One of the most popular easy dessert recipes on Sugar, Spice and Glitter is our 10-minute S’mores Refrigerator Cake, and after recently sharing my recipe for a naturally red red velvet cupcake on my friend Kelli’s blog, I was struck with a bit of inspiration…
Combining two of my favourite desserts to make this red velvet s’more cupcake recipe!
No-Dye Red Velvet Cupcakes
Because I’m a bit of a baking nerd, I looked back to how red velvet cupcakes originated and how early recipes were able to create that red colour without the use of artificial food colouring.
I go into that a bit further in my guest post for Kelli, but basically, by using buttermilk and non-Dutch processed cocoa powder, you can achieve a chemical reaction that naturally dyes your cake red.
Not only does this allow you to skip the food dye, it also results in a chocolatier flavour, as most modern red velvet cakes and cupcakes have to reduce the amount of chocolate in order for the red food dye to be more pronounced.
(That’s a weird priority, isn’t it? Reducing the chocolate so the food dye shows up more? Ick.)
Marshmallow-Cream Cheese Frosting
As much as I love a great cream cheese frosting, for these red velvet s’mores cupcakes I wanted to incorporate some marshmallow flavour into the frosting.
You can use marshmallow fluff, or make a simple homemade marshmallow fluff (just like the one I used in my 10-minute S’mores Refrigerator Cake) to incorporate into this decadent frosting. The cream cheese helps mellow the sweetness a bit.
Oh, and there’s a hidden surprise…
Because I couldn’t get enough of that amazing marshmallow-cream cheese frosting, I decided to fill these cupcakes with an extra dose of frosting. Of course, the red velvet cake is moist and chocolatey, so if you decided to skip this additional step, you’ll still have a great batch of cupcakes.
To garnish, I added some mini-marshmallows (the kind you add to hot chocolate) and a square of dark chocolate.
- ¾ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
- 2 cups yellow or light brown sugar
- 3 eggs
- ¾ cups all-purpose flour
- ¾ cups cake flour
- ⅓ cup natural cocoa powder (NOT "dutch process" or "special dark")
- 1½ teaspoons baking soda
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- 1½ cups buttermilk, room temperature
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- Marshmallow-Cream Cheese Frosting:
- 1/2 cup marshmallow cream (homemade or storebought)
- 1/2 cup cream cheese
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups powdering sugar (adjust based on your desired consistency)
- Preheat the oven to 375F.
- Cream the butter and sugar for 2 minutes until light and fluffy. While still beating, add in the eggs one at a time.
- Sift all of the dry ingredients into a separate bowl and stir to incorporate.
- In yet another small bowl, add the vanilla and buttermilk.
- Slowly add half of the dry ingredients into the wet mixture while beating, and then the buttermilk-vanilla mixture, and once fully incorporated, the final half of the dry ingredients.
- Portion out into a lined cupcake pan and bake 15-20 minutes until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
- Cool completely on a cooling rack before frosting.
- MARSHMALLOW-CREAM CHEESE FROSTING:
- Whip marshmallow cream, vanilla and cream cheese together until fully blended.
- Add in the powdered sugar 1/2 cup at a time until you reach the desired consistency and sweetness.
- (To make your own marshmallow cream, melt 16 large marshmallows and mix with milk until you achieve your desired consistency - about 1/4 cup of milk.)
- To fill your cupcakes, use a cupcake corer and remove the center. Use a piping bag filled with the marshmallow-cream cheese frosting to pipe a good dollop of the icing in. (I sometimes use an offset spatula for this, but this cupcake is nice and crumbly, so a piping bag will result in cleaner work.
- Pipe or use an offset spatula to frost the cupcakes (keeping in mind that there is a generous amount in the center and you want a balance between the cake and frosting).
- Garnish with red velvet cake crumbs (blended in a food processor to make them really fine), mini marshmallows, chocolate wedges, or chocolate sprinkles.