Southern Comfort Red Velvet Cupcakes

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I will be the first one to admit I’m not a huge fan of red velvet. I mean… what is that flavor? Just a hint of chocolate, lots of buttermilk, vinegar of all things, and red food coloring. They’re just so RED. But I found an enticing recipe for Southern Comfort Red Velvet cupcakes and I thought that was a cupcake I could get behind. I know what you’re all thinking, SoCo?! Yuuuuuumm. Right? No? My entire family makes so much fun of me for drinking it but as a college kid what more could you want? It’s the best possible mix in for an Arnold Palmer on game day if you can’t foot the bill for a bottle of Maker’s Mark.

Anyway, I got off topic. We’re not here to debate the merits of SoCo but to talk about cupcakes! It was my birthday a few weeks ago and I wanted to take some cupcakes to a little gathering a friend of mine was throwing. So when I stumbled upon the aforementioned recipe I decided to give them a try and see how spiked red velvet was received.

I should also take this time to mention that I do not really like cream cheese frosting either. So I decided to forgo the classic red velvet topper and settled onΒ  cinnamon whiskey buttercream instead. Best decision ever, I must say. You can never go wrong with a simple buttercream. And with some whiskey and cinnamon? Yeeeeess please. I added some red hots for garnish because they just seemed to fit the theme and they worked perfectly. I shocked myself with how much I enjoyed red velvet of all things. Just goes to show what a little whiskey can do!

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Adapted from Martha Stewart; makes 24

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 c. gluten-free AP flour
  • 2 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 1/2 c. sugar
  • 1 1/2 c. vegetable oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 tsp. red gel-paste food color
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 3/4 c. buttermilk
  • 1/4 c. Southern Comfort (or whiskey/bourbon of your choice….)
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 2 tsp. distilled white vinegar

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line cupcake tines. Whisk together and sift flour, cocoa, and salt.
  2. Mix together sugar and oil until combined in large stand mixer. Add eggs one at a time, beating until each is incorporated. Mix in food color and vanilla. (I didn’t have gel so I dumped in about a half of a small bottle of liquid dye.
  3. On low speed, blend in flour mixture in three batches. Alternate with two additions of your buttermilk/SoCo mixture, and mix well after each.
  4. Mix baking soda and vinegar in a small bowl (it sizzles!) and then add to the batter, mixing it in until just combined. So weird, I know, but supposedly this addition is what really brings out the “red” of the cocoa.
  5. Fill lined cupcake tins about three quarters full and bake for about 18-20, rotating halfway through for evenness. Let cool completely, frost and keep in airtight container for up to a week (yes, they’re that moist. They live foreeever in the cupcake world if you can keep yourself from eating them all.)

BUTTERCREAM:

Beat 2 softened sticks of butter until fluffy. Add confectioners sugar (about 3-4 cups, when all is said and done), a dash of milk (yes, that is a technical term), whiskey and cinnamon to taste and blend all ingredients together. Vanilla is optional, but highly recommended if you use the same Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla Extract I do! Frost cupcakes, add red hots and enjoy your super duper Southern cupcakes!!

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