My dad is in the hospital preparing for a stem cell transplant with intensive chemo, and he’ll be there over Valentine’s Day. I want to keep him happy and cheerful, so my friend Kristine and I decorated his hospital room and I made cupcakes for the staff and other patients and their families.
Valentine’s Day has my favorite color, PINK!, in the color scheme, so I had to take advantage of it. Red velvet cupcakes with a rich, smooth cream cheese frosting and vanilla cupcakes with maraschino cherry buttercream in a pretty shade of pink. I purchased some cupcake liners that came with heart-shaped picks at the dollar store, I wish I had picked up one more. They made them extra special!
I got the red velvet and cream cheese frosting websites from Pinterest of course (link below). The red velvet cake batter was the perfect color, and it lightened as it cooked, so it came out lighter than I would have liked. I would suggest adding more food coloring than you think you’ll need or adding a few drops of black.
The cream cheese frosting was the best I’d ever had, so amazingly decadent! I’m really glad I didn’t have any graham crackers around because then I probably would have eaten most of it. Luckily it made way too much so I had enough to put away for later!
I didn’t want to use a cake mix for the vanilla cake, so I found one with good reviews on Pinterest (link below). It used buttermilk, which was handy because the red velvet did too, so I was able to use up the whole container and not have just a quarter cup of something left. That bugs the crap out of me, since I try to waste as little as possible.
I used the same maraschino buttercream from my previous post on gluten free chocolate muffins. It’s firm, pretty, and tastes so good. One good trick I’ve learned over the years of having roommates is that most handheld mixers have interchangeable beaters. You can swap them from machine to machine. I probably have 4 sets of beaters in different shapes from yard sales and roommates past. It stops you from having to wash them before you can mix something else! I’m lazy and I hate doing dishes.
It took a lot of effort and time, but it was worth it to make my dad happy! If you try any of these recipes, let me know how you made them!