Red Velvet Cupcakes.
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2 large eggs, room temperature and separated
1 and 1/3 cups (160g) all-purpose flour1 (measured correctly)
1/4 cup (32g) cornstarch1
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
4 teaspoons (6g) natural unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup (60g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
1/2 cup (120ml) canola or vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon distilled white vinegar
liquid or gel red food coloring2
1/2 cup (120ml) buttermilk, room temperature3
Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Line a 12-count muffin pan with cupcake liners. This recipe makes 14 cupcakes, so you will have 2 cupcakes to bake in a 2nd batch. Make the cupcakes: With a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, beat 2 egg whites on high speed in a medium bowl until soft peaks form, about 2-3 minutes.
Sift the flour and cornstarch together to make sure it is evenly combined. Whisk this, along with baking soda, cocoa powder, and salt together in a medium bowl. Set aside.
Using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter on high speed until smooth and creamy - about 1 minute. Add the sugar and beat on high speed for 2 minutes until creamed together fairly well. Scrape down the sides and up the bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed. Add the oil and beat on high for 2 minutes. The butter may look "piece-y" and not completely combine with the oil. This is normal and ok.
Add 2 egg yolks and the vanilla. Beat on medium-high speed until combined. Scrape down the sides and up the bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed. Beat in the vinegar and the food coloring-- until you reach your desired color. I use 2 Tablespoons. With the mixer on low speed, add the dry ingredients in three additions alternating with the buttermilk, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients, and mixing each addition just until incorporated. Do not overmix. Fold whipped egg whites into cupcake batter with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon. The batter will be silky and slightly thick. (If there are still pieces of butter - and there were in 1 test batch for me - again, this is ok. They will melt inside as the cupcakes bake. Making them even more buttery.)
Spoon batter into cupcake liners filling 1/2 - 2/3 of the way full. Bake for 20-21 minutes or until the tops of the cupcakes spring back when gently touched and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Don't overbake; your cupcakes will dry out. Allow to cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then transfer to a rack to cool completely.
Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting
2 sticks of real (salted) butter, at room temperature
4 ounces of shortening
4 ounces of cream cheese, at room temperature
½ Tablespoon vanilla extract
8-9 cups of powdered sugar
½ cup fresh lemon juice
2-3 Tablespoons milk
In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter, shortening, and cream cheese until very smooth. Add in the vanilla and mix again.
Begin adding powdered sugar, one cup at a time up to 8 cups.
Your frosting will be very stiff at this point - now add in the lemon juice and 2 tablespoons of milk.
Mix and check the consistency.
From here, I had to add a little more powdered sugar (it was too soft) but then I went too far, so I added a little more milk. Just play with it until you get a consistency you're happy with! I made mine on the softer side so it was silky smooth ... but still able to hold it's shape!
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