my first ever red velvet cupcake was an embarrassingly touristy and nutritionally questionable breakfast at the magnolia bakery in new york city. (which I sneakily tried to photograph under the table, away from the withering glance of a local drinking her morning latte) their fame had preceded them, and they certainly lived up to the promise. i bought the magnolia bakery cookbook that day, but for the past few months it has been sitting prettily on my bookshelf, the pressure to replicate cupcake perfection seeming too great. but one night last week, when the usual hankering for something sweet hit, i decided to have a stab at the recipe. here is a video about how to make them right from the source, bobbie lloyd of magnolia bakery:
(if you don't have buttermilk in the fridge you can substitute regular milk mixed with an extra splash of vinegar- leave it on the bench for a few moments to thicken.)
i also devised a far more basic recipe for buttercream icing, which is quite a breakthrough for me. my freestyle icing attempts usually involve seemingly endless amounts of icing mixture, sticky fingers and a crappy result. this time, however, i did this:
you will need
- 1.5 cups icing sugar
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla essence
- 2 tablespoons milk/ (or whipping cream for those people who have it on hand)
mix together sugar and butter on low speed until well blended and then increase speed to medium and beat for another 3 minutes.
add vanilla and milk/cream and continue to beat on medium speed for 1 minute more, adding more milk/cream if needed for spreading consistency.
those more ambitious types can follow bobbie's fancy recipe for more involved, complicated, and probably superior icing: