I’m kind of at a loss for words with these. Can you imagine how good they were by looking at the pictures? Because let me assure you… they were BETTER than whatever you’re thinking.
Kiddo and I wanted to do something lovely for our local police force because they are awesome. They always take the time to say hi to Kiddo and all the other kids when they’re cruising our neighborhood, they do all they can to help with the issue of our neighbor’s dog that will. not. quit. barking. ever. and they solved both lame crimes of which we’ve been a victim in the last year. They’re awesome. So what better for the boys in blue than blue velvet cupcakes?
I found this recipe at the incredible Sprinkle Bakes. Aren’t those great? She was SO helpful in helping me adapt the recipe to the food coloring I had to that perfect Cookie Monster shade of blue she showcases. It’s exactly what I wanted them to look like! She adapted her cupcake recipe from Paula Deen’s recipe; I adapted it with Sprinkle Bake’s help only to use all gel food coloring. The frosting is all Sprinkle Bakes.
A note on gel food coloring: this Wilton gel is what I used; I got mine at Joann, and I believe I’ve seen it at Michael’s as well. The ready to use gel icing for cookie and cake decorating (like this) is not the same thing, and will not get you the color you’re looking for.
Blue velvet cupcakes
- 2 cups sugar
- ½ pound (2 sticks) butter, at room temperature
- 2 eggs
- 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
- 1 Tbsp Wilton royal blue gel food coloring
- 1 small dab of violet gel food coloring (I dipped in a toothpick and used that much)
- 2 ½ cups cake flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 tablespoon vinegar
- 1 pound cream cheese, softened
- 2 sticks butter, softened
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 4 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar (I hate sifting; I whir it up in the food processor instead to aerate and get lumps out)
- Preheat your oven to 350 F and line cupcake pans with liners
- Cream sugar and butter in mixing bowl till light and fluffy, then add eggs one at a time, mixing well after each egg
- Mix cocoa and food coloring together to make a paste — this took a while to mix thoroughly with all gel, but it came together nicely; add this paste to sugar mixture and mix well again
- Sift (or buzz in food processor) flour and salt, and add to creamed mixture a bit at a time, alternating with buttermilk, then mix in vanilla
- Combine baking soda and vinegar in a small bowl and add to cake batter; mix just to combine
- Scoop thick batter into cupcake liners, filling about 2/3 full, and bake for probably 25-30 minutes, but start checking at 20 — mine were done at about the 22/23 minute mark; watch for toothpick inserted in center to come out clean
- Remove cupcakes from oven and allow cool completely on a wire rack
- Beat cream cheese, butter and vanilla with electric mixer until nice and smooth