I had to come up with a red, white and blue something for a team potluck at work. Everyone likes when I bake so I couldn’t miss the opportunity. I pondered what to make when I decided to do a red velvet cupcake filled with homemade blueberry jam and topped with cream cheese frosting.
I had never made a red velvet anything so I asked my uber baker friend Logan if she had a favorite recipe. She obliged and that left figuring out how to make a quick jam. Apparently the addition of an acid takes a compote to jam status in just a few minutes.
The resulting cupcakes were delicious and not a single one was left at the end of the party.
Red velvet cake:
Yield: 3 cake layers or 30 cupcakes
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
3 1/2 cups cake flour (you can easily make this recipe gluten free by swapping the flour for an ap gluten free flour substitute like gluten free pantry. I always add at least 1/4 tsp of xantham gum per cup of flour to help the texture)
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa (not Dutch process)
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 cups canola oil (swap for room temp coconut oil if that’s your thing)
2 1/4 cups granulated sugar
3 large eggs
6 tablespoons (3 ounces) red food coloring or 1 teaspoon red gel food coloring dissolved in 6 tablespoons of water
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1 1/4 cup buttermilk
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 1/2 teaspoons white vinegar.
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place teaspoon of butter in each of 3 round 9-inch layer cake pans and place pans in oven for a few minutes until butter melts. Remove pans from oven, brush interior bottom and sides of each with butter and line bottoms with parchment.
2. Whisk cake flour, cocoa and salt in a bowl.
3. Place oil and sugar in bowl of an electric mixer and beat at medium speed until well-blended. Beat in eggs one at a time. With machine on low, very slowly add red food coloring. (Take care: it may splash.) Add vanilla. Add flour mixture alternately with buttermilk in two batches. Scrape down bowl and beat just long enough to combine.
4. Place baking soda in a small dish, stir in vinegar and add to batter with machine running. Beat for 10 seconds.
5. Divide batter among pans, place in oven and bake until a cake tester comes out clean, 40 to 45 minutes. Let cool in pans 20 minutes. Then remove from pans, flip layers over and peel off parchment. Cool completely before frosting.
Cupcake variation: Since this has been published, many readers have written in to express that it adapts well to cupcakes. The yield is approximately 30 cupcakes, with the liners filled only 3/4 of the way, and the baking time should be between 20 to 25 minutes, but check in on them 2/3 of the way through in case your oven gets the job done faster.
2 cups fresh blueberries
1/4 cup sugar plus a little more depending on the sweetness of your berries and what you like
Juice and zest of 1 small lemon
Smash the blueberries in your pot then add the other ingredients. Bring to a boil and let coo 10 to 15 minutes until thick. Then cool completely and put in the fridge.
I hallow out about two tsp of cake from each cupcake and then top with cream cheese frosting.
Cream cheese frosting
8 oz cream cheese
4 Tbsp butter
1 lb powdered sugar plus probably a cup more
1 tsp vanilla
Beat this all for a good five minutes until smooth.