Red Velvet Cupcakes With Cream Cheese Frosting

Happy Valentine’s Day! We got a few calls at work today about dogs that had gotten into boxes of chocolate truffles or chocolate candy. It’s all too common around Valentine’s Day, Easter, Halloween and Christmas. Cats don’t have the same taste buds as dogs and therefore, since they have less of a “sweet tooth” we rarely see chocolate toxicity in cats. Oh yeah, did I mention that chocolate is toxic?!

Chocolate contains TWO ingredients that are toxic to dogs: caffeine and theobromide. Whether  or not your dog gets sick after ingesting these ingredients depends on the type and quantity of chocolate they ate. For example, white chocolate and milk chocolate contain much less of these toxic ingredients compared to dark chocolate, baking chocolate and cocoa beans. If your dog ingests ANY amount of chocolate, you should call your vet immediately. We can sometimes determine whether a toxic dose was ingested based on your dog’s weight and the amount and type of chocolate eaten. Sometimes it’s a guessing game because the exact quantity ingested is usually not known for sure.

Symptoms of chocolate overdose include: restlessness and hyperactivity, increased drinking and urinating, muscle tremors, excessive panting and increased heart rate and irregular heart rhythm. Vomiting and diarrhea can also occur secondary to the high fat content of the chocolate. In rare and extreme cases, your dog may suffer from seizures, collapse and death.  If the chocolate was eaten within a few hours, the first thing to do is to induce vomiting.  Treatment will also include supportive care (IV fluids, monitoring, medications to treat diarrhea, etc) since there is no specific “antidote” to treat a chocolate overdose.

If your dog eats a milk chocolate candy bar, chances are good that he or she will be fine.  Your carpets may suffer the most trauma if the chocolate leads to explosive diarrhea 🙂

Sorry for all the talk about vomiting and diarrhea in a baking blog!

This is my favourite recipe for red velvet cupcakes. I used it to make a red velvet cake for my sister’s birthday a few weeks ago also.  As you can see, she turned 29! I forgot to take photos of the cake once it was cut though 🙁

I really prefer using canola oil compared to butter in this recipe. I just feel like it makes for a lighter and fluffier cake. It has nothing to do with them being healthier. There’s no such thing as a “healthy” cupcake! I also have made these both with real buttermilk and by making “buttermilk” with regular milk and vinegar. I MUCH prefer the cake made with the real buttermilk!

I brought these delicious red velvet cupcakes into work today for Valentine’s Day and they were a big hit.

Have a great Valentine’s Day!  Eat lots of chocolate but keep it out of the reach of your dog!

Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting


For the cake:
2-1/2 cup cake flour (not self-rising)
1 tsp. salt
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1-1/2 cup sugar
1-1/2 cup canola oil
2 large eggs
4 T. red food coloring
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk
1-1/2 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. white vinegar

for the frosting:
16 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
1 cup butter, at room temperature
4 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla

Preheat oven to 350°.  Generously butter two 9″ x 2″ round cake pans.  Dust with flour, and tap out the excess.  OR place cupcake liners into 2 muffin tins.  Set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together cake flour, salt, and cocoa.  Set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat sugar and oil on medium speed until well combined.  Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.  Add food coloring and vanilla, and beat until well combined.  Add the flour mixture, alternating with buttermilk, scraping the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed.

In a small bowl, whisk together the baking soda and vinegar.  Add to the batter, and beat for 10 seconds.  Evenly divide batter between the prepared pans OR fill the cupcake liners about 2/3 to 3/4 full.

Place in oven and bake until a cake tester inserted in the center of each cake or cupcake comes out clean.  Bake the cake for 30-35 minutes and the cupcakes for 18-20 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool in the pans for 5 minutes. Remove from the pans, and return to the rack, top side up, to cool completely.

Make the frosting by creaming together the cream cheese and butter on medium high speed for a minute or two, until well incorporated.  Beat in the powdered sugar until fluffy, then mix in the vanilla.

Using a spatula to frost the cake, spread 1-1/2 cups of the frosting on top of one of the cake layers.  Place second layer on top and spread the remaining frosting around the sides and top of the cake, swirling spatula as desired.

The cake/cupcakes can be stored, covered, in the refrigerator up to 6 hours, or over night.

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