Most red velvet cakes have white icing, but since they’re flavored with cocoa to begin with, chocolate frosting makes a terrific topping, too. Kids can help put paper liners in the cupcake tins, sift the dry ingredients, add confectioners’ sugar to the frosting and pipe chocolate hearts onto wax paper.
|2 cups all-purpose flour||2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons red food coloring|
|1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda||1 teaspoon vanilla extract|
|1 teaspoon salt||1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened|
|2 tablespoons, plus 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder||4 cups confectioners' sugar|
|1 1/4 cups vegetable oil||2 tablespoons milk|
|2 cups granulated sugar||one 12-ounce bag white chocolate chips|
|1 1/4 cups buttermilk||A few drops red food coloring|
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and line 2 12-cup cupcake tins with paper liners. Sift together flour, baking soda, salt and 2 tablespoons of the cocoa powder into a medium bowl and set aside.
In a stand mixer, blend the oil, sugar and buttermilk until combined. Add the eggs, food coloring and vanilla and blend well. Add the dry ingredients and blend until just combined.
Spoon the batter into the liners and bake 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool completely.
To make the frosting, beat the butter and cocoa powder until smooth, then gradually add confectioners’ sugar. Add the milk a little at a time to achieve a smooth, spreadable consistency. Frost the cooled cupcakes.
To make the chocolate hearts, line a baking sheet with wax paper and set aside. Put half the chips (about 1 cup) in a small bowl, microwave on high for 1 minute and whisk with a fork. (The chips might look solid, but they will continue to melt as you whisk.) If there are any lumps remaining, continue to microwave in 10-second increments, whisking after each. Do not overheat the chocolate; it can seize into a stiff mass.
Spoon the melted chocolate into a zip-top sandwich bag, snip off a tiny piece from one corner and drizzle 24 small lacy heart shapes onto the wax paper.
Melt the remaining chips in the same bowl and stir in a drop or two of red food coloring once the chocolate is smooth. Spoon the pink-hued chocolate into a second sandwich bag, snip off a corner and drizzle 24 hearts onto the waxed paper. Put the baking sheet into the refrigerator for 10 minutes to firm up the chocolate hearts, then set one of each color atop each cupcake.
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