I woke up early Saturday morning (6:46 am to be exact), staring straight up at the ceiling and thinking of all the things I had to do. Because this was no ordinary Saturday…no sir. It was Liz’s surprise birthday party Saturday and much needed to be done to fool the Tall One (I call her that…and not just in my head either). The thing is, Liz is a very clever girl…so clever that she almost ruined her own birthday party with repeated requests to stay at home and chill out on Saturday night instead of heading to Finn MacCool’s – the scene of the crime. Yup, she was proving to be a hard nut to crack…but either way, I had cupcakes to make! So in the early morning hours, I pulled out my cake flour, Big Red and enough butter to grease a runway to make the ultimate Red Velvet Redskins Cupcakes!
Anyone who has read Liz’s blog, “What Liz Said”, knows she is a HUGE Washington Redskins fan. Actually, I would call it more of an obsession, but we’re not here to judge, are we? Anywhoo, since Lizzo is such a Redskins fan, Patrick, Heidi and I decided to make the surprise bash a Redskins themed celebration. And what better cake to show Redskins love than Red Velvet? I mean, it’s Red…and it’s like the BEST cake ever (one can even say it’s legen…dary). Making them cupcakes seemed only logical because…well I have a bit of an unhealthy love for all things cupcake (side note for DC residents, get thee to Hello Cupcake…now). To do the cupcakes justice, I turned once again to Joy and her amazing Red Velvet Whopper cupcakes. I’ve blogged about these before, but since I add a bit of something extra (that Southern girl’s touch) to the mix, I decided to give you the full recipe here.
Red Velvet Cupcakes, Southern Style (as shown below, makes 12 cupcakes)
adapted from Joy the Baker
8 Tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups cake flour
2 Tablespoons cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
4 ounces semisweet chocolate, shaved
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 cup buttermilk
scant 2 Tablespoons Red Food coloring
Preheat oven to 325
Line muffin tins with cupcake liners and set aside.
In a large bowl, sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and baking powder. Shave the chocolate (either using a large box grater or a food processor if you like your skin to stay on your hand) and add to the sifted flour mixture. Add the kosher salt and set aside.
In a stand mixer, cream together the sugar and butter until blended and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time and continue to beat until fully incorporated. Add the vanilla and beat for a minute more. Measure out the buttermilk in a measuring container and add the food coloring to it. Whisk until the color is uniform (it will probably look like a dark pink, but don’t worry it bakes up a nice red!). With the stand mixer on low to medium (depending on the horse power of your mixer), alternately add a portion of the flour mixture and a portion of the buttermilk. Allow all of the ingredients to mix together before adding another portion of the flour mixture and then a portion of the buttermilk. Continue these steps until all the flour and buttermilk mixtures are incorporated into the creamed sugar/butter mixture.
Take a tablespoon and spoon the batter into the muffin tins. Bake the cupcakes for 20 minutes and then check to see if they are done. Because ovens are different, baking times may vary. Allow to cool and then decorate as you desire! I used a great cream cheese frosting tinted Redskins burgundy with gold sprinkles to make these Redskins-errific (yeah that did sound a bit cheesy, didn’t it).
As a side note, the party was a success! Liz was totally fooled (apparently all of Liz’s friends are great liars) and a good time was had by all. Even Urban Bohemian himself made it out (my newest foodie buddy might I add). The final cupcake “cake” picture isn’t my best, as Finn’s (like most Irish pubs) is dark (possibly to hide the shame of all that drinking). Happy Birthday Liz!