Now don’t judge, this Red Velvet Cake (well in this case cupcakes) recipe starts with a cake mix. I must admit the first time I saw that, I was like – well wait a minute that feels like cheating. But really, the cake mix just has the dry ingredients mixed for you. This recipe has a lot of steps that are very similar to a fully from scratch Red Velvet Cake. My mother in law gave me this recipe (Hi Carolyn!). And since first having this cake and having this recipe (almost 15 years), I have used or made no other Red Velvet Cake. Ok now wait a minute, I do believe I tried using the red velvet cake mix – it isn’t the same as this way of doing things!
So Russell’s birthday is in April, and I always make him cupcakes to take to work – and I always bring some to my work too! Hey they are wanting to celebrate my fabulous husband too! We also always set some aside for a few friends since their kids love the cake too! Easter and that Carvel ice cream cake has been something Russell has talked about over and over – so I also picked one of those up and we headed to some friends with the ice cream cake and cupcakes and candles. So I don’t typically have Russell blow out candles on his birthday – but we did the whole shebang with our friends (Hi Kelli!)!
Now onto the recipe
- Duncan Heinz Fudge Marble Cake mix
- 1.5 cups buttermilk*
- 2 eggs
- 2 1 oz bottles red food coloring
- 1 TBS vinegar
- 1 TSP baking soda
Follow the instructions on the box for oven temperature and time to bake only! Preheat the oven to whichever temperature your box says. Mix the yellow part of the cake mix with the buttermilk and the eggs.
Now I need to calibrate my KitchenAid, so I always have to stop and really scrape. So make sure to do that so you don’t have a surprise when you dump into the pans.
Put the chocolate packet in a separate bowl and mix with the two bottles of red food coloring.
(I will admit right now, I sometimes just throw it all in the mixer and don’t use a separate bowl. I have yet to notice a real difference!). When mixed, add to the cake. Mix it.
In another separate bowl, add vinegar and baking soda (it fizzes up) and stir together, then add to cake.
When thoroughly mixed, pour into greased and floured cake pans. (I have done cupcakes, sheet cakes or layer cakes – all are great)!
Bake according to the directions on the box, I always go with the least time – for example for cupcakes it says 18-21 minutes – I always take out at 18 minutes!
(Here I will give you another tip. This batter stains your hands, your counters everything. If you drop some on the counter (we have Corian and you can literally see everywhere it has landed – wipe it up immediately.)
Now let’s go over the frosting – which in my opinion is the BOMB.
- 1/4 pound of butter (1 stick)
- 6 TBS crisco
- 1 cup sugar
- 3 TBS flour (one at a time)
- 2/3 cup milk
- 1 tsp vanilla
Cream the butter, crisco and sugar. Then alternate adding some of the flour and some of the milk until all incorporated. Add vanilla. Beat on high for 12 minutes. Now I typically 1.5 times the recipe – nobody wants skimpy frosting!!
Once cooled – frost away!