Red Velvet Cupcakes with Orange Cream Cheese Frosting

Red Velvet Cupcakes

There are bandwagons in life I don’t mind missing. Fifty Shades of Grey. Pumpkin Spice Lattes. Twitter. The Seattle Seahawks. I don’t get the appeal of lots of popular things, and that’s okay – to each their own! That said, I’m officially jumping on the red velvet bandwagon like it’s the freaking Marshawn Lynch of desserts.

Because seriously, these cupcakes are so good. Life-changing good. If I wasn’t making a conscious effort to improve my diet, I’d eat one of these at every.single.meal. My cat even ate one – surreptitiously – and then stared at me lovingly for the next hour. That’s right, they’re cat approved. What else could you possibly need to know about them?

They’re easy to make, super light and fluffy, and the orange cream cheese frosting is divine. They were gobbled up by my co-workers in record time, and the requests for more keep rolling in. Fair warning: this recipe makes A LOT of cupcakes – approximately 30. It’s a great dessert option for a larger group of people, but not ideal for a small family. Enjoy!

RED VELVET CUPCAKES WITH ORANGE CREAM CHEESE FROSTING

Inspiration: More From Magnolia

Yields: 28-30 cupcakes

For cupcakes:

  • 3 1/3 cups cake flour
  • ¾ cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 2 ¼ cups caster sugar
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 6 tbsp red food colouring
  • 3 tbsp unsweetened cocoa
  • 1 ½ tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 ½ tsp salt
  • 1 ½ cups buttermilk
  • 1 ½ tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 ½ tsp baking soda

For Orange Cream Cheese Frosting:

  • 16 ounces cream cheese, softened to room temperature and cubed
  • 6 tbsp unsalted butter, softened to room temperature and cubed
  • 1 ½ tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 5 cups sifted confectioner’s sugar
  • 1 tsp freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1 ½ tsp freshly grated orange zest

To make cupcakes:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 28 to 30 individual muffin tins with paper cupcake liners; set aside.
  2. In a small bowl, sift cake flour and set aside. In the large bowl of an electric mixer on medium speed, cream butter and sugar until very light and fluffy, approximately 5 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together food coloring, cocoa powder and vanilla extract. Add to batter and beat well.
  4. In a liquid measuring cup, stir salt into buttermilk. Add to the batter in three parts, alternating with sifted cake flour. With each addition, beat until flour and buttermilk are incorporated, but do not over-mix.
  5. In a small bowl, stir together apple cider vinegar and baking soda. Add to the batter and mix until smooth, approximately 30 seconds to 1 minute. Scrape batter from sides of bowl using a rubber spatula, if needed.
  6. Spoon batter into cupcake liners. Bake for 16 to 20 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted in the center of cupcakes comes out clean. Remove from oven, immediately transfer cupcakes to wire rack and cool completely.

To make frosting:

  1. In the large bowl of an electric mixer over medium speed, beat cream cheese and butter until smooth, about 3 minutes. Add vanilla extract, orange juice and orange zest and beat well to incorporate.
  2. With motor of electric mixer running on medium speed, gradually add sugar, 1 cup at a time, until frosting is smooth and creamy. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate icing for 2 to 3 hours, but no longer, to thicken before using.
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2 thoughts on “Red Velvet Cupcakes with Orange Cream Cheese Frosting

  1. I’ve been contemplating making red velvet cupcakes for a while now, but my kids don’t like cream cheese icing – however, with a hint of orange they might be fooled into eating them! These look amazing!

    • Thank you so much! I think they’d taste great with a vanilla buttercream, or even the coconut-pecan frosting from my other post. I also ate one without frosting, and it was pretty darn good! Good luck! 🙂

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