Recently, I’ve been noticing more “specialty diets/food restrictions” popping up (I’m sure they’ve been occurring for a while now and I’ve just been rather oblivious) – things like gluten-free, vegan, food-dye allergies, etc. I feel like they’ve become more mainstream and there’s more awareness of things like this than before. Perhaps it’s because I now know more people who have specialty diets than I did before? My coworker is allergic to food-dyes. It wasn’t until I met him that I realized there was such an allergy. And, with some research, I found it’s not a very common allergy. With this in mind, I wanted to remake the usual crowd-pleaser, red velvet, into a treat my coworker could have along with the rest of us. “My” red velvet recipe (originally from I Spy’s blog) was the base. All I did was substitute the 2 tbsps of red food dye with 2 tbsps of skim milk. This way the amount of liquid in the recipe would stay the same and be replaced by a neutral liquid. This, of course, led me along the path of…”What would it taste like if I used almond flavoring instead of milk? Or hazelnut? Or more vanilla?” But, that’s a rabbit-hole for another day – look for posts about those experiments! 😉 And, one of my next thoughts was “How does the color of the cupcake affect the taste of the cupcake?” I wondered, would people think they had two different cupcakes if they had one of the original red velvet cupcakes alongside a neutral, “velvet” cupcake? Interesting, no? I took them to work and made a game of it – I told no one what flavor they were and told them to tell me what flavor they thought they were. What kind of responses do you think I received? Answers at the end of the post! And, below is the revised “velvet” cupcake recipe.
- 2 1/2 cups flour
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 6 teaspoon cocoa powder
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- 1 1/2 cup buttermilk, room temperature
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- 2 tablespoons skim milk
- 1 teaspoon white vinegar
- 1 tsp vanilla
- Mix flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt in medium bowl.
- In large bowl, beat oil, eggs, buttermilk, vinegar, milk and vanilla until blended.
- Slowly blend in dry ingredients and divide into cupcake tins. Bake at 375 for 15-20 minutes.
Cream Cheese Frosting
- 8 oz of cream cheese
- 1 stick (1/2 cup) of butter (soften)
- 1 tsp vanilla
- Powdered sugar (about 3 cups)
- Cream cream cheese and butter.
- Add vanilla and mix in completely.
- Add in powder sugar (gradually).
- Frost cupcakes after they cool completely.
Answers: Spice cupcakes, “some-sort-of -fruit” cupcakes, Italian cream cake cupcakes. It MUST be all in the color. 😉 Try it, tell me what you think it tastes like and what your “taste-testers” think as well! Also, if you happen to try any of the modifications, let me know how they turn out!