Sunday, February 19, 2012

Cabernet Red Velvet Cupcakes: Happy Valentine's Day

Ahh, Valentine's Day. So many love and loathe this holiday. I particularly love it because, let's face it, it has turned into Cupcake Celebration Day! All the pretty red velvet cupcakes come out along with vanilla ones with pink frosting. It's a cupcake-making-queen's dream.

I wasn't going to make just any cupcake this time around. I have spent too much energy investing in my new found ability to make my own cupcake concoctions. A cupcake-making friend of mine had mentioned making a wine inspired cupcake for a friend of hers. This gave me a wonderfully terrible idea.

There's this sparkling red dessert wine that I love. It's called Rose Regale. It's awesome. It has a red wine blend, raspberry, chocolate, and rose in it. It's so freaking good. I hadn't had it in a while, but for some reason when my friend mentioned wine in cupcakes, I just knew I had to make cupcakes with wine and rose. Sounds great right? It is how you make magic afterall.

At first I was thinking of doing chocolate and wine, but I quickly vetoed that with the idea of doing some red velvet. I just have one little problem with red velvet: red food dye. Yes, I am one of those people who can't stand the thought of chemicals and use only natural ingredients. I'd heard of using beet powder before, and I was ready to give it a try. Bring on the beet powder! careful, it likes to explode in your face.

I had to modify the recipe so much, that I will post it!!! Yay!!! It did start out from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World, but I had to switch a lot. I guess I'm going to reveal a couple of my secrets by doing this (like the fact that I substitute some flour with whole wheat pastry flour and don't use a lot of sugar). Oh well.

Couple things first: This batter is too thick. If you try making these, you will need to add a small amount of wine and almond milk until you get the correct batter consistency. If you're not sure what that should look like, try doing two tablespoons of wine and three tablespoons of almond milk. So here's the recipe:

Makes 12 Cupcakes

2/3 C Vanilla Almond Milk
1/3 C Cabernet
1 C All Purpose Flour
1/4 C whole wheat pastry flour
1/3 C granulated sugar
1/3 C Stevia in the Raw
2 tbsp Cocoa powder
1/3 C Beet Powder
3 tsp baking powder
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp almond extract
1 tsp chocolate extract

If you're looking at this and thinking "where's the baking soda?" Good! The baking soda has to be eliminated because it reacts with the beet powder while it's baking and will give you brown cupcakes. This would make you sad. It made me sad the first time it happened to me.

Now that I've explained that, you'll want to bake them at 350 degrees for 18-20 minutes. If you want them to be nice and poofy, here's a trick: Start your oven at 350 and bake them for 10 minutes. Then, decrease the temperature to 325 for the remainder of the baking (you will have to add another 15-18 minutes if you do this). (That's another Pinterest tip. Seriously that site is amazing, follow me if you like).

Oh! So where do the roses come in?

Glad you asked. I made a rosewater buttercream. Take your regular buttercream frosting recipe (1 stick of Earth Balance, 1 tsp vanilla, 1 tsp almond milk, "3 C powdered sugar," or in my case 1 lb of powdered sugar, and 1 tsp of rosewater). Add almond milk as necessary to get the right consistency. When I made mine, I added 2 tsp of rosewater, I didn't feel like 1 was rosy enough. But some people said it was little too rosy for them.

You may also be wondering about the glittery pink hearts on them. I started playing with marzipan!!! I was so excited to give this a try. I found a tiny little heart cutter and cut out some marzipan. Then, I painted them with edible pink pearlescent glitter (same stuff I used on my Earl Grey Cupcakes). This part was super fun...and also super sticky.

They ended up being great. Everyone said they tasted great and were amazed with how moist they were. One cupcake recipient said they were the best they'd ever tasted!

So there you have it! Cabernet Red Velvet Cupcakes with Rosewater Buttercream!


  1. So, these sound delicious... and when you mentioned roses, I was reminded of a recipe for making Candied Rose Petals. I think they'd be an awesome garnish for these. :D

    The catch is... the recipe I used required egg whites (no bueno for you), but I would *imagine* that there is a vegan way to go about it. Perhaps a Pintrest venure?


  2. Hmmm...candied rose petals do sound quite awesome. I am definitely going to have to experiment with that the next time I make these. Then they don't always have to be a Valentine's day treat! Ha! Thanks!