kruizing with kikukat

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Red (White and Blue) Velvet Cupcakes

Happy Fourth of July

What are you doing on this Independence Day?

In Seattle, where I spent one Fourth of July, a bunch of us got together for a barbecue and a friendly softball game.  My contribution to the barbecue was a pecan pie bar, but I told my roommate Gayle (sheltered private school graduate) how to make the potato salad.

In Honolulu, I drove out to the North Shore for a picnic with Edz, Guy, Lisa, and Ella and some of their friends.  I can still imagine myself in that long line of cars heading out in that direction.  It seemed like we were bumper-to-bumper for hours.  I don't remember what I brought, but I do remember Guy's friend Michelle cutting into a watermelon.  On another occasion, I recall going to Waikiki and watching the fireworks from the beach by the Hilton Hawaiian Village.  The fireworks show was over in about 30 seconds.  Pathetic.

In Hilo, this is the traditional time for families to start setting up camp by the beach for days & nights of endless partying (well, not really endless. . .pack up camp on Labor Day weekend).  Once darkness falls, there will be fireworks.  For years, the Lehua Jaycees have been putting on a show from Coconut Island.  If you've been fortunate enough to spend the holiday in Waikoloa, the Waikoloa Beach resorts also put on a show.  Its a great show, and it is almost worth the drive out from Hilo to see.  Waikiki could take some lessons from Waikoloa!

As usual, I have no plans for the day.  I will just hang out with the babies and relax in the back yard.  Now that I own a QuikShade, I suppose I could go stake out my camping spot in Keaukaha and set up house.  But that would be going totally outta my comfort zone.  My idea of "roughing it" is staying at The Pagoda!

click on recipe title for printable recipe

     2 1/2 c flour
     1/2 c cocoa powder
     1 tsp baking powder
     1/4 tsp salt
     1 tsp baking soda
     1 c butter
     2 c sugar
     5 eggs
     1 c buttermilk
     1 tsp vanilla
     1 tsp red gel/paste food coloring (liquid food coloring: 2 tbsp)
     frosting (buttercream, cooked cream or cream cheese)

Place 24 liners into muffin tins.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Combine flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, salt, and baking soda in a small bowl.  Set aside.  Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.  Add 1/4 of dry ingredients to creamed mixture, then 1/4 of buttermilk, alternating until well mixed.  Stir in vanilla and food coloring.  Fill liners 1/2 full with batter.  Bake for 17 minutes.  Cool completely before frosting.

Frosting notes:  When I was growing up, Red Velvet Cake was the one cake Kikukat Mom actually made.  Of course, she only made it on special occasions, so its not like we had it often.  But when she'd make it, she would go all the way and frost it too.  If you know Kikukat Mom, then you know how "out there" that is .  The frosting she made was always buttercream frosting.  When I got married and lived on my own, my neighbor would make a frosted red velvet cake too.  Hers was a little different from Kikukat Mom's.  It was lighter red (half the amount of food coloring), and she used a cooked cream frosting to frost the top and sides.  Now that red velvet cake is more mainstream (even Safeway has it fairly regularly), I've noticed many places are frosting it with a cream cheese frosting (like the kind normally used on a carrot cake).  In spite of not being a baker, Kikukat Mom really did know best. . .red velvet cake with buttercream frosting rules!

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