Monday, May 2, 2016

Celebration Time

Yesterday, I turned in the manuscript for MISSION IMPAWSIBLE. Yay! That's something to celebrate. Unfortunately, I missed Malice Domestic over the weekend.

At Malice Domestic, Bookends Literary Agency invites its authors to a wine and cupcake party. And the divine cupcakes come from Georgetown Cupcakes.

It's a wonderful party with friends, wine, and munchies. But the star of the show, other than the lovely literary agents, of course, is definitely the cupcakes.

Since I couldn't go this year, I found a recipe online that is supposedly from Georgetown Cupcakes, and I made my own. This recipe is (I think!) for their Red Velvet Cupcakes. Now, I know what you're thinking. Wait a minute. The cupcakes in the photos aren't red! Okay, they're not. I don't like to use food coloring, so I omitted it. The funny thing is that when you bite into these, there is a hint of pink anyway!

When I wrote The Diva Frosts a Cupcake, I made batch after batch of Red Velvet Cupcakes in an attempt to add the desired red color without food coloring. It led to a blog I wrote, in which I described the process and my conclusions. The closest I came was red beet powder but it didn't yield the bright red to which we're accustomed. So it's a choice you get to make. If you want red, then the best solution is food coloring. Think of these as the cousins of the pretty red ones.

The recipe says it makes 12 cupcakes. I thought 3 cups of flour was a lot for 12 cupcakes, and I was right. This recipe makes 24 regular size cupcakes.

The flavor is mild, but tasty. However the best thing about these cupcakes is the texture. It's phenomenal. I have a feeling that's due to the fascinating addition of baking soda mixed with apple cider vinegar. Yes, you read the correctly. It fizzes up and gets added to the batter!

Do they taste just like Georgetown Cupcakes? Well, I don't have one here to make a comparison. But I would say no. No matter, they're still very good!

For the record, I brought the butter, eggs, and cream cheese to room temperature before using them.

A few hints. The most common complaint about cupcakes is that they're dry. Most cupcakes take only 16-18 minutes to bake. Don't overbake them!

Something that I have read several times is the recommendation to beat the dough and the frosting longer. Up to five minutes! I did that this time and could really see a difference.

Georgetown Cupcake Recipe


3 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
12 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
2 large eggs
4 tablespoons no-taste red food coloring
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/2 tablespoons cocoa powder, sifted
1 1/2 cups whole milk
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar

Preheat oven to 350. Place cupcake liners in pan.

Mix flour with salt and set aside. Cream the butter and sugar for 3 to 5 minutes. Add each egg and beat well. Mix the food coloring, vanilla, and cocoa powder in a small bowl and whisk together. (If you don't use the food coloring, whisk 1 tablespoon of vanilla, and three tablespoons additional milk with the powdered cocoa.) Add the vanilla mixture to the batter and beat. Alternate adding the flour and the milk, beating after each addition. In a small bowl, mix the apple cider vinegar with the baking soda. It will bubble up. Add to the batter and beat.

Using an ice cream scoop, fill each cupcake well 2/3rds full. Bake 16-18 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean.

Cream Cheese Frosting:

4 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 cups confectioner's sugar, sifted
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
6 ounces cream cheese

Dump everything into a mixing bowl and mix together. When combined, beat 3 to 5 minutes longer.

Beat 5 minutes.
The baking soda fizzes!
Beautiful batter.
Fresh from the oven.


  1. Thank you for the cupcake recipe, and the for all of the hints. :)

  2. No matter the color, these cupcakes look delicious.

    1. LOL! Thank you, Mason. They're a nice little reward.

  3. I've never been a fan of adding all that artificial food coloring to red velvet cupcakes either. I think your cupcakes look great! Thanks for sharing!

    1. Kim, one of the complaints I heard about red velvet cupcakes is that they taste like food coloring. Not surprising when some recipes use two bottles of the stuff!

  4. Why not call them "Sable Velvet" cupcakes?
    Then you can enjoy them without unfounded expectations.
    Like really blah coffee--mentally call it "a hot dark beverage" and fool yourself.

    1. Love it. Sable Velvet. It started here!

  5. My favorite part of Red Velvet cupcakes is the frosting, so I don't think I'll be missing the red coloring -- 4 tablespoons is certainly a lot of red!

    1. Celia, that's a small amount in comparison to some recipes that I've seen.

  6. The first time I made a red velvet cake I was horrified by the amount of red food coloring! No to mention the $$$ to buy so many bottles. These look so good I wish I could reach through my computer monitor and grab one!

    1. I'm trying to shove it through on my side, Peg. Especially since you missed Malice and turned in a manuscript, too. You deserve a cupcake!

    2. Tell me about it. I have a quart bottle of the stuff. Working my way through it slowly.

  7. I can't wait for your new book to be released! I like re-reading the previous book prior to the new book release to remind myself what happened previously.

    I really enjoy all the recipes and tips you provide.

    Thank you for bringing such joy into your reader's lives.

  8. Congratulations on the new manuscript!! You definitly deserve that cupcake, and they look lovely as usual!

  9. That's too bad that you couldn't get to Malice. But the cupcakes look very good!

  10. Dangerous! The last time I made cream cheese frosting, I ate half of it with a spoon. But these cupcakes look lovely.