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Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

Valentien's Day Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting | recipe from runawayrice.comWith gorgeous red color, these super-moist and fluffy Red Velvet Cupcakes topped with luscious swirls of a cream cheese frosting are simply delicious. This recipe is just in time for Valentine’s Day and making these scrumptious cupcakes is the perfect way to pamper your special someone with a decadent, sweet treat.  After all, who doesn’t love cupcakes?! 🙂

Notes on the Recipe, Tips and Tricks

If you don’t have cake flour, make your own by sifting together 2 cups all-purpose flour + 1/2 cup corn starch.

Use a mild vegetable oil like soybean or canola.

If using gel food coloring, add just 1/2 tsp as it’s more concentrated than the liquid food coloring.

Don’t over-mix the batter.  This will lead to dense and heavy cupcakes.

After adding the baking soda and vinegar, work quickly to transfer the batter into the pans and then into the oven. Don’t let the batter sit too long or the cupcakes will deflate.

This recipe is generous and there will be some leftover batter. Resist the urge to fill-up the cups as they will overflow during baking.  Fill the cups just two-thirds full.

The secret to moist cupcakes is to not over-bake them; 20 minutes is all it takes. Also, as soon as they are cool enough to handle, remove the cupcakes from the pan so they don’t continue baking.

At the end of the day, refrigerator any remaining cupcakes in an air-tight container. Cupcakes can also be frozen for up to 2 months.

Watch the video below for instructions.

If you enjoyed this recipe, you may also like: Sponge Cake (Banh Bong Lan).

Ingredients

for the Cupcakes
2 1/2 cups cake flour
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/3 cups vegetable oil
2 large eggs, room temperature
2 Tbsp red food coloring
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons distilled white vinegar

for the Cream Cheese Frosting
4 ounces unsalted butter, room temperature
8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1 pound (4 cups) confectioners sugar
1 tsp lemon juice
3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Directions

Line two cupcake pans with baking cups.  Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Sift the cake flour, cocoa powder and salt into a medium bowl.  Stir to combine.

In a stand mixer, add the sugar and vegetable oil and whisk together on Medium High speed until combined, approximately 15-20 seconds.  Add one egg to the mixture and whisk until incorporated, approximately 10 seconds.  Add the second egg and whisk until incorporated.  Turn off the mixer.

Add the vanilla extract and red food coloring.  Starting on Low speed and gradually increasing to Medium speed, whisk for 15 seconds or until evenly combined.

Add one-third of the flour mixture, approximately 1 cup, along with half of the buttermilk and mix on Low speed until most of the dry ingredients are incorporated.  Add another third of the flour mixture, the remaining buttermilk and continue whisking.  Add the remaining flour mixture and whisk together.  Stop the mixer and scrape around the bowl working in the remaining dry ingredients.  Whisk for another 10 seconds.

In a small bowl, combine the baking soda and vinegar. Pour into the batter and whisk together on Medium speed for 10 seconds.

Use an ice cream scoop or batter pen to transfer the batter into the cups, filling each two-thirds full.

Bake the cupcakes for 20 minutes. Test for doneness by inserting a toothpick and making sure it comes out clean.

Remove the pans from the oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes. Transfer the cupcakes to a wire rack and allow to cool for another 30 minutes.

Sift the confectioners sugar into a large bowl.

In a stand mixer, whisk the cream cheese and butter on Medium speed until fluffy, approximately 2-3 minutes.

On Low speed, confectioners sugar, 1 cup at a time, and mix together until the sugar is fully incorporated.  Stop the mixer and scrape around the bowl working in any remaining sugar.

Add the lemon juice and vanilla extract. Whip the frosting on Medium High speed until fluffy, approximately 15 seconds.

Frost the cupcakes using an offset spatula.  Alternatively put the frosting into a piping bag fitted with a decorator’s tip and frost the cupcakes.

Yields: 24 cupcakes

Tools I Love and Use in My Kitchen

Luscious Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting | recipe from runawayrice.com*This post contains affiliate links.*

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Whipped Cream Frosting (Kem Tuoi Lam Banh)

Whipped Cream Frosting on Chocolate Cupcakes

Whipped Cream Frosting on Chocolate Cupcakes

This light and fluffy frosting is the perfect topping for cupcakes and cakes.  It also makes an awesome filling for roll cakes and pastries.  (Check out the Roll Cake recipe I shared earlier.)  Because it’s a favorite filling for many Asian desserts, this recipe definitely deserves its own feature post.  This is a really easy frosting to whip it when you need a quick topping to add some pizzazz to your sweet treats.

A few notes

As the frosting is mostly whipped cream, it isn’t as sturdy as the buttercream frostings.  Refrigerate the frosting until you’re ready to use it.  Once applied on cakes or pastries, the cream will hold up well at room temperature as long as it’s not too warm outside or the dessert is under direct lights.  Store any uneaten portions in the refrigerator for up to one week.

Watch the video below for instructions.

Ingredients

2 cups heavy whipping cream
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1 packet unflavored gelatin (.25 oz or 7 gm)
1/4 cup water

Directions

Place mixing bowl and whisk in refrigerator and chill for 20 minutes.   Refrigerate heavy whipping cream as well.

Add water into a measuring cup.  Sprinkle gelatine over water and let standard for 1 minute.  Stir until combined.  Microwave on High for 30 seconds.  Remove from microwave and stir making sure gelatine powder is dissolved.  Place cup in cold water and allow to cool, approximately 6-8 minutes.

Mix heavy whipping cream on Medium speed until soft peaks form (approximately 4-5 minutes).  Add powdered sugar and mix together for 1 minute. (Cream should start getting stiff.)  Scrape around bowl with a spatula and work in the unmixed powdered sugar.  Add gelatine and mix on Medium High for 30 seconds.  Increase speed to High and mix for another 1 minute or until cream is stiff.  Do not overbeat.  Transfer frosting to a bowl and refrigerate.

Yields: 4 cups

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Roll Cake/Swiss Roll/Log Cake (Banh Bong Lan Cuon)

Vanilla Roll Cake with Fruit (Banh Bong Lan Cuon)

I’ve had lots of requests for this recipe after I posted the Sponge Cake recipe earlier this year.  I held off on sharing this recipe until now because I was saving it for the holidays!  This roll cake is so beautifully elegant with its fluffy, not-so-sweet layers and swirls of decadent whipped cream frosting.  The wonderful thing about this recipe and why it’s my favorite holiday treat is the cake’s versatility.  Using just this simple recipe, you can make many different cake variations.  I share some different options below including my favorite absolute–Mocha Roll Cake.  So, if you’re in the mood to bake for the holidays, this is the cake to make for your family and friends.  Thanks all for your patience, even those of you who have sent me multiple emails reminding me to share the recipe…lol….  I hope it’s worth the wait and please feel free to share your results!

Notes on the Recipe, Tips and Tricks

Do not allow the gelatin to congeal.  It should still be liquid (but not hot) when added to the stiff cream.  If you’ve let the gelatin sit too long and it’s jelly-like or even solid, microwave it for 10 seconds to return it to a liquid state.  Cool it again in cold water and then add to the whipped cream when it’s cool to the touch.

Remove the frosting from the refrigerator about 15 minutes before frosting the cake.  This way it’ll be softer and more spreadable.

This recipe uses a half sheet baking pan which is approximately 12 X 18 inches.  (Please note there’s really no set size for half sheet pans.)

Make a diagonal cut in the corners of the parchment paper to help it lay easier in the baking pan.

Make sure to spread the batter evenly into the pan and smooth out the top as much as possible.  Since the cake is thin and bakes very quickly, there’s not enough time for it to settle and smoothen and so we need to help it along.

Test the doneness of the cake by using a toothpick.  Another way to test doneness is by touching the cake very lightly with your index finger.  The cake should spring back indicating it’s done.

Do not over-bake the cake.  This will dry it out and then it will crack or fall apart when you roll it later.

The amount of frosting to spread on the cake is up to you.  The recipe below is plenty of frosting for the roll cake.  You may want to cut back on the frosting if you wish to have some leftover to serve on the side.

If you’re making the cake ahead of time, store in the refrigerator.  Remove from refrigerator 10-15 minutes before serving.  Cake can be stored in refrigerator for up to 1 week.  You can freeze the cake for up to 2 months.

Watch the video below for instructions.

If you enjoyed this recipe, you might like: Cotton Cheesecake / Japanese Cheesecake and Orange Chiffon Cake with Edible Flowers.

Ingredients

for the Whipped Cream Frosting
2 cups heavy whipping cream
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1 packet unflavored gelatin (.25 oz or 7 gm)
1/4 cup water

for the Cake
1 Sponge Cake recipe
2 Tbsp powdered sugar for dusting the cake
2-3 strawberries
1 kiwi
1 small mango

Directions

Making the Whipped Cream Frosting

Place mixing bowl and whisk in refrigerator and chill for 20 minutes.   Refrigerate heavy whipping cream as well.

Add water into a measuring cup.  Sprinkle gelatin over water and let standard for 1 minute.  Stir until combined.  Microwave on High for 30 seconds.  Remove from microwave and stir making sure gelatin powder is dissolved.  Place cup in cold water and allow to cool, approximately 6-8 minutes.

Mix heavy whipping cream on Medium speed until soft peaks form (approximately 4-5 minutes).  Add powdered sugar and mix together for 1 minute. (Cream should start getting stiff.)  Scrape around bowl with a spatula and work in the unmixed powdered sugar.  Add the gelatin and mix on Medium High for 30 seconds.  Increase speed to High and mix for another 1 minute or until cream is stiff.  Do not overbeat.  Transfer frosting to a bowl and refrigerate.

Yields: 4 cups

Making the Cake

Line baking pan with parchment paper.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Prepare batter according to Sponge Cake recipe.

Spread batter into baking pan making sure to distribute the batter evenly.  Smooth the batter with a spatula.

Bake for 10 minutes.  Remove from oven.  Gently pull the parchment from the sides of the cake.  Allow cake to cool for 5 minutes.

Lay a clean kitchen towel on the counter.  Dust towel lightly with powdered sugar.  Place cake on the towel.  Trim the left and right sides of the cake if they are uneven.  Fold parchment paper under and roll away from the cake.  Sprinkle the top of the cake with more powdered sugar.  Gently roll the towel and cake into a spiral.  Allow the cake to cool for 1 hour with the seam side down.

Cut fresh fruit into thin slices.

Gently unroll the cake.  Spread the frosting on the cake.  Add a row of strawberries, kiwis and mangos slices.   Roll the cake back up again.  Trim the ends and dust the cake with powdered sugar.

Yields:  6-8 servings

Recipe Variations

Mocha:  Add 1 Tbsp instant coffee, 1 Tbsp cocoa powder, 1/4 tsp baking soda to dry ingredients and sift together.

Coffee:  Add 1-2 Tbsp instant coffee, 1 Tbsp instant creamer powder, 1/4 tsp baking soda to dry ingredients and sift together.

Chocolate:  Add 2 Tbsp cocoa powder, 1/4 tsp baking soda to dry ingredients and sift together.

Spice Cake:  Add 1/4 tsp salt, 1 tsp cinnamon, 1/4 tsp nutmeg, 1/4 tsp allspice and 1 cup chopped pecans.  Replace vanilla extract with rum or orange extract.

Chocolate Roll Cake with Coconut Whipped Cream Frosting – see above for chocolate cake recipe.  Add 1 cup coconut flakes to whipped cream and combine well.

Dress up the roll cake by adding fresh fruit, chocolate shavings or dusting with cocoa powder.  You can also drizzle melted chocolate on top for a fancier more decadent dessert.

Feel free to share your recipe variations with me and I’ll add here!

Mocha Roll Cake | recipe from runawayrice.com

Mocha Roll Cake

Tools I Love and Use in My Kitchen

*This post contains affiliate links.*

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