Red Velvet Cupcakes & My New Favorite Way to Frost Cupcakes

I wanted to make something festive to take into work for Valentine’s Day. I decided on red velvet cake for a couple reasons. My friend Amy had asked me about red velvet about a month ago. She made cupcakes for her sister’s birthday party. Having never tasted, let alone baked, red velvet cake, I sent her a couple recipes that I thought looked good. After looking into it, I noticed how much food coloring is in red velvet cake. The thought of it kinda skeeved me out. But I’ve been trying to step out of my comfort zone lately, so I decided to try the red velvet cake for Valentine’s Day.

I wanted a recipe that didn’t use a ton of food coloring. I decided on a recipe from Kelsey at Apple A Day because it only (ha! only) takes 1 oz of food coloring. That’s a whole bottle of food coloring! And believe it or not, I saw recipes that called for up to 3 oz. I also liked this recipe, because the coloring is added to the liquid ingredients and then you add the dry ingredients to that. I would be worried about staining something if it was the other way around…

I loved how these came out. Very moist and very red. I really enjoyed the taste of the red velvet cupcake and I’m glad I made them. AND, I got to use my new favorite way to frost a cupcake (see details at end of post). I can’t explain why I like it so much, I just do. It does give you more frosting without piling it on really high.

As an added bonus, I sat down while my cupcakes were in the oven only to find this Red Velvet cake comparison on The Way the Cookie Crumbles in my Google Reader. Bridget compared 4 red velvet cupcake recipes, including Kelsey’s from Apple A Day, Deb’s from Smitten Kitchen, and two others. I was very interested in her results since I had chosen the Apple a Day recipe and Amy had made the Smitten Kitchen recipe. If you’re looking for a Red Velvet cupcake recipe, definitely check out the comparison post. I am proud to say that Bridget recommends the Apple A Day recipe that I chose for my cupcakes! I agree that they come together easily, are very moist due to the oil in the recipe, have a bright red color, and have a sweet but tangy flavor.

For the frosting, I know most people put cream cheese frosting on red velvet cake/cupcakes. When I was searching for cupcake recipes, I came across one on Joy the Baker’s blog. It looked a little different than the other recipes I had been looking at and she opted for a brown sugar cream cheese frosting. I was intrigued by the frosting so I decided to go with it. And I’m so glad I did. I read her post about how to prevent curdling cream cheese frosting. I did make a silly mistake in making my frosting before my butter was at room temperature, resulting in a slightly lumpy frosting. But it tasted delicious which is all that matters, right!?!

Print Save

Red Velvet Cupcakes

Yield: 24 cupcakes

Ingredients:

For the Cupcakes
2 1/2 cup cake flour
1 1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1 Tbsp cocoa powder
1 tsp salt
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
1 cup buttermilk
2 Tbsp (1 oz.) red food coloring
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp white distilled vinegar

For the Brown Sugar Cream Cheese Frosting
3/4 cups butter, softened
4 oz cream cheese, softened
2 Tbsp light brown sugar, packed
1/2 tsp vanilla
pinch of salt
2-3 cups powdered sugar
1-2 Tbsp milk, depending on desired consistency

Directions:

For the Cupcakes
Preheat oven to 350 F.

Sift together flour, sugar, baking soda, cocoa, and salt into a medium bowl.

Beat eggs, oil, buttermilk, food coloring, vanilla, and vinegar in a large bowl with an electric mixer until well combined. Add dry ingredients and beat until smooth, about 2 minutes.

Divide batter evenly between 3 greased and floured 8" round cake pans (or a lined cupcake pan).

Bake cakes, rotating halfway through, until a toothpick inserted in the center of each cake comes out clean, 25โ€“30 minutes. Let cakes cool 5 minutes, then invert each onto a plate, then invert again onto a cooling rack. Let cakes cool completely.

For the Brown Sugar Cream Cheese Frosting
Cream the cream cheese in an electric mixer for 1 minute. Scrape down the bowl and add the butter, beating for 1-2 minutes, or until incorporated.

Add the brown sugar, pinch of salt and vanilla extract, and beat until incorporated.

Turn off mixer and add 1 cup of powdered sugar. Turn the mixer on a low speed so the sugar doesnโ€™t fly out of the bowl. Slowly add more sugar alternately with the milk until you reach your desired consistency.

To Frost the Cupcakes
Using the cone method, remove a cone from the top of the cupcake. Discard cones.

Using a piping bag with a large round tip, pipe frosting into hole of cupcake. Continue frosting in a fat swirl.

Cupcake recipe from Apple A Day, Frosting recipe from Joy the Baker

    Pin It

27 Responses to “Homemade Fig Newtons”

  1. #
    1
    nutmegnanny — September 8, 2010 at 4:48 pm

    I always loved fig newtons too ๐Ÿ™‚ I have never thought of making my own. Now I know where to find a great recipe ๐Ÿ˜‰

  2. #
    2
    Michael — September 8, 2010 at 4:51 pm

    I am going to have to make these. As well as making them with some blackberries.

  3. #
    3
    Eliana — September 8, 2010 at 5:52 pm

    These look amazing and waaaay better than the store bought brand.

  4. #
    4
    mybizzykitchen.com — September 8, 2010 at 6:15 pm

    My husband loves fig newtons – just added this to my ever growing list of things to make!

  5. #
    5
    Maegan — September 8, 2010 at 9:46 pm

    I liked Newtons until they messed with the recipe…Maybe this version will be yummier.

  6. #
    6
    newlywed — September 8, 2010 at 10:33 pm

    I love the idea of making these at home! I still buy Newtons from time to time…they’re so nice and wholesome.

  7. #
    7
    Melissa — September 8, 2010 at 11:58 pm

    You are so creative! My family loves Fig Newtons….can’t wait to make these!

  8. #
    8
    Evan B — September 9, 2010 at 2:42 am

    My boyfriend and I were just talking about fig newtons this evening! I was saying how much I loved them but hadnt had them recently.. and heres a way to make them myself!

  9. #
    9
    Elina — September 9, 2010 at 1:32 pm

    I moved to the US when I was 15 so I didn’t grow up eating fig newtons but I liked them at my very first bite. I’m sure the homemade version is so much more gourmet ๐Ÿ˜‰ Your pics make it look like raspberry filling which I bet would be amazing!!

  10. #
    10
    Katy — September 9, 2010 at 3:59 pm

    These bring me back to my childhood! Only, these look infinitely more delicious and decadent. The Blue-Eyed Bakers must make these soon!

  11. #
    11
    Carolyn — September 10, 2010 at 9:18 pm

    They look fantastic, and I’ve never actually been that much of a Fig Newton fan. Love the polka dot background for the pics too.

  12. #
    12
    Linda — September 11, 2010 at 11:36 am

    I love fig newtons. Hopefully, I can find my figs around here so I can try these.

    http://www.lindaslunacy.blogspot.com

  13. #
    13
    jonathan — September 14, 2010 at 8:31 pm

    Congratulations on making one of the top food blogs!

    Jonathan
    Gluten Free

  14. #
    14
    Peggy — September 17, 2010 at 9:57 am

    I was always a fig newton-lover as a kid too! Glad I wasn’t the only one and these homemade ones look fantastic!

  15. #
    15
    I Like To Cook 222 — October 13, 2010 at 5:33 pm

    I did make these and loved them! I did just what you suggested and used a little less of dough for that amount of filling and just made some grape jam filled ones with the rest of the dough. They came out perfect! Thanks for sharing!
    http://ouritaliankitchen.blogspot.com/2010/10/fig-newtons.html

  16. #
    16
    Laurel, Mikey & Quinn — November 17, 2010 at 4:33 am

    When you say scoop out the seeds and pulp–I am assuming you mean, use the seeds and pulp and discard the skins? Recipe looks good. I’m planning to make these tomorrow!

  17. #
    17
    Laurel, Mikey & Quinn — November 17, 2010 at 4:33 am

    When you say scoop out the seeds and pulp–I am assuming you mean, use the seeds and pulp and discard the skins? Recipe looks good. I’m planning to make these tomorrow!

  18. #
    18
    Laurel, Mikey & Quinn — November 17, 2010 at 4:33 am

    When you say scoop out the seeds and pulp–I am assuming you mean, use the seeds and pulp and discard the skins? Recipe looks good. I’m planning to make these tomorrow!

  19. #
    19
    Laurel, Mikey & Quinn — November 17, 2010 at 4:33 am

    When you say scoop out the seeds and pulp–I am assuming you mean, use the seeds and pulp and discard the skins? Recipe looks good. I’m planning to make these tomorrow!

  20. #
    20
    Laurel, Mikey & Quinn — November 17, 2010 at 4:33 am

    When you say scoop out the seeds and pulp–I am assuming you mean, use the seeds and pulp and discard the skins? Recipe looks good. I’m planning to make these tomorrow!

  21. #
    21
    Laurel, Mikey & Quinn — November 17, 2010 at 4:33 am

    When you say scoop out the seeds and pulp–I am assuming you mean, use the seeds and pulp and discard the skins? Recipe looks good. I’m planning to make these tomorrow!

  22. #
    22
    Jen — November 17, 2010 at 1:18 pm

    Laurel, Mikey & Quinn – Yes, scoop out the flesh and seeds and discard the skins. Let me know how they turn out!

  23. #
    23
    Erin — January 17, 2011 at 2:02 pm

    Thank you for posting this! Great recipe and I want to try with different fillings. I used strawberry for mine – yummy!

    In response to the dough ratio, I made it the way you posted but ended up with very thin dough once it was rolled out to 12×16 inches. I think you should leave it doubled.

  24. #
    24
    Hadar — May 16, 2013 at 3:08 am

    Hi, I want to make raspberry newtons and am finding it very hard to get an easy recipe online… think I could use this dough with raspberry jam?

    • beantownbaker — May 16th, 2013 @ 8:41 am

      You could definitely use raspberry jam for the filling!

  25. #
    25
    Hadar — May 26, 2013 at 1:03 am

    I made them with 3 different fillings: strawberry jam, blueberry pie filling and vanilla cream. All came out very tasty, and also last freezing nicely.
    A few comments:
    1. The dough was not easy to deal with, even after cooling. It was sticky and fell apart easily.
    2. With the first roll I made, I sliced it to cookies and separated them on the baking pan before baking. All of the Jam oozed out. The other ones I sliced but didn’t move the pieces, and it came out well.
    3. I think in order to taste like real newtons they lack some oats/cereal. Any Idea of how to add some to the dough?

    • beantownbaker — June 10th, 2013 @ 1:10 pm

      I would think you could grind up some oats and replace some of the flour with the ground up oats. If you try it, I’d love to hear how they turn out!

Leave a Comment