Sunday is National Cupcake Day. It's the perfect excuse to reminisce about when people devoted the same Cronut enthusiasm to the red velvet cupcake.
There are still lines for the Sprinkles ATM in Beverly Hills and a continued abundance of cupcake bakeries, proving the cupcake is still a fan favorite. And it's still the best way to acceptably eat a ton of cake. Taking a fork to a full-size cake at a party? Unacceptable. Casually eating five cupcakes over the course of half an hour? No one will even notice.
"Are you eating another cupcake?"
"Are you seriously asking me that? It's obviously the same one."
You get the idea.
To celebrate National Cupcake Day, here are three recipes to indulge in. There's one for the classic red velvet with cream cheese frosting, a s'more cupcake and the beloved vanilla cupcakes from Joan's on Third. Enjoy!
Total time: 50 minutes, plus cooling time. | Makes 2 dozen cupcakes
Cream cheese icing
3/4 cup butter (1½ sticks), softened
1 pound cream cheese, softened
2 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon lemon oil extract
In the bowl of a stand mixer using the paddle attachment, or in a large bowl using a hand mixer, cream the softened butter. Add the cream cheese and beat, scraping the bowl once or twice, until fully incorporated but still a little stiff. Add the sugar and beat until somewhat fluffy and spreadable. Beat in the vanilla and lemon oil, careful not to overmix. This makes about 4½ cups frosting. You may not use all of the frosting for the cupcakes; the remaining will keep, covered and refrigerated, up to a week (soften at room temperature and beat again before using).
Red velvet cupcakes
2 3/4 cups plus 1 tablespoon (12 ounces) flour
2 cups (14 ounces) sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon (1½ ounces) cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
1 cup buttermilk
3/4 teaspoon red food coloring, or as needed to achieve desired color
1 teaspoon vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon coffee extract or strong coffee
Simple syrup (¾ cup sugar dissolved in 1½ cups water), optional
Prepared cream cheese icing
1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Line muffin tins with 24 paper liners.
2. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, cocoa powder and cinnamon. In a separate large bowl, whisk together the oil, buttermilk, eggs, food coloring, vinegar, vanilla and coffee extract or coffee. Mix the dry ingredients into the wet, stirring just until combined to form a smooth batter. Add additional food coloring if needed to achieve the desired shade of red.
3. Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin pans. Bake until the cupcakes are puffed and spring back when touched, and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Remove the cupcakes and cool on a rack.
4. If desired, gently brush the tops of the cooled cupcakes with simple syrup to keep them very moist (the hotel places the syrup in a squeeze bottle and inserts the tip into the top of each cupcake to add a little syrup). Frost the cupcakes with the cream cheese icing and decorate as desired.
Each cupcake: Calories 405, protein 4 grams, carbohydrates 40 grams, fiber 1 gram, fat 27 grams, saturated fat 9 grams, cholesterol 52 mg, sugar 28 grams, sodium 228 mg.
Total time: 1 hour, 20 minutes | Makes 20 cupcakes
Note: Graham flour, the coarsely ground whole-wheat flour traditionally used in graham crackers, is available at well-stocked specialty stores. You can use semisweet chocolate chips or a coarsely chopped 70% chocolate of your choice.