July 2009 archive

Cakery Friday: Happy Birthday Papery & Cakery Red Velvet Cupcakes

Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

Happy Birthday Papery and Cakery! As we noted in yesterday’s post, Niki and I are both addicted to cream cheese frosting. As a tribute to that, and the first birthday of Papery & Cakery, I made delicious red velvet cupcakes with irresistible cream cheese frosting. Red velvet cake isn’t just cake with food coloring, the texture is actually different from both vanilla and chocolate cakes. The difference is caused by the use of cocoa powder, for rich, chocolatey flavor, and a mixture of baking soda and vinegar, which creates a light and airy texture.

As always, I start by lining up all the ingredients. This recipe called for cake flour * I prefer Swans Down *

Sift together 2 1/2 cupcs cake flour, 2 tablespoons unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder, 1 teaspoon salt.

Use an electric mixer with the paddle attachment on medium-high speed, and mix together 1 1/2 cups sugar and 1 1/2 cups oil until combined. Add 2 eggs, one at a time, beating until each is incorporated, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.

Mix in 1/2 tsp red gel-past food color and vanilla * I like the Nielson-Massey from Williams Sonoma *

Reduce speed to low * I like to switch to the whisk attachment * and add the flour mixture in three batches, alternating with 1/2 cup buttermilk (until you use the full 1 cup of buttermilk). Whisk well after each addition.

Stir together 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda and 2 teaspoons distilled white vinegar in a small bowl * it will foam * The vinegar (acid) and baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) create CO2 (carbon dioxide gas), this gas is what causes the cake to leaven. This is the standard procedure in making red velvet cake and this process causes the cake to be very light and airy.

Add the mixture to the batter, and mix on medium speed 10 seconds.

Divide the batter evenly among lined baking cups, filling each three-quarters full. I like to use a large ice cream scoop to make sure that each one is equal and the entire thing will bake evenly. I also use that same scoop to distribute the icing as you’ll see below.

Bake at 350 F for about 20 minutes, rotating tins halfway through, until toothpick/cake tester inserted in center comes out clean.


With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat 2 sticks of room-temperature unsalted butter and 12 oz room temperature cream cheese until fluffy, 2-3 minutes. Reduce speed to low, add 4 cups of confectioners’ sugar in 1/2 cup increments, 1/4 tsp vanilla, and mix until smooth and combined, scraping down the sides of bowl as needed.

I used my medium-sized ice cream scoop to make sure the icing was evenly distributed on each cupcake.

Then I used a small off-set spatula to spread the icing.

I cutout fondant letters (I colored rolled fondant with gel paste) and placed them on top of the cupcakes. Sometimes I use a stencil but I did these letters freehand with a sharp knife. Fondant will dry out after the package is opened. * You can place a damp towel on top of it while you work to prevent from it from drying *

Formula for Happy Birthday Papery & Cakery Red Velvet Cupcakes:

2 1/2 cups cake flour, sifted
2 tbsp unsweetened Dutch- process cocoa powder
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
2 large eggs, room temperature
1/2 tsp red gel-paste food color
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp distilled white vinegar

Cream Cheese Frosting:
1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
12 oz cream cheese, room temperature
4 cups confectioners’ sugar
3/4 tsp vanilla extract

Happy Baking and Happy Birthday!



Our Favorite Cupcakes. Yours Too!

Here at Papery & Cakery, we consider ourselves confectionary connoisseurs. While brainstorming our final post for this fabulous birthday week (before Cakery Friday), we agreed we should talk about some of the best cupcakes we’ve ever eaten. After all, we love cupcakes both in our logo and in real life!
My favorite cupcakes in NYC are at CC’s Cafe. They are light and airy with just the right thickness and sweetness of the buttercream.

I love the red velvet cheesecake at the infamous Magnolia Bakery. Although it’s not exactly a cupcake it sure looks like one and it tastes incredible.

I also adore all of the cupcakes from Billy’s Bakery.

When Cole and I were in Houston last fall for a Ravens game we visited Crave Cupcakes. Not only was I completely obsessed with their amazing storefront, and the fantastic mixer silhouette in their logo, but the Red Velvet Cupcake really couldn’t be beat.
In NYC last Spring my friends Michelle & Shelley told me I had to make a pit stop at Crumbs Bakery. I tried the peanut butter cup cupcake which was frosted with a cream cheese icing with Reeses cups mixed in. My stomach is growling just thinking about it.

My all time favorite cupcakes are the ones that Ali made for my shower a few years ago. They were vanilla pound cake with a cream cheese frosting (see a pattern here?) and were iced with adorable fondant daisies. If you’re in the NYC area and want to order these from Ali, she can be reached at ali@paperyandcakery.com.
Any suggestions for more cupcake inspiration? Where are your favorite cupcakes from? We’d love to hear. We’re planning to visit L.A. and San Diego in the near future and would love some cupcake recommendations to check out on the other coast.
Don’t forget to submit your comments to be eligible win the Pica Press labels! Time’s running out.
Niki & Ali

Cupcake Mix Favors

I was totally amazed when I saw these brownie mix party favors from one cool pick’s blog. These “Big Brother’s Badass Brownies” were given out at a baby shower! The ingredients were individually packaged in an awesome kraft tube with an enclosed recipe card. The brownie’s are the soon-to-be-big-brother’s favorite recipe. The labels were designed and printed by the fantastically creative Melanie Lantin, who is truly one cool chick.

Since it’s birthday week, I thought this idea would be an impressive favor, especially for a birthday fiesta!
I love the idea of mixes. Ali, my pastry-savvy sister, loves to spend hours in the kitchen, waiting for butter and eggs to come room temperature, and meticulously measuring ingredients. On the other hand, I don’t always have the necessary patience for baking. My favorite cake recipes involve doctoring up Duncan Hines Moist Deluxe. I breathe a huge sigh of relief when I see a pastry recipe with 5 ingredients or less.
A few months ago, while browsing around Williams-Sonoma (and pretending to be a domestic goddess), I stumbled upon this fantastic Sprinkles cupcake mix. My sister Gavi and I whipped them up rather quickly. All that was required from our end was eggs, butter and confectioners sugar. Voila! Mixes are my best friend and I think they could be yours too. I especially love Spinkle’s tube packaging for the mix. It’s so much more striking than the mixes found in paper bags and cardboard boxes. It really sets Sprinkles apart and definitely made me want to go home and bake some cupcakes!
The tube mix from one cool chick is a perfect DIY way to personalize a favor. Maybe you have a legendary family recipe for cookies, brownies, cake or cupcakes. Take the time to measure out and assemble the dry ingredients ahead of time. Type up a recipe card, explaining what needs to be added, how long and at what temperature it should bake. Stick on a fun and fancy label and ta-da, an amazing favor!
I did a little research for my DIY lovers who really want to have this favor come to life. Mailing tubes can be purchased practically around the corner at your local office supply shop. I personally like them best in kraft or white, but they also can be bought in a variety of colors or even transparent. Design your own labels, or hand draw them. I love the variety of options, colors & textures at Online Labels.com. They provide wonderful templates which make printing labels yourself really simple.
Purchase your ingredients from your local grocer, or if you are giving a large amount of favors, use a wholesale supplier like Costco or BJ’s.
Measure out the ingredients into cellophane or plastic bags (there are great ones available at Nashville Wraps). Make sure to secure the bags with a tie, ribbon and/or a cute tag, and label the bags with their respective ingredients.
Print out a recipe card on nice stock to explain how to assemble the mix. Give a little background on the meaning behind the dish.

The ingredients could also be assembled in a cute mason jar with a fabulous ribbon tied around but I’m really enamored with the tube.
Bon Appetit!
Trust me, domestic goddesses (ahem) like myself will swoon!

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