Monday, February 11, 2013

Quick Red Velvet Cupcakes!

I hate to use the term semi-homemade. If I start saying semi-homemade I am on a slippery, saccharine-y slope toward Sandra Lee - soon I'll be saying tablescapes. I don't hate Sandra Lee (I don't hate anyone, really) it's just that the food she makes on her show tends to be semi over-processed.  And we've already established that I'm a control freak who doesn't like semi anything. ...  Wait. This post started all wrong. Can we start over? Sorry for the salty intro. Let me take you to the sweet, sweet land of cupcakes and love (and did I really start a Valentine's post with the word hate? forgive me).  Moving on. 

These Valentine cupcakes are quasi-homemade and they are delightful! A quick treat for busy ladies and gents who want an easy taste of love. You'll fall for these red velvet beauties, promise.

Here's the quasi part:


Buy the best Red Velvet Cake Mix you can find. I used
this one, because it's mostly natural.
Bake 12 cupcakes, according to recipe on box.

Here's the homemade part, and it's a show-stopper:


  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 1 cup (8 ounces) cream cheese at room temperature
  • 2 cups powdered sugar -- sifted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Pinch of kosher salt
  • 1 cup (8 ounces) mascarpone
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Valentine sprinkles

  • In the large bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter, cream cheese, and powdered sugar on medium-high speed until light and fluffy. Beat in the mascarpone on very low speed until just combined. (Be careful; once you've added the mascarpone, excessive beating can make the frosting curdle.) Stir in the vanilla extract.

    Frost the top of each cupcake with icing and dust with sprinkles. Give to your loved ones and to yourself. Have a Happy Valentine's Day.

    Icing source: Epicurious
    {Ready to bake}
    {Ready to frost}
    {Ready for sprinkles}
    {One for me}
    {A couple for my sweetheart}
    {Some for delivery to co-workers & friends}

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