Red Velvet Cupcake

For quite while, I have been in search of a red velvet cupcake. My daughter ate one in the Dallas airport, and I regret I didn’t take a bite. In New Orleans, a cupcake place ran out by the end of the day and I was reduced to one with blue frosting.
Now I’ve found one close to home. Dulce is a new coffee shop in Santa Fe. It is, to give Santa Fe style directions, where Pete’s Pets was when it was off Cordova, near the Sav-on that used to be Osco’s…or how about just across Don Diego from Body?
Large cheerful paintings of cakes and pastries adorn the walls. It looks like a good place to write, with wireless and just enough bustle to feel part of the world.
The cupcake was excellent!
Paula Deen’s Red Velvet Cupcakes from Food Network
• 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
• 1 1/2 cups sugar
• 1 teaspoon baking soda
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 1 teaspoon cocoa powder
• 1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
• 1 cup buttermilk, room temperature
• 2 large eggs, room temperature
• 2 tablespoons red food coloring
• 1 teaspoon white distilled vinegar
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 (12-cup) muffin pans with cupcake papers. In a medium mixing bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, and cocoa powder. In a large bowl gently beat together the oil, buttermilk, eggs, food coloring, vinegar, and vanilla with a handheld electric mixer. Add the sifted dry ingredients to the wet and mix until smooth and thoroughly combined.
Divide the batter evenly among the cupcake tins about 2/3 filled. Bake in oven for about 20 to 22 minutes, turning the pans once, half way through. Test the cupcakes with a toothpick for doneness. Remove from oven and cool completely before frosting.
For the Cream Cheese Frosting
• 1 pound cream cheese, softened
• 2 sticks butter, softened
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
• 4 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar
• Chopped pecans and fresh raspberries or strawberries, for garnish
In a large mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese, butter and vanilla together until smooth. Add the sugar and on low speed, beat until incorporated. Increase the speed to high and mix until very light and fluffy.
Garnish with chopped pecans, fresh raspberry or strawberry, or sprinkles.

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To further honor the cupcake, here is a painting by Wayne Thiebaud, Four Cupcakes 1971 Oil on paper mounted on canvas. He is the master of the cake, which is to him as the Mona Lisa is to Leonardo.