Sunday, January 23, 2011

Red Velvet Cupcakes Comparison

red velvet cupcakes

With Valentine's day around the corner, I noticed a lot of red velvet cupcakes posts popping up around the blogosphere lately.  I have a pretty good go to red velvet cake recipe; however, I noticed a lot of people were praising Cakeman Raven's recipe.  Because I had a tub of cream cheese frosting begging to be used soon, I decided to do a quick comparison.

The two recipes are nearly identical except for the use of cake flour vs all purpose flour, oil vs butter, and teaspoon vs tablespoon for cocoa powder.  I did a smashup of the two recipes and came up with the following to compare BUTTER vs OIL.

Red Velvet Cupcakes
A Baked By Jen Original
Makes about 24 cupcakes

3 cups cake flour
2 tbsp cocoa powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup butter or vegetable oil

1 1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs
1/2 teaspoon red gel-paste food color

1 cup buttermilk
1 tsp vanilla extract

1 tsp vinegar

Preheat oven to 350.  Line 2 muffin baking pans with 12 standard size baking cups.

Sift dry ingredients together and set aside.

Place butter/oil and sugar in bowl of electric mixer and beat at medium-speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Beat in eggs, one at a time. Dissolve the gel paste into the vanilla. With the mixer on low, add mixture. Add vinegar.

Add flour mixture alternately with buttermilk in two batches. Scrape bowl and mix just long enough to combine. 

Pour batter into prepared pans and bake for 16-18 minutes or until toothpick inserted into the center of cupcake comes out with a few crumbs clinging to the toothpick.  Cool in pans for 10 minutes and then place on cooling rack to cool to room temperature.

red velvet cupcakes
butter vs oil - top view

red velvet cupcakes
butter vs oil - side view

red velvet cupcakes
butter vs oil - inside view

The batch made with oil looked a lot better, a nice dome and even appeared to look more moist with the shiny top.  However, in my opinion, the batch made with butter was much more superior in taste.  Also, the cake was fluffier, more tender with a tighter crumb.

Photo Credit: Dennis Ha Photography
(Disclaimer: Patches didn't actually eat the cupcake.)


  1. mm red velvet! my go-to recipe is Martha Stewart's, which is practically the same as Cakeman Raven's recipe. I think I'll try your go-to recipe with butter next time since you think it tastes better! :)

  2. Jen, I really like the idea of yours about the comparison of the two recipes. Very well done. I've had request for the Red Velvet cakes coming up for Valentines day thing. And like you, Oil or butter etc... I agree with you on the butter... Oh so much better.

  3. What kind of vegetable oil did you use? I find that regular supermarket vegetable oil (e.g. soy or canola) is far inferior in baked goods compared to organic canola or organic high-oleic safflower oil. So those of you who are interested in heart-healthy baking might want to give it a try with one of those.

  4. Nice comparison! I always wanted to see what big of a difference they make! (:

  5. will def try making these! thank you!! :)

  6. Oooh, thanks for sharing! And I love the photos :)

  7. Made these and they turned out amazing! I used 1/2 c. canola oil AND 1/2 c. butter to get the best of both worlds! I also frosted with a mascarpone frosting and topped with some red hots for Valentine's day! Definitely a recipe I will keep at the ready.

  8. Great idea using butter and oil. How did you execute that...Did you cream the butter or just melt the butter? I am with you on having the best of both worlds! Please share your secret!

  9. oh yes!!! oil can never compare to the taste that butter delivers!:) though i have to say, baking with butter is more difficult cos' it's easier to overbake if one is not careful with the timing- otherwise, i love all things made with BUTTER!:)

  10. I know this is an old thread but I found a recipe that uses butter and oil to show how to incorporate using both. You can find it here:

    I plan on using both too but following this recipe if that makes sense. :)

  11. Thanks! I like that idea. Let me know how it turns out as I am very curious now too.


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