I have an awesome, tasty, and amazingly easy dessert idea for Labor Day festivities and beyond. Definitely want to admit that I did not make my own cupcakes, though - I got some delicious pre-made Red Velvet Cupcakes from our local Schnuck's grocery store, and also found the berries there too. But, the little special touches always make people smile, so you can recreate your own by simply adding some blueberries and raspberries to some cupcakes of your own. You could even grab the 3 ingredients on your way to a party, and decorate the desserts when you arrive! I also love how the seersucker fabric and little silver stars confetti makes for a patriotic yet elegant decor idea for any holiday that's red, white, and blue!
If you do want to make your own Naturally Colored Red Velvet Cupcakes, Food52 has an awesome recipe that uses beets (instead of red food coloring) - which is incredible!
NATURALLY DYED RED VELVET RECIPE FROM FOOD52:
For the cake:
- 1 cup beet purée, from fresh red beets (not cooked)
- 3/4 cup buttermilk
- 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 2 1/2 cups cake flour
- 3 tablespoons cocoa powder, not Dutch-process
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup neutral-flavored oil
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 3 large eggs
For the cream cheese frosting:
- 8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
- 8 ounces unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons crème fraîche
- 1 pound confectioners' sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 pinch salt
Add the beet purée, buttermilk, vinegar, lemon juice, and vanilla extract to a food processor fitted with the steel blade and process until very smooth.
Sift the cake flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, cream of tartar, and salt together in a bowl. Beat the sugar, oil, and butter together in a large bowl until creamy, then add the eggs one at a time, mixing for 30 seconds after each addition.
Alternate adding the flour mixture and beet mixture to bowl, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Divide between the cupcake papers and bake until a cake tester inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, 20 to 22 minutes.
Cool the cupcakes on a rack for 20 minutes or more. Then, get the icing ready.
To make the frosting, beat the butter and cream cheese together on high speed until fluffy and smooth, then add the crème fraîche. Turn the mixer to low and gradually add the confectioners' sugar until just combined, then turn the mixer up to medium-high and beat until fluffy and smooth, making sure to stop the mixer and scrape down to the bottom of the bowl so everything is evenly mixed. Add the lemon zest, vanilla extract, and salt. Enjoy!