Originally I had a totally different recipe set to share today. It was a cast iron bean dish that’s been shared before as part of a supporting dish for a whole western thing. I thought it would be nice to bring the dish center stage.
But then I realized today has a number of National notes that need attention, too. While Moldy Cheese Day isn’t my thing (although I do enjoy a good Blue Cheese); National Cheese Day is worth celebrating. And then there’s the political hot potato – National Pro-Life Cupcake Day. That got me to thinking – how to best combine Cheese Day with Pro-Life Cupcake Day. Now I suppose we could bake a chunk of cheese inside a cupcake, but that really didn’t sound very appetizing. So why not put the cheese in the frosting – as in Cream Cheese Frosting. And what goes better with cream cheese frosting than Red Velvet? Yeah, now we’re talking.
Before we get to baking, I really would like to talk about today – National Pro-Life Cupcake Day. It should go without saying that as a Catholic, I am pro-life. Personally, I’ve always found that identification as a bit silly. It should be anti-abortion. After all, who is anti-life? Everyone is in favor of life but not necessarily in favor of giving birth.
While church groups gather and pray that Roe vs. Wade be overturned, that’s not what I pray for. Mine is even more impossible. I pray that no child be unwanted. That doesn’t mean no child be conceived unwanted, but that every child be loved by someone. As for abortion, while I think it’s wrong, the judgment isn’t mine to make and only God knows what is in the hearts of those who seek it. I know there are some who will say I’m going to hell for not condemning those murderous sinners. Remember, Judge Not? That’s where I am coming from.
Besides, I’d much rather celebrate life with love and compassion then with hatred and condemnation. The whole idea of National Pro-Life Cupcake Day is to open dialog between opposing sides in a kind way. The cupcakes honor the lives of those not yet born and are a sweet way to start a conversation about a difficult and emotional subject.
Besides, who doesn’t like a good cupcake?
Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting
1/2 cup unsalted Butte
1 large Egg
3/4 cup Buttermilk
1 1/3 cups Flour
2 tablespoons unsweetened Cocoa Powder
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1 cup Sugar
1 tablespoon No-taste Red Gel Food Coloring
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1/2 teaspoon Baking Soda
1/2 teaspoon Apple Cider Vinegar
Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a standard 12-tin muffin pan with paper liners. Let butter, egg and buttermilk warm to room temperature.
In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, cocoa powder and salt. Set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar at medium speed for 4 minutes, or until light and fluffy. Add the egg on low speed, beating just to incorporate. If necessary, scrape down the sides of the bowl.
In a 2-cup glass measuring cup, combine the buttermilk, red food coloring and vanilla extract. Stir well to combine.
To the creamed butter add a third of the flour, followed by one third of the buttermilk, mix on low. Repeat, with another third of flour and buttermilk, scraping down the bowl as needed. End with remaining third of each flour and buttermilk. Gently mix to incorporate.
In a small bowl, add the baking soda to the vinegar. The combination will fizz up. Mix thoroughly and add to the batter, beating on low speed just until incorporated.
Divide the batter evenly between each lined tin. Place in the heated oven to bake for about 18 minutes or until tester placed in the center of a cupcake comes out clean.
Transfer the pan to a wire rack and cool in the pan 10 minutes. Carefully lift cupcakes from the tin and let cool completely.
Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting
8 oz Cream Cheese
6 tablespoons Butter
3 cups Powdered Sugar
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
Let cream cheese and butter soften at room temperature. Sift powdered sugar, set aside until ready to use.
Place the cream cheese and butter in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and mix on medium high speed until smooth. Add the powdered sugar about a cup at a time into the creamed mixture. Add vanilla extract and a pinch of salt, mix on low until incorporated. Increase speed to medium high and continue to mix until frosting is light and creamy.
Once cupcakes are cooled, pipe frosting onto the velvet cakes. Serve and enjoy.