Red (Wine) Velvet Cupcakes with Vanilla Bean Cream Cheese Frosting
Makes about 2 dozen cupcakes
Adapted from The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook
For the cupcakes:
2 cups + 1 tablespoon (260 grams) flour
1 cup (100 grams) unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 sticks (170 grams or 12 tablespoons) butter, softened
1 1/2 cups (300 grams) brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup (100 grams) sugar
3 eggs, room temperature
1 1/2 cups (355 ml) red wine
2 teaspoons vanilla
For the frosting:
three 8-ounce boxes (24 ounces or roughly 675 grams) cream cheese, room temperature
1 1/2 sticks (170 grams or 12 tablespoons) butter, room temperature
pinch of salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
one vanilla bean, seeds scraped
3 1/2 cups (350 grams) powdered sugar, plus more if needed
Make the cupcakes: Preheat the oven to 325. Line 24 muffin cups with paper liners. Set aside.
In a medium bowl whisk together flour, cocoa, baking powder, cinnamon, salt and baking soda. In a large bowl beat butter and both sugars together until smooth. Add eggs and beat to combine, then add red wine and vanilla and beat until smooth. It will look weird but don’t fret, it will bake up into delicious. Use a rubber spatula to fold in the dry ingredients in several additions, being careful not to over mix. Divide the batter evenly among the prepared cupcake liners. (Each one should be about 3/4 full.)
Bake for 20 to 22 minutes, or until a tester inserted into the center of cupcakes comes out clean. Let the cupcakes cool for five minutes or so in the tin, then turn them out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
Make the frosting: In a large bowl beat together the cream cheese, butter, salt, vanilla, and vanilla bean seeds until smooth. Slowly add the powdered sugar, half a cup at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping the sides of the bowl as necessary. When all the sugar has been added, beat for a minute on medium-high speed to make sure the frosting is smooth and spreadable.
Assemble the cupcakes: Transfer the frosting to a pastry bag fitted with a wide tip and give each cupcake a swirly frosting hat and a sprinkle garnish.