Red Velvet Cupcakes

Being from the North, I have always heard of Red Velvet cake, but had never actually tried it. (I know, all you Southerners are falling off your chairs right now, get back up, it's okay!) I spotted a post on Design Sponge called "In the Kitchen with Amy Butler" where she was making her mother's red velvet cupcakes. Considering how fabulous all of Amy Butler's products are, I had no reason to think her mother's cupcakes wouldn't be fabulous themselves! Being Valentine's, I thought I would give them a try! They really turned out not too bad for an amateur. Here are my thoughts on the recipe:

*The fear of spilling food coloring is huge for me. Most recipes only call for a few drops, and this recipe required an entire ounce! That's the whole bottle! I was so afraid of getting the red all over everything, I even changed into grubby clothes before adding it and I washed the dishes very slowly and carefully when I was done so water didn't splash around the kitchen!
*The recipe used phrases like a "scant of salt" and "make a thickening of..." Are these phrases from down South, or am I really just that uneducated in the kitchen???
*I did try two times to make the frosting before I finally had to give up and send dear, sweet hubby to the store for Betty Crocker's variety. I don't think anyone could even tell the frosting wasn't homemade!
Don't let my comments discourage you though. Overall, they really weren't that difficult, and they do taste fantastic! If you're looking for a yummy, (sexy maybe?) dessert for Valentine's, go ahead and try them out!
Ann’s Red Velvet Cake

Preheat oven at 350

1 oz. red food coloring
2 Tbsp. cocoa
1/4 c. butter
1/4 c. margarine
1 1/2 c. sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
2 1/4 cup cake flour
1 scant tsp. salt
1 c. buttermilk
1 tsp. soda
1 Tbsp. vinegar

Mix coloring and cocoa together until smooth and set aside until needed. Do not stir.

Cream together butter, margarine and sugar. ( be sure to beat the mixture long enough…… the butter, margarine and sugar should look white and creamy )

Add eggs and vanilla and mix well.

Add cocoa mixture and mix until well blended.

Sift together two times: flour and salt.

Add alternately with buttermilk and mix well.

Place 1 tsp. soda on cake batter, then add 1 Tbsp. vinegar. Mix until well blended.

Pour into 2 well greased and floured 9″ cake pans

Bake at 350 for 30 minutes

Cool and frost with French cream icing.

French Cream Icing

1 c. milk
6 Tbsp. flour
1/2 c. butter
1/2 c. margarine
1 c. fine granulated sugar
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla

Make a thickening of 1 c. milk and flour. ( blend with hand mixer )
Cook until thick but not clumpy, more like a thicker sauce.

Beat well to be sure it is very smooth. Take pan off heat and set in a pan of ice water to chill it.

Cream together butter, margarine and sugar for 15 - 20 minutes.

Add thickening and beat another 10 minutes. Add vanilla.

** Icing needs to be very cold.
You may want to put it in the freezer for a bit to thicken and cool it.***

If you choose to make cupcakes, this recipe yields about 36 of them.