Hi friends,

I know it has been a while. It has been a very busy few weeks, and I’m just getting back into the swing of my life. But there has been a LOT of baking going on.

I did cookies and cupcakes for two charity events-all proceeds went to fight childhood cancer. It was a lot of work, but so much fun.

I also threw a Game of Thrones themed dinner party, complete with three types of cupcakes that I am uber-proud of. I’ll fill you in on the party in a later post this weekend.

And also, one of my favorite humans in EVER got married this past weekend, and I was honored to make the wedding cake. weddingcake

I was mighty proud of my budding frosting skills.

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Fun fact: I made the burlap roses a year and half earlier for my own wedding bouquet, but I ended up not using them (because my mother in law made much better flowers!). It was fun to recycle items from my own wedding.

But anyway, we’re here to talk about Red Wine Velvet Cupcakes. This is a tweaked recipe that I got from the Smitten Kitchen Cookbook. It is originally a recipe for a three layer cake, and I cut the ingredients in half because I did not need that many cupcakes. And the brilliant Deb Perelman made a mascarpone frosting for her cake. I did not have mascarpone on hand, and as these cupcakes were kind of a whim anyway, I made a vanilla buttercream.

Why do I think these are great? Because I don’t understand the hype of red velvet cupcakes (put down your pitchforks, people!). I mean, to me, they barely have any flavor. Sure, there’s cocoa powder in them, but for the sake of color, you don’t add enough to make a rich chocolate flavor. And the cake also doesn’t really taste like a vanilla cupcake. So you’re left with a cool looking, flavorless cupcake (IMHO) and frosting. And I’m typically someone who believes in less frosting, more cake.

So. Here we have a Red Wine Velvet Cupcake. You get a deep chocolate flavor, with a luxurious, velvety boozy finish. Go with one of your favorite reds in the $8-$15 dollar range. I honestly will always recommend Cocobon. You can find it at Trader Joe’s and it is $6.99. It is a red blend that pairs VERY well with chocolate. I use it in Red Wine Truffles. redwinecupcakes

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redvelvetbittenThese will come out dense, but moist. They have a very luxurious feel and would be perfect for a night in with your girls. Let me know if you have any questions!