Who’s ready for New Years Eve? I’m making these adorable little guys for a small gathering of friends –red velvet cake, with cream cheese frosting, topped with a truffle ball. C-U-T-E! We’ve survived at least two “End of the World” days this year (The Rapture and that Mayan calendar ending this past week), so there’s even more reason to celebrate!
If things end up like last year, I’ll wake up with a massive hangover, chocolate cake smeared all over my face, wearing my teenage niece’s dress that is waaaay too small, and my BFF sleeping in the bathtub.
Err, maybe I should rethink that…
Ball Drop Cupcakes
for the Red Velvet Cupcakes (makes 12):
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 egg
- 2 1/2 tablespoons cocoa powder
- 3 tablespoons red food coloring
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup buttermilk
- 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 1/2 teaspoons distilled white vinegar
for the Chocolate Truffles:
- 1/3 cup heavy cream
- 6 ounces bittersweet chocolate baking chips or bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
- edible glitter or glitter sprinkles
for the Cream Cheese Frosting:
- 1/2 cup butter, room temperature
- 4 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
- 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
Red Velvet Cupcakes:
- Preheat oven to 350° F and line a standard-size, 12-cup muffin tin with cupcake liners.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugar on medium-high speed for about 3 minutes, until light and fluffy. Add the egg and beat in on high speed until well-incorporated.
- In a small bowl, combine the cocoa powder, red food coloring, and vanilla extract, mixing together to form a smooth, thick, red paste. Add to the egg mixture and beat in on medium speed until all ingredients are evenly combined and the red color is evenly dispersed. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and continue beating if necessary.
- With the mixer on low, beat in half of the buttermilk, followed by half of the flour, until combined. Repeat with remaining buttermilk and flour. Increase speed to high and beat until smooth.
- Add the salt, baking soda, and vinegar with mixer on low speed. Increase speed to high and beat for a couple minutes until totally combined and smooth.
- Divide the batter evenly between the lined baking cups and bake in the preheated oven for about 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the largest cupcake comes out clean.
- Allow the cupcakes to cool in the pan for about 10 minutes, and then move to a wire rack to cool completely.
- While the cupcakes are cooling, begin preparing the chocolate truffles. Place the cream in a small saucepan and bring to a rolling boil over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally. Put the chopped chocolate in a small bowl and pour the hot cream over, gently stirring until the chocolate has melted completely and the mixture is smooth. If the chocolate does not melt completely after stirring, microwave the mixture in 5-second increments, stirring between each, until it melts. Cover and place in the fridge to chill until firm but still scoopable.
- Lay out a small sheet of parchment paper and put some edible glitter or glitter sprinkles in a small bowl. Divide the chilled chocolate and cream mixture into 12 equal-sized scoops, placing each scoop onto the parchment. Roll each into a smooth ball. It may seem too firm, but the heat of your hands should eventually warm it up and make it easier to roll. Work gently to prevent the truffle from crumbling. Place each rolled truffle into the bowl of glitter/sprinkles and roll around to coat. Return to the parchment paper.
Cream Cheese Frosting:
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, beat the butter and cream cheese together on high speed for about 5 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Slowly add the powdered sugar on low speed until it is completely incorporated into the mixture. Beat in the vanilla extract. Increase the mixer speed to medium-high and beat for another few minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary, until the frosting is light and fluffy.
Assembling the Cupcakes:
- Use a pastry bag fitted with the tip of your choice to frost the cooled cupcakes. Gently stick a cake pop stick into the center of one of the truffles, and stick the other end of the pop stick into a cupcake. Repeat with remaining cupcakes. Garnish cupcakes with a bit of edible glitter or glitter sprinkles.
Inspired by: Confessions of a Cookbook Queen