I love anything with a theme, so Valentine’s Day and its over-the-top gaudiness is right up my alley. Ray and I went to see the movie Valentine’s Day last night (NOT as good as Love Actually). This morning I decided to bake red velvet cupcakes. They’ve been on my list of new things to make for a while – and besides being the perfect Valentine’s Day dessert – I also wanted to use them for my photo assignment this week. It’s a composition assignment in which I have to take a picture of something from different angles and perspectives. As I researched recipes, they were all so different that I couldn’t decide which one to use. I decided to do a red velvet comparison of three different recipes from Magnolia Bakery, Gina’s Skinny, and Apple A Day (from The Way The Cookie Crumbles blog). They are pink instead of red because I didn’t have that much red food coloring. I also like the color pink better than the color red.
Behold the pink velvet cupcake comparison.
It was a bit of work to keep the three recipes in order at 8 a.m. this morning. I had to label the bowls. I halved both the Apple A Day and Ginna’s Skinny recipes. I reduced the Magnolia recipe by a third. I didn’t need that many cupcakes in the house.
I went through the red food coloring pretty quickly.
A cut-away comparison of the three different recipes.
All of the cupcakes were quite tasty in terms of flavor, texture, and moistness. I used the same cream cheese frosting on all three, and what tastes bad with fluffy pink frosting? However, there was a winner. Ray and I both agreed that the Apple A Day (adapted from Saveur) was the best cupcake. It had a wonderful flavor, held its shape while baking, had the most height, and had just the right balance of density and moistness. This one was also the easiest to make! Magnolia had a light, buttery taste but it didn’t hold its shape while baking or have the perfect density of the Apple A Day cupcake. Gina’s Skinny was great for a healthy cupcake. I liked that it used apple sauce for half of the butter and whole-wheat flour for half of the cake flour. It just didn’t rank as tasty compared to the Apple A Day and Magnolia versions. I also was low on red food coloring and it didn’t get as many drops as the other two, hence it’s very light pink color.
Here’s the winning recipe!
RECIPE: Apple A Day’s cupcakes – adapted from Saveur – and found on The Way The Cookie Crumbles.