Bryan and I don't usually do very much for Valentine's Day. It just seems like a hokey holiday. We don't ignore it all together, but won't spend a lot of time planning or worrying about it. We usually will make a special dinner and have a chill evening together - which is perfect for both of our busy schedules.
But, if I know one thing, nothing says Valentine's Day more than red velvet. I had never made anything red velvet before last week, and had only eaten it once or twice. Needless to say, I'd been wanting to try it for quite a while. I must say, these cupcakes turned out especially well! They will even be making an appearance at a friends birthday party tomorrow night!
I made a batch of these cupcakes last weekend, and they were very good. But I thought that they needed a little oomph. I generally like cupcakes, but the ones that are insanely amazing are the ones that have filling on the inside! Since I had done that once with Pumpkin and Cream Cheese Muffins with Pecan Steusel, I thought the same idea would be perfect with these cupcakes! So, I made these from the original recipe, with a little ad-libbing. If you don't know by know, that's how I like to do things!
First, make the cream cheese filling. In a medium bowl, stir together the cream cheese and confectioners’ sugar until smooth. Add the vanilla, and stir to combine. Form the mixture into a 12-inch log on a piece of plastic wrap, wrap it, and freeze it for at least two hours. I prepared the filling the night before and left it in the freezer all night.
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line cupcake tins with paper liners.
Cream butter and sugar until fluffy.
Add eggs and blend well.
Make a paste of cocoa and food coloring and add to the butter mixture.
Sift flour and salt together into this mixture.
One at a time, add the following ingredients: buttermilk, vanilla, and water.
In a small bowl, combine the vinegar and baking soda. Fold it into the cake batter. Make sure it's incorporated, but don't beat it.
Remove the cream cheese from the freezer, and cut it into 1-inch slices.
Scoop a small amount of batter into the muffin cups. Place 1 slice of the cream cheese log right in the center of each cup, then fill with the remaining batter.
Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until the cake springs back when touched.
Remove from oven and let cool for about 10 minutes, then turn the cupcakes out of the tins and onto a rack to finish cooling completely.