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I have 400 cupcakes to make tomorrow and a 50# bag of AP flour at my disposal, recipes call for cake flour, can I use the AP without dire circumstances? Also thinking of substituting concentrated beet juice for red food coloring for red velvet cupcakes ... Any thoughts?

asked by Aliwaks almost 6 years ago
14 answers 1737 views
23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
added almost 6 years ago

I always use AP flour in my cupcakes - feel that they don't crumble and go dry as quickly [as those with cake flour]. I frequently use a recipe from Cook's Illustrated that calls for AP. The beet juice will prob work (use equal amounts by volume) but the color will be more deep pink than red. I called my version of cupcakes made with beet juice "Pink Velvet Cupcakes" - little girls loved them and parents did too b/c there was no artificial coloring.

23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
added almost 6 years ago

And wow - 400 cupcakes. That is a lot!

E7b6597b db6e 4cae b9f3 699b508f4ed3  036
aargersi

Abbie is a trusted source on General Cooking.

added almost 6 years ago

Aliwaks when I made my beet tea bread it did not stay red! Something about the baking soda takes the color out ... I think you have to use beet powder - see Mrs Larkin's comments here: http://www.food52.com/recipes...

22b9ddc9 fc61 48a3 949e dee341974288  liz and dad
added almost 6 years ago

Holy smokes! That's a whole lotta cupcake. I'd go with the AP too.

I agree with Savorykitchen - that way the cupcake will have more body and won't crumble in your hand (which is how I eat them, with my hands, usually wolfing it down in two or three bites.) Also, SK, what do you mean by "equal amounts by volume"?

Maybe concentrated beet juice IS the answer! aargersi, i never got around to buying the beet powder. have you tried it?

I've used the wilton gel/paste kind of food coloring with great results. Somehow seems less gross than using a whole bottle of liquid red food color.

Aliwaks let us know how they turn out! Good luck!

23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
added almost 6 years ago

Ah - what I meant is if the recipe called for 2 Tbs red food coloring to use 2 Tbs beet juice. Not less and definitely not more. Especially in a recipe scaled up to make 400!

9142cfce 8a8d 4b50 a71a 180e350c48c4  100 1445
added almost 6 years ago

I think AP flour would work well too! If you have your heart set on cake flour though, you can mix AP flour with corn starch. Here's a guide: http://www.thefeast.com...

For super light cupcakes, sometimes I use half AP flour and half cake -- I've never used all cake though for the reasons mrslarkin and savory kitchen mentioned. have fun!!

9142cfce 8a8d 4b50 a71a 180e350c48c4  100 1445
added almost 6 years ago

whoops, i posted the wrong link! i was just looking at the interview with wolfgang puck, which is totally unrelated but also kind of awesome so you should all check it out if you'd like to know what he's cooking at the oscars this year :)

for ap / cake flour info tho, go here: http://www.joythebaker...

23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
added almost 6 years ago

I'm all for the AP flour. I very rarely use cake flour. And, I like my cupcakes SOLID. As for the food colouring, just wondering, is is possible to get red food colouring made from cochineal in the US? Would be natural (though unacceptable to strict vegetarians...).

C45c94a0 2e08 45bf a73c 4235d1b3c4bb  image
added almost 6 years ago

The one time I use beet food color iy came out yucky brown.

3a07161a c04e 4fa1 b28d 18a97a109314  img 7662
added almost 6 years ago

You guys are awesome!!! AP it is ... Thank goodness I will remain in budget! Think I'll do a test batch with the beet juice, was planning to reduce it down, I'll let you know.. Yes 400 is a lot of cupcakes!! But it's for 2 separate work events, 1 of which is a baby shower hence the search for alt/natural food coloring and will have commercial kitchen to work out of (with a convection oven & a great big Hobart mixer). I'll let you know how it works out.

23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
added almost 6 years ago

Don't use a recipe that you would have to sub. the a/p flour in. Use a recipe that calles for a/p flour. Good luck

3a07161a c04e 4fa1 b28d 18a97a109314  img 7662
added almost 6 years ago

So they came out pretty good...not RED but with a definite red tint... took beet cooking water & reduced it to a syrup. The biggest issue I had was with the stupid mixer that I was so excited about. It turned my butter/sugar gray whilst creaming!!! WTF... I cleaned it myself, following strict serv safe principles... I think it's because some wear at the bottom of the bowl...really unfortunate Chef Daddy...whadda ya think?

23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
added almost 6 years ago

Aliwaks-I like the idea that you did a reduction of the beat water for tinting. That's great thinking. As far as the grey tint after creaming, this is actually a common problem due to the paddle mixer (s) are usually aluminum ( I think). If the paddle has been sitting along time they get a tarnish that can be removed with a good soapy scrub. Also, If you think about it creaming butter and sugar can be like sandpaper to a certain degree and if you creamed too long this also can happen. I first discovered this happens while making a bechemal sauce in an aluminum sauce pan and can happen while making anything with aluminum material. I also once ended up with a cheese cake that had some grey-ness to it.

23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
added almost 6 years ago

Its also important to NOT put aluminium utensils in the dishwasher. I assume it's a chemistry thing (making a battery with the other metal in there in an acidic environment?) but they'll come out with a terrible grey tarnish and require more than just a quick scrub to remove.