Late last night, I had a craving for red velvet (thanks to my friend Monica Holland and our new “Nutffles” red velvet addiction. More information here – http://nutffles.com/) and I had to whip out one of my Grandma Barbra’s old recipes for “Jello” red velvet cupcakes. Yes, they call for a boxed mix…and no, they aren’t from scratch, but they evoke good memories of days past for me. The recipe holds a special place in my heart, and I hope after making these the recipe will give you good memories as well.
(And yes – I’m aware I missed my 2nd “Cookbook Corner” last Sunday – my apologies. Will start posting again this Sunday. But thanks for the many reminders! Ha! 😉 )
Jello Red Velvet Cupcakes
For the cake…
1 package Red Velvet cake mix
1 3.9oz package of Jello instant chocolate pudding
For the cream cheese frosting…
1 stick of unsalted butter
8 oz. cream cheese
2 1/2 – 3 cups powdered sugar
3 tablespoons vanilla
Whole milk (to possibly add for desired consistency)
The frosting recipe is a spin off of my “Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting” minus the lemon, with the addition of vanilla. See the “original” recipe here… https://blaisethebaker.wordpress.com/2014/05/01/lemon-cream-cheese-frosting/
Start by preheating the oven to 350 degrees.
Line a cupcake pan with 24 cupcake wrappers and spray each cup lightly with non-stick cooking spray. (This helps the cupcakes remove themselves from their wrappers.)
Whisk together the cake mix according to the packaged directions. When adding the water though, make sure the water is HOT. (I usually add milk to cake mixes, but this recipe my Grandma noted needed to be “HOT water” so that is what I use.)
Once thoroughly whisked, add in the package of Jello instant chocolate pudding, and whisk to combine.
Pour the batter evenly into the prepared cupcake pans.
Bake them (one pan at a time) in a preheated oven for 20-25 minutes.
Remove them and allow to cool completely.
Next make the frosting.
Start off by bringing the butter and cream cheese to room temperature! This is a very important step. If you don’t bring the butter to room temperature, you might have bits of butter throughout the frosting, and the cream cheese will have “graininess” – you do not want this…
Once the ingredients are at room temperature, combine the unsalted butter and cream cheese. Blend together with hand mixer for about 4 minutes.
Slowly add the powdered sugar and blend together.
Add the vanilla extract.
Blend with hand mixer and beat for 5 minutes.
Depending on your desired consistency – you may want to add a couple of tablespoons of whole milk to the frosting. I like my frosting super thick – not everyone does though… Make it to suit your tastes.
Fill a pastry bag with most of the frosting. I find it easiest to invert the bag into a drinking glass, fill it with frosting, and then shake the frosting to the bottom – then cutting a small slit into the corner to create a slit. You don’t really need a “tip” – just a pastry bag.
Once the bag is filled with most of the frosting, dive right into the middle of each cooled cupcake and fill them slightly with the cream cheese frosting.
Do not overfill the cupcake – it will explode. Trust me! 😉 Just a little squeeze should do it.
After that, frost the cupcakes anyway you like.
I generally squeeze the rest of the frosting on all 24 cupcakes, and “smash” the frosting down to create a “homemade” appearance.
The rest of the frosting in the bowl can be used on top of the cupcakes for even MORE frosting, or eaten as a snack. I generally save any leftover frosting for snacking.