With Ryan Murphy, Brad Falchuk, and Ian Brennan’s hilarious horror-comedy Scream Queens returning for its second season tomorrow night, I thought it would only be fitting to bake a batch of Red Devil-inspired red velvet cupcakes. I love that this recipe, developed by Pamela Moxley (the Atlanta-based pastry chef at Miller Union restaurant), utilizes beets rather than food dye to achieve the cake's characteristic red hue – and personal-sized cupcakes seem to be a much healthier option than a cotton ball diet, to be sure!
3 medium beets
3⁄4 cup butter, plus more for greasing pan
3⁄4 cup buttermilk
Juice of 1 large lemon
2 teaspoons white vinegar
1 1⁄2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups cake flour (sift before measuring)
3 tablespoons Dutch process cocoa powder
1 1⁄8 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1⁄2 teaspoon baking soda
1 3⁄4 cup granulated sugar
Cream cheese frosting (recipe here!)
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Wash beets and wrap in aluminum foil. Bake until the tip of a knife slides easily into the largest beet, about 1 hour 15 minutes. Cool until beets can be handled, then peel. (This may be done up to a day ahead.)
Spray cupcake tin with non-stick cooking spray.
In a food processor, chop beets to pieces about the size of finely diced onions. Measure 1 cup and set aside (remaining beets can be reserved for another purpose). Return cup of beets to the food processor. Purée with buttermilk, lemon juice, vinegar and vanilla until smooth.
Sift together flour, cocoa, baking powder, salt and baking soda. Set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat butter until soft. Slowly add sugar and beat until creamy. Beat in eggs one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl after each addition.
Alternate adding flour mixture and beet mixture to butter mixture, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients, and beating for 10 seconds after each addition. Scrape down the bowl after each addition of the wet ingredients.
Divide batter between prepared cupcake molds, smoothing the tops. Bake until a cake tester inserted in the cupcakes comes out clean, about 10-15 minutes. Remove tray from oven and cool completely on a wire rack.
Frost as liberally as desired with cream cheese frosting.
Tip: Measurements for dry ingredients are given by weight for greater accuracy. The equivalent measurements by volume are approximate.
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