Low Dye Red Velvet Cupcakes

Recipe by Julie Vision in the Kitchen

Adapted from Red Velvet Cupcakes

Cupcakes:

2 ½ cups flour

½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon salt

1 cut butter, softened

2 cups granulated sugar

4 eggs

1 cup low fat (or nonfat) Greek yogurt

½ cup milk

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 teaspoon red food coloring

Icing

8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature

1/2 cup butter, room temperature

2 pounds confectioners sugar

1 contents of one vanilla bean

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

2 tablespoons milk or cream

Step #1 - Preheat oven to 400* F.  (Just a reminder, or in case you are new here- I like my cupcakes to ‘poof’ when they bake. As in, they get tall and round. To do this, I start the baking at a higher temperature and lower it half way through.)

Step #2 - Using a mixer, beat the butter and sugar together until fluffy.

Step #3 - Add the eggs, one at a time, followed by the yogurt and vanilla extract.

Step #4 - In a separate bowl, mix the flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt together and set aside.

Step #5 - Mix the red food color into the milk and set aside.

Step #6 - One cup at a time, add the flour mixture to the butter/sugar/egg mixture, alternating with the milk until all ingredients are well combined and smooth.  Batter will be a dark maroon.

Step #7 - Fill cupcake pans ¾ of the way full with batter. Bake at 400* for 8 minutes, then lower the temperature to 350* and bake for an additional 8 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. (Alternately, you can bake them at 350* for 18-20 min.)

Step #8 - While cupcakes cool, beat all icing ingredients together with a mixer until light and fluffy.  You can adjust the consistency of the icing by adding more milk or sugar.

Step #9 -  Allow cupcakes to cool completely and enjoy!