Last week Pat’s school was having a potluck. He asked if I would mind making something. Really? Of course I wanted to make something. I went back and forth trying to figure out what the perfect treat would be and finally settled on mini cupcakes. I’ve always thought that bite size sweets work really well at potlucks and parties. It allows people to have something sweet, even if they’re full from all of the other food.
When I first saw these cupcakes on Nutmeg Nanny, I definitely had a “Why didn’t I think of that?” moment. I used her post as inspiration but chose a different recipe for the cake. My friends and I had done some red velvet recipe testing last summer when I was making cupcakes for Jody’s wedding. Our favorite was the Elisa Strauss recipe that Deb from Smitten Kitchen made on her site. This recipe features more cocoa than lots of red velvet recipes which definitely dulls the color, but gives the cupcakes a really good flavor.
In Nutmeg Nanny’s post she mentioned that it takes less green food coloring than red to get a really vibrant color. This is what the batter looked like after a half bottle of green food coloring, but before I added the flour. I figured it was enough.
This is what the batter looked like after I added the flour. Pond scum anyone?
So I added the rest of the bottle and then added half of another one. I thought it looked much better and that the color would come through after baking.
I wouldn’t say the cupcakes are emerald green, but hopefully it’s clear that they are green. The color would definitely shine through more if I had used less cocoa. They taste so great that I’m willing to sacrifice a bright color for good flavor.
Valentines Day is coming up and I think it is a perfect holiday to celebrate with baking. Red Velvet cake is no brainer but while looking for a recipe I came across a few of these red velvet cookies that looked very fun, and more portable and less messy than a cupcake or cake. I am looking for a better red food coloring substitute, using a whole bottle of dye in one cake mixture just doesn’t seem right. Next time I am going to experiment with beet juice and crushed strawberries, I’m hoping that will yield a moist and more natural cake. For the time being this recipe is very easy, takes no time to make and even less time to be eaten by your roommates.
I’m planning on making these for valentines day and handing out to my friends. Much more fun than the usual whitman sampler, and who doesn’t get excited by a hand held cake? Why hasn’t hostess jumped on this yet?
*I’m going to suggest cutting the sugar on these, I found them very sweet. I think you would be fine using only 1/2 a cup. and upping the baking soda to 3/4 teaspoon. They look a little flat as shown above.