Red Velvet Cupcakes

My oldest grandson Dylan loves my red velvet cupcakes and cakes. He says my recipe is the best. I use good chocolate in my recipe and I don’t overdo the food coloring. I find that food coloring has an aftertaste and too much can ruin the flavor of whatever you use it in. Those are my tips for a good red velvet cake, good chocolate, not too much food coloring and coffee. Coffee is a must, it brings out the chocolate flavor in these red velvet cupcakes.

My birthday boy with his favorite, my red velvet cupcakes.
Batter with just the liquid ingredients

Ingredients:

1 cup of flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 Tablespoon of unsweetened cocoa powder, I use Ghirardelli’s

1 cup of granulated sugar

1 stick of butter, melted

1 egg

1/2 cup of real buttermilk

1 1/2 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract*

1/2 – 1 ounce red food coloring

1/2 teaspoon of white distilled vinegar

1/4 cup of hot coffee

Batter after dry ingredients were added. You can see how the chocolate change the vivid red color to a brown-red color

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line cupcake pan with liners.

In a medium sized bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cocoa. Set aside.

In your mixing bowl, mix together sugar and melted butter until incorporated. Add egg, buttermilk, vanilla and red food coloring, mix well. Stir in coffee and vinegar.

Slowly add dry ingredients to the liquid batter. Blend until combined. This batter is thin but it makes the best moist cupcakes in the world. Only fill liners to the half way mark. This recipe makes a bakers dozen (13). My recipe can be easily doubled to make 24 – 26 cupcakes. Bake for 15-17 minutes until a cake tester comes out clean. Do not over bake. These are super moist and delicious. Enjoy!

Red Velvet are the perfect cupcakes for Christmas.

Cream Cheese Frosting:

1 stick of room temperature butter

1 8 ounce block of cream cheese

1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract*

1 pinch of salt

4 cups of powdered sugar

Blend butter and cream cheese together. Add vanilla extract. Slowly incorporate the powdered sugar. I used a 1M tip to decorate my cupcakes.

*I use Mexican vanilla, use good vanilla in everything you bake. It’s makes a big difference on the superior flavor. During the holiday season, sometimes you can find Mexican vanilla at Walmart and it can be ordered from Amazon.

Egg Nog Cheesecake with Rum Caramel Sauce

I made this cheesecake to celebrate my four years of food blogging. Tis the season to eat or drink egg nog! I hope you enjoy this wonderful cheesecake as much as I had the pleasure of making it. Happy Holidays!

Crust:

2 cups graham cracker crumbs, I used Keebler

3/4 teaspoon nutmeg

2 Tablespoons of sugar

1 stick of butter, melted

Combine graham cracker crumbs, sugar and nutmeg. Add melted butter and it well. Place into a springform pan. Form crust on the bottom and halfway up the sides of the pan. Place in freezer.

Cheesecake:

3  8 ounce packages of cream cheese, room temperature

1 cup of sugar

3 eggs, room temperature

2 Tablespoons of cornstarch

2 Tablespoons of vanilla

3/4 cup sour cream

3/4 cup egg nog

4 Tablespoons rum

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Combine cream cheese and sugar and beat until fluffy. Add eggs one at a time and mix well. Add cornstarch and combine. Mix vanilla, sour cream, egg nog and rum, blending well. Place in springform pan and bake 1 hour – 1 hour 15 minutes until center is about set.  I baked my cheesecake for approximately 1 hour 10 minutes. Cool for 15 minutes and remove ring from springform pan.  Cool completely and place in refrigerator.

Rum Caramel Sauce:

1 cup packed brown sugar, light or dark whatever you have

1/4 water

1/2 cup heavy cream

3 Tablespoons rum

1 Tablespoon cornstarch

Place everything in a heavy saucepan. Bring to a rolling boil and boil for 6 minutes, stirring frequently. Cool. Pour on top of cheesecake. Serve and enjoy!

Peppermint Pound Cake

I have lost count how many Peppermint Pound Cakes I have baked in over 30 years. I have lost count. This cake is moist, and light on the peppermint flavor. It’s not overpowering at all. I have made these and given them to family and friends as gifts and now they expect them. I hope you enjoy this cake as much friends, family and I do. Happy Baking!

Ingredients:

1 box yellow cake mix, Duncan Hines preferred

1 small box of vanilla instant pudding

1 cup water

1/3 cup oil, I used vegetable

4 eggs

1 teaspoon peppermint extract, not mint, there is a difference

One recipe makes 2 large loaf pans.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour your bundt pan or loaf pans*. I used Bakers Joy.

Whisk cake and pudding mixes. Add water and oil and combine. Put the eggs in one at a time and mix well. Add peppermint extract. Pour into prepared pan(s). If you are baking in a bundt pan, bake 45-55 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Loaf pans will bake quicker and the mini loaf pans will bake in 20 minutes or so. Cool bundt pan about 20 minutes and remove to finish cooling. Do not glaze until cake is completely cooled.

**Peppermint Glaze:

1 cup powdered sugar

2-3 Tablespoons milk

1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract

Peppermint Candy Canes, I like the green and red stripe, crushed

Mix together and pour over poundcake(s). Add crushed candy canes.

*This is a wonderful poundcake that makes excellent gifts. You can usually 6-8 mini loaf pans or 2 good size loaf pans. After glaze is set, wrap in plastic wrap and deliver to your friends and family

**Additional glaze may be needed for individual pound cakes.

Pumpkin Spice Cookies


I would like to say, run, don’t walk and buy these pumpkin spice chips! I bought 3 bags and I am going back for more. It’s no secret that I am not a huge pumpkin fan. I happen to know and love many people that do. These cookies made me a pumpkin lover. I admit it! I baked two batches of these cookies, one with regular all purpose flour and one batch with gluten free flour. Hard for me to tell the difference. Both batches were perfect and delicious!
 Ingredients:
2 1/4 cup all purpose or gluten free (I used Pillsbury’s Gluten Free)*
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1 cup of vegetable shortening, I used Crisco, the white kind
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup light brown sugar
2 eggs, I used extra large
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1 10 ounce package of pumpkin spice chips, I bought mine at Walmart in the holiday baking isle


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Combine dry ingredients in a small bowl and whisk together. In a mixing bowl, beat sugars and shortening until creamy. Add vanilla and add eggs one at a time. Add flour mixture gradually. Mix well. Stir in pumpkin spice chips. Drop by rounded teaspoonful on an ungreased cookie/baking sheet. Bake for 8 – 10 minutes until golden brown. Cool on cookie sheet for 2 minutes and remove to finish cooling on a wire rack. Once cool, store in an airtight container.
 *If you are using Pilsbury’s Gluten Free Flour, follow the recipe and measure cup for cup per the directions.