Engagement Party

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For my brother in-law and future sister in-laws engagement party I baked from scratch 120 mini cupcakes. Flavors were selected by my future sister in-law: Red Velvet and Chocolate Peanut Butter. The Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes are a blend of two recipes, the final product was rich, chocolatey, smooth and light. For the Red Velvet I have Ms. Martha Stewart to thank, can’t mess with a classic recipe.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes:

Chocolate Cake:
1-3/4 cups all purpose flour
2 cups sugar
3/4 cups good cocoa powder
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp kosher salt
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 large eggs
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 cup freshly brewed hot coffee

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Prepare you 8″ cake rounds by greasing and flouring them

Sift the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt together into a bowl and mix until well combined

In another bowl, combine the buttermilk, oil, eggs, and vanilla. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry

With the mixer still on low, add the coffee and stir just to combine

Pour the batter into the prepared cupcake liners

Bake for 12-15 minutes for mini cupcakes or until cake tester comes out clean for regular sized cupcakes

Chocolate Cake recipe referenced from Erica’s Sweet Tooth

Peanut Butter Frosting:
8 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
4 tbsp. unsalted butter, softened
½ cup creamy peanut butter
3¼ cups confectioners’ sugar
1 cup frozen whipped topping, thawed

Garnish:
Mini Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups

Directions

To make the frosting, in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the cream cheese, butter and peanut butter until smooth. Slowly mix in the confectioners’ sugar, beating until smooth and well blended. Mix in the whipped topping until smooth and fluffy. Frost cooled cupcakes as desired.

The cool whip lightened the frosting perfectly, recipe referenced from Annie’s Eats

Red Velvet:

Cake:

2 1/2 cups cake flour (not self- rising), sifted
2 tablespoons unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
2 large eggs, room temperature
1/2 teaspoon red gel-paste food color
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons distilled white vinegar

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners. Whisk together cake flour, cocoa, and salt.

With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, whisk together sugar and oil until combined. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until each is incorporated, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Mix in food color and vanilla.

Reduce speed to low. Add flour mixture in three batches, alternating with two additions of buttermilk, and whisking well after each. Stir together the baking soda and vinegar in a small bowl (it will foam); add mixture to the batter, and mix on medium speed 10 seconds.

Divide batter evenly among lined cups, filling each three-quarters full. Bake, rotating tins halfway through, until a cake tester inserted in centers comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Transfer tins to wire racks to cool completely before removing cupcakes. Cupcakes can be stored overnight at room temperature, or frozen up to 2 months, in airtight containers.

To finish, use a small offset spatula to spread cupcakes with frosting.

Cook’s Note

Gel-paste food color is much more concentrated than the supermarket liquid variety; if you substitute the liquid, you may need to add an entire bottle (1.5 ounces) to achieve the desired shade.

Cream Cheese Frosting:

8 ounces (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
12 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1 pound (4 cups) confectioners’ sugar, sifted
3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Directions

Beat butter and cream cheese with a mixer on medium-high speed until fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Reduce speed to low. Add sugar, 1 cup at a time, and then vanilla; mix until smooth.

Red Velvet recipe compliments of Martha Stewart

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