More than 25 million red velvet cupcakes ~ that's how many Candace Nelson had sold in her bakery when she celebrated her ten-year anniversary in 2015 as America's first cupcake bakery.
No surprise this tender and delicious cupcake is her clients popular choice.
I was excited to receive and review a copy of her first cookbook,
The Sprinkles Baking Book, 100 Secret Recipes from Candace's Kitchen.
Grand Central Life & Style, just published today.
(I received a copy of this book in return for my honest opinion and review)
About the Author
Candace Nelson is the founder and pastry chef of Sprinkles Cupcakes. A former investment banker, she opened Sprinkles, the world's first cupcake bakery, in Beverly Hill in 2003. Today, Sprinkles has 20 locations nationwide. Candace was a judge in the Food Network show Cupcake Wars for ten seasons, as well as a judge on Bobby Flay's Cupcake Throwdown.
In this book, Candace opens up her recipe vault sharing 100 irresistible desserts including her favorite cakes, pies and tarts, loaves and quick breads, cookies, brownies and bars and even includes candies, puddings and sweet confections. She also shares a few celebrity guest recipes!
Each recipe is clearly explained and includes a photo. Baking instructions are concise with a chapter detailing the ingredients, baking tools and equipment and their purposes for baking success.
Interspersed throughout are tidbits and memories that inspired many of her desserts and delightful stories, especially one pertaining to a marriage proposal.
With so many fabulous recipes I want to make, I began with the first one in the book, the Red Velvet Cupcake. Our family gave it very high marks!
I think The Sprinkles Baking Book is a perfect gift for a new bride and beginner baker or for anyone who enjoys sharing love from the kitchen as well as the experienced baker. I will be busy baking my way through this lovely cookbook.
THE SPRINKLES RED VELVET CUPCAKE
MAKES 12 CUPCAKES
Having grown up in Oklahoma, my husband insisted we add red velvet, his familiar favorite, to the menu. However, most red velvets I’d tried had left me cold. At best, they were made with a teaspoon of cocoa; at worst, they were flavorless lumps altogether devoid of cocoa and distinguished by a shockingly red hue. All right, I told Charles, if I’m going to do red velvet, I’m going to do it my way. So I upped the cocoa quotient with a luxurious Belgian variety, then colored it a deep burgundy red before topping it with a rich cream cheese frosting. In the early days, many customers came in asking for this mysterious red cupcake with the unfamiliar name—they’d never heard of red velvet! More than a decade later, it has surpassed chocolate and vanilla in popularity. Here, I share the iconic recipe that continues to define Sprinkles to this day.
1½ cups all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
2/3 cup buttermilk, shaken
1¾ teaspoons white vinegar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3/4 teaspoon red gel food coloring
10 tablespoons (1¼ sticks) unsalted butter, slightly softened
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
2 large eggs
Cream Cheese Frosting
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a 12-cup cupcake pan with paper liners.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. In a small bowl, stir together the buttermilk, vinegar, vanilla, and food coloring.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Reduce the speed to medium-low, add the eggs one at a time, and beat until creamy, 1 to 2 minutes. Slowly add half the flour mixture, then the buttermilk mixture, then the remaining flour mixture, beating until just blended after each addition.
Divide the batter evenly among the liners and bake until the tops are just dry to the touch and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 17 to 19 minutes. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool completely before frosting with cream cheese frosting.
CREAM CHEESE FROSTING
MAKES 2 CUPS
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, slightly softened
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, slightly softened
1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt
3¾ cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese, butter, and salt on medium speed until light and fluffy, 2 minutes. Reduce the speed to low, gradually add the confectioners’ sugar, and beat until incorporated. Increase the speed to medium, add the vanilla, and beat until fully blended, 1 to 2 minutes, making sure not to incorporate too much air into the frosting.
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