Red Velvet Cupcakes for Independence Day

2 Jul

What is it about bad fashion that I find so darn enticing? Don’t get me wrong, I love me some trendy styles, but I can’t help myself when it comes to the cheesiest, outdated fads.

One of my all-time favorite wardrobe pieces are jean overalls. Overalls, you’re thinking. You must be joking. Nope, not joking.

I think overalls are adorable. You can get them all dirty, you can wear them over anything, and they look cute on everybody. OK, that last part might be stretching it a teeny bit. Nevertheless, they won’t go out of style in my book.

Here’s something else timeless: a little, old recipe for red velvet cupcakes. This recipe comes from Ryan’s grandmother, loving known as “MomMom” to the grandkids. You know you can’t go wrong when you’re using a trusty grandma recipe. Thanks, MomMom.

This makes a rich, thick batter. The cupcakes themselves are nowhere too dense, though—they are the perfect balance of crumb and density. The frosting is light and airy. A perfect topper to contrast the indulgent cupcakes. See for yourself.

Ooh la la! (And not even frosted yet!)

Stir together flour and salt. Set aside.

Cream together sugar and shortening.

Crack in an egg.

Beat until smooth.

Combine cocoa and red food coloring.

Whisk away.

Add cocoa/food coloring mix to creamed mixture. Beat until smooth.

In 3 additions, add in flour mixture.

Alternating, of course, with your buttermilk in 2 additions.


Be a scientist and combine vinegar and baking soda. Watch it bubble.

Add baking soda/vinegar mixture to batter. Then add your vanilla. Beat until smooth.

Fill your cups 2/3-way full. (I love how red these are!)

Bake 20-25 minutes. Let cool while making your frosting.

For the frosting, start by combining milk and flour in a small saucepan.

Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, for about 5 minutes until it thickens

Set aside to cool and cover with plastic wrap.

In another bowl, combine shortening, butter, sugar, and vanilla.

Beat until light and fluffy.

Add cooled milk mixture.

Beat until it’s the consistency of whipped cream.

Divide the frosting into half white, half blue, and frost away. Happy Independence Day!

Red Velvet Cupcakes and Frosting

Makes 12 cupcakes


For cupcakes:
1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup shortening
1 egg, room temperature
1 tablespoon cocoa
1 oz. red food coloring
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 teaspoon vinegar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla

For frosting:
1/2 cup milk
1 tablespoon flour
1/4 cup shortening
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a muffin tin with 12 paper liners.

Sift flour and salt together in a small bowl. Set aside. Cream shortening and sugar together for 2 minutes. Add egg and beat until smooth, about 1 minute. In a small bowl, whisk together cocoa and food coloring until all the lumps are out. Add cocoa mixture to the creamed mixture, and stir until combined.

In 3 additions add the dry ingredients alternately with the buttermilk in 2 additions. In another small bowl, add the baking soda to the vinegar, then stir into the cake batter. Add 1 teaspoon of vanilla, and beat until smooth, about 30 seconds.

Using a heaping 1/4-cup scoop, equally divide the batter into the muffin tins. The cups should be roughly 2/3 of the way filled.

Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the tops spring back when touched in the center.

To make frosting, stir milk and flour over medium heat. Stir constantly until it begins to thicken, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and cover with a piece of plastic wrap directly touching the surface of the milk. Set aside to cool.

Cream shortening, butter, sugar, and vanilla until fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add cooled milk mixture to creamed mixture. Beat until it looks like whipped cream, about 5 more minutes. Spread or pipe onto cupcakes. (If you want Independence Day-themed cupcakes, color half of the frosting blue and leave the other half white.)

Adapted from MomMom

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