Last year, I posted a recipe for Peppermint Black Bottom Cupcakes, a nifty seasonal twist on a classic recipe and family favorite. Well, as I started to think about Christmas treats for this season, I decided to take that classic recipe and try another twist – fun, rich, colorful red velvet. Red Velvet Black Bottom is not a great name, so I call these surprise cupcakes because of the creamy white chocolate bits hidden in the center. A delicious, prettily wrapped Christmas present.
Yes, you really do need the whole bottle of food coloring to get the vivid red, otherwise it will be a muddy, dull shade. Be careful of a fresh manicure with the food coloring though, it is hard to get off. And yes, these may turn your tongue a little crimson, but that’s half the fun. Kids and adults alike love these festive treats, and they are a perfect make-ahead, portable party delight. Stored in an airtight container, they will last for days. I can see these as a lovely gift, wrapped in cellophane, tied with a green ribbon. The cupcakes are pretty enough to serve as decoration on their own.
Red Velvet Surprise Cupcakes
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 1/3 cups sugar, divided
1 large egg
1 cup white chocolate morsels
1 ½ cup flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup water
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 Tablespoon white vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 (1-ounce) bottle red food coloring
Preheat the oven to 350°. Line 16 muffin cups with paper liners.
Beat the cream cheese with an electric mixer until creamy and smooth. Gradually beat in 1/3 cup sugar until thoroughly combined. Add the egg and beat until smooth. Fold in the white chocolate morsels. Set aside
In a large bowl, combine the remaining 1 cup of sugar, the flour, baking soda, salt and cocoa powder. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients. Stir together the water, oil, vinegar and vanilla and red food coloring in a measuring jug, then pour into the well. Stir just until the batter is mixed. Spoon the batter evenly between the 16 muffin cups, filling each half-full. Spoon a heaping Tablespoon of the cream cheese filling over the batter in the cups.
Bake for 25 – 30 minutes or until a tester inserted in the middle of a cake comes out clean and the cream cheese filling is set. Cool for 5 minutes in the tins, then remove to cool completely on a wire rack.
Makes 16 cupcakes