Sunday, July 15, 2012

I'm Seeing Red

Before I left yesterday to visit my b'friend Russ on Cayuga Lake, I baked, frosted, decorated, and delivered 50 red velvet cupcakes with cream cheese frosting to my friend Barb Doane.  Today, Barb is hosting a bridal shower for her soon-to-be daughter-in-law.  Barb asked for red velvet cupcakes with cream cheese frosting, and the only instructions she gave me were that they should have red flowers.  When I was in AC Moore the other day (home away from crafty home) I found very cute red cupcake liners with white polka dots.  So, with all my other baking out of the way, I got up at 6 am  yesterday and baked 50 cupcakes. I must admit to taking the efficient route this time: I used Duncan Hines red velvet cake mix because 1) I didn't want to use THAT much red food coloring (2 jars!), and 2) it's very good.  I saw  no need to argue with success!  Of course, my cream cheese frosting is from scratch, and I colored and shaped the fondant decorations, so other than the cake itself, these were authentic, home-baked cupcakes, made with lots o' love!

Here's a collage of the cupcakes under construction:

And here's the frosting recipe for you:

(enough for 50 cupcakes!)

In large mixer bowl, beat:

8 oz. softened cream cheese
4 oz. soft butter (1 bar)

2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon lemon extract

Mix well.

With mixer at VERY low speed, slowly add:
2 lbs. 10x confectioners sugar, with:
Milk, a few tablespoons at a time, careful not to add too much.

When the frosting has reached a spreadable consistency, not too soft, stop adding milk and continue to beat until very creamy.  I like to make it a little on the firmer side for piping through my pastry bad, so I am very conservative with the milk.  It's one of those things where you just have to do it yourself and stop when it looks right. 

After delivering the cupcakes, I came home and deglazed from all the sugar took a shower and headed west to Cayuga Lake where I spent some overdue time with Russ.  He has a lovely pool so we spent the afternoon swimming, joined by his neighbors Brooke and Matt (expecting their first baby any day) and cooked out.  Russ had marinated sirloin steaks in a southwest marinade, and I made a salad with what I could find in his bachelor refrigerator:  a bag of iceberg lettuce, feta cheese with tomato and basil, a jar of spanish olives, and some bottled parmesan olive oil dressing (all surprisingly delicious!).  For dessert, we had chunks of watermelon and it turned out to be a perfect summer dinner, topped off with a gorgeous sunset over Cayuga Lake.  

I love summer but especially summer weekends!


  1. You must work in hyper-speed! Sounds like once the baking was delivered (and the cupcakes were adorable), you truly made the most of your weekend. Glad you had a chance to see Russ and enjoy special time with good friends.

  2. Your overnight stay in Cayuga Lake with Russ sounds perfect. However, you made me tired reading all you did to get to that point! Slow down! :)

    1. Carol, you are right! I'd love to relax! Summer is a hard time to slow down because it's party time for a lot of my friends and relatives! I do have to pick and choose which projects I say "yes" to, and this weekend was one where I wanted to make sure I could say hes to two special people. With as much baking as I DO do, there are requests that I have to turn down - just isn't enough time or energy to do it all! But mostly time - that's why I was SO happy to get on that plane last week and truly "stop" for a few days. I have another week like that coming up mid-August, and I CAN'T WAIT!!!

  3. Super woman..lands for a relaxing time at the lake..good for you !!!

  4. Sometimes you do need to take short cuts like using cake mix! I am sure these cupcakes were fabulous! I love the look of them! :)

  5. Jeannie, the cupcakes were delish,the frosting made the cups cakes, so we would hold it against you for using a mix,
    Had on for Breakfast this morning.

  6. Jeannie, I really like the fondant cutout on the top of the icing. It really continues the red theme right to the top of the cupcake. Beautiful!