I was around 10 years old when my aunt (my mom’s sister) and her family emigrated to the United States of America. After few years, she visited Lebanon and stayed with us at my parents’ house for a few weeks. I heard so many stories about the States from her and I was mesmerized. One day she decided to bake for us a new cake, and she told us, “This cake is called Red Velvet Cake and it’s very famous in America.”. She even had some red food coloring with her that she brought from the States. She prepared the cake and I fell in love with the taste, texture, and most importantly, the beautiful red color. When I grew up, I had the chance to visit the States so many times, and every time I used to eat this cake, I would remember my beloved aunt. I got the recipe from her, and I used to prepare it on special occasions. After few years, I tried the same recipe using gluten-free flour. The result was amazing and delicious.  Today we will make the same recipe, but as cupcakes. They look so beautiful and delicious, especially when you share them with the people you love on Valentine’s Day!

Ingredients 

Cake

Servings: 12 cupcakes (Big size) or 1 whole cake

- 2 eggs
- 1 ½ cups sugar
- 100 grams butter (1 stick or ½ cup)
- ½ cup vegetable oil (125 ml) (I use canola oil)
- 1 cup yogurt (or buttermilk if available)
- 2 tbsp. cocoa powder (I use Hershey’s)
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp vinegar
- 2 tbsp. red food coloring (I used McCormick’s because it's gluten-free)
- 2 cups all-purpose gluten-free flour
- 2 tbsp. cornstarch (corn flour)

Frosting

- 250 grams cream cheese (I used Philadelphia)
- 75 grams butter (4 tbsp.)
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 3 cups icing sugar


Method 

Frosting
  1. Start by preparing the frosting.
  2. Put the soft cream cheese and soft butter in a mixing bowl.
  3. Add vanilla and start the electric mixer.
  4. Whisk well until fluffy and white.
  5. Start adding the icing sugar cup by cup while still mixing.
  6. After using 2 ½ cups of icing sugar, taste the cream and check its sweetness and consistency.
  7. If you feel it needs to be sweeter, add the remaining half cup.
  8. Keep the frosting in the fridge to be used later.

Cake
  1. Beat the eggs and sugar in a mixing bowl using electric mixers until creamy and light.
  2. Add the butter and keep whisking.
  3. Add the oil and whisk for few seconds.
  4. Add the red coloring and vinegar to the yogurt and whisk well.
  5. Add the yogurt to the cake mix and beat well.
  6. Mix the dry ingredients together (flour, cornstarch, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, salt)
  7. Add the dry ingredients gradually and mix with a wooden spoon or spatula.
  8. Don’t over mix as gluten-free flour tend to get sticky.
  9. Pour the batter into 12 cupcake cases or into two 20-cm pans.
  10. Bake in a preheated oven on 180°C for 20-25 minutes for cupcakes and 35-40 minutes for the cake.
  11. Ice the cupcakes with the frosting and sprinkle some red vermicelli on top.
  12. If you baked two cakes, trim the top of one of the cakes to make it leveled.
  13. Spread the frosting on one layer and top it with the second layer.
  14. Spread icing on top of the cake and on all the sides.
  15. sprinkle some red vermicelli.