Now you’re ready to assemble! Gently cut the biscuit in half. Add a small dollop of whipped cream, strawberries, and the other half of the biscuit. Top with more whipped cream and strawberries and you’re ready to eat!

final strawberry shortcake
Homemade Strawberry Shortcake

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/3 cup cold butter, cut into cubes
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup sour cream (I used light)
  • 2 tbsp milk (I used skim)
    For the topping:
  • 5 cups sliced strawberries
  • 2-3 tbsp sugar (this helps bring out the sweetness and juices in the strawberries but is optional)
  • Homemade whipped cream

1). Pre-heat the oven to 400F. Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray, if needed (mine does not). Combine the strawberries and sugar in a small bowl. Make the whipped cream. Refrigerate both the strawberries and whipped cream as you prepare the shortcakes.

2). In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and baking soda. Use a pastry blender or two knives to cut the cold butter into the dry ingredients. Continue until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs (see picture in post, if necessary).

3). In a small bowl, beat together the egg, milk, and sour cream. Add this to the butter/flour mixture. Use a fork to mix everything together until just moistened. Be careful not to overmix.

4). Drop the dough into 8 mounds on the baking sheet. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven and allow them to cool on a wire rack.

5). To assemble: gently cut the shortcakes in half. Add strawberries and whipped cream. Top with the second half and add a few more strawberries and whipped cream.

Recipe from: http://alyssabyoung.com/blog/2010/03/24/strawberry-shortcake/
Servings: 8. Nutritional Information per serving: Calories: 367 Carbs: 39 g Fat: 22g Protein: 5g Fiber: 2g Points+: 10

Homemade Southern Biscuits (Just 100 calories!)

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Biscuits.

Hot, flaky, buttery biscuits.

They are a southern staple.

Unfortunately, they aren’t the most healthy choice due to all the butter and flour. So, here is a little trick to cut the calories/fat in half.

Ready?

Roll the dough out thinner.

While I know this is probably not earth-shattering, it does the trick. The downside to this, of course, is that you are left with a much thinner biscuit. Every bite is still delicious and rich, but it is something to consider. If you are content with just 1 biscuit, feel free to make your biscuits as thick as you’d like.

Here’s another tip: if you are like me and never have buttermilk in the fridge, you can easily make your own by mixing 1 cup milk (I use skim) + 1 Tbsp. lemon juice. Let it sit for about 5 minutes and it can substitute buttermilk in any recipe!

We love to top these with homemade apple butter (recipe coming soon!), honey, or jam.

Hope you enjoy these as much as we did!

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Homemade Southern Biscuits

Ingredients:

4 cups all-purpose soft-wheat flour, such as White Lily

2 Tbsp. baking powder

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. baking soda

1/2 cup cold butter, cubed

2 cups buttermilk (or you can do what I did…1 cup skim milk + 1 Tbsp lemon juice. Let it sit for 5 minutes before using)

1-2 Tbsp. melted butter

1. Preheat oven to 450F. Sift together first 4 ingredients in a large bowl. Cut butter into flour mixture with a pastry blender, until mixture resembles small peas. Stir in buttermilk with a fork until dough forms a ball.

2. Turn dough out onto a well-floured sheet of wax paper. Sprinkle dough with flour, and flatten into a disk. Cover and chill for about 15 minutes.

3. Remove wax paper, and turn dough out onto a well-floured surface; sprinkle with flour. Pat dough into 1/2 inch thickness. Cut with a 3-inch cutter, reshaping scraps once (or else they get tough). Place biscuits 1 inch apart on an ungreased baking sheet.

4. Bake at 450F for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown. Brush immediately with melted butter. Serve hot.

Note: I halved this recipe and got about 10 biscuits because I rolled the dough out thinly. The original recipe should make 12.

Approximate Nutritional Information per biscuit: Calories: 102 Carbs: 10 g Fat: 6 g Protein: 2 g Sugar: 0 g

Recipe adapted from Southern Living, February 2013.