So red velvet cake doesn’t just get its name from the color – fine flour, fluffy shortening, and some baking soda + vinegar action make it…velvety!
Let’s try that on classic chocolate cake…
1 3/4 cups cake flour (please use this! Or sub.)
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder. Dark or Dutch-process is best!
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
2 cups sugar
2 large eggs, beaten
1/4 cup shortening, softened or melted
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, softened or melted
2 tsps vanilla extract
2 cups buttermilk
1 Tbsp instant espresso powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 tsp vinegar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees, and line at least 2 x 24-count mini cupcake pans.
Sift together (if you’re super fancy) or just combine the flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt. Mix in the sugar and set aside.
Beat together the eggs, shortening, butter, and vanilla. Heat the buttermilk until just about to boil (it will look nasty, but don’t worry!), then stir in the espresso powder.
Pour the hot buttermilk mixture into the other wet ingredients, then dump in the flour mixture and beat until well-incorporated.
Carefully add the baking soda on top of the batter. Then, pour the vinegar on it and whisk the fizziness into everything.
Divide among cupcake pans, and bake for 12-15 minutes, or until a toothpick gives barely-moist crumbs.
Frost with the delicious shamelessness that is canned frosting, or try a scratch recipe like this one. I used that recipe with a little raspberry vodka mixed in!