Friday, July 8, 2011

Red, White and Blue Velvet

As a person who's birthday is just a mere 7 days before Christmas, I completely understand the importance of not mixing birthdays with other national holidays.   But when I was asked to make cupcakes for an impromptu late June/early July birthday celebration for Katie and Maureen, I didn't want to stray from my July 4th cupcake plans.  While I felt bad for combining events, I felt even worse when July 4th weekend traffic and travel delays prevented Maureen and Katie from making the celebration!  Still, Becca, Jeanette and I celebrated for them :)

From Left to Right:  Maureen, me, Becca, Katie and Jeanette in the front
Cupcakes @ Becca's Shower
My idea for July 4th cupcakes really had one inspiration.... I really wanted to get rid of the leftover raspberry filling in my fridge from Becca's baby shower.  And since I am well aware of the fact my Red Velvet cupcakes have more chocolate than most others (which I would like to point out there is NOTHING wrong with), I thought the idea of injecting them with raspberry filling would be a new twist on a classic. And since my red velvets often come out more maroon, (something I know Alicia G can relate to...) I decided to make them blue.  And so the Red, White and Blue Velvets were born!

Very Blue Cupcakes
I used the Wilton Gel Icing Color of royal blue to get the cupcakes to be a fairly deep blue color.  Now there is a very "shocking" side effect to using that much food dye that you should be prepared for when making/eating these.  Check it out here.    

raspberry filled cupcakes
In order to fill the cupcakes, I simply put the raspberry filling (which I bought at my local cake/candy supply store) into a pastry bag and added a large opening tip.  In the past I have used Wilton #12, but have now found that Wilton #21 is a lot easier to use for filling.  To fill, simply press the tip into the top of the cupcake, then squeeze until you start to see the shape of the cupcake change and release.  Personally, I think its ok if there is a little but of filling coming out the top... the icing covers it anyway! 

Originially the cupcakes were going to be blue, the raspberry the red and then white icing with red sprinkles.  Unfortunately, I was out of red sprinkles but had a lot of white ones so made the last minute switch! I think they would have looked better the other way, but sometimes you have to make changes on the fly.

I did have a few problems with the icing since it was about 98 degrees outside, I live on the 3rd floor, and was simultaneously baking, running the dishwasher and the washing machine.   My condo was H-O-T.  So therefore the butter and cream cheese got a little too soft, but I was able to make it work.  If I had had more time I definitely would have put the icing in the fridge to set up before I tried to ice the cupcakes.

finished product.  You really can't see the blue in this light, but I assure you its there!
Overall, I think the cupcakes turned out well and definitely looked patriotic. They were quite rich so eating more than one might have made someone (aka me!) sick.  But I see it as one way to prevent you from eating too many calories.  And I'm sure Maureen and Katie would have loved them.... had they bothered to show up to their own party!


 Makes about 24 cupcakes

Blue Velvet Cupcakes
  • 2-1/2 cups cake flour
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
  • 1-1/2 cup sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 2/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • a lot of blue food coloring (until you get the color you want!)
Red Cream Cheese Icing
  • 8 oz cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 8 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 tbsp milk (or more to desired consistency)
  • Red food coloring
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with cupcake liners.
  2. Whisk  flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt into a medium bowl, set aside.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, using a hand held electric beater (or stand mixer) cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. 
  4. Add eggs and vegetable oil and beat well
  5. Add the buttermilk,vinegar, vanilla extract and food coloring; beat until just combined.
  6. Add dryingredients to the wet and blend until smooth and thoroughly combined
  7. Divide batter among the cupcake tins, filling 2/3 of the way full. 
  8. Bake for about 12 to 15 minutes or until a tester inserted into the center of the cupcake comes out clean. 
  9. Let cool completely on a wire rack before filling.
  10. Once the cupcakes have completely cooled, using a pastry bag fitted with an appropriate tip (like Wilton #21) and filled with raspberry filling, gently press the bag into the top of the cupcakes.   Squeeze bag and fill cupcakes until the tops start to swell.
  11. To make the icing, beat together the butter and cream cheese on medium until soft
  12. Gradually add the powdered sugar one cup at a time on low speed (to avoid a "splash")  
  13. Add vanilla and food color and mix well.  
  14. Add milk to get the icing to desired consistency.  This can be omitted if icing is already there.  
  15. Frost cupcakes however you desire and then sprinkle white sprinkles on top

Cupcakes and Icing adapted from the Neely's Pink Piggy Cupcakes



  1. when planning a party make sure the guests of honor can attend :P its the thought that counts -Maureen