Looking for a quick and easy, yet affordable and delicious truffle recipe? How about these Red Velvet Cupcake Truffles? Use a deconstructed cupcakes to make the centers and then dip them into melted white chocolate! You never have to tell anyone they weren’t prepared from scratch! Who’s going to know otherwise??
Truffles can be made with just about anything! The key to a great truffle is to have a soft, moist, and sweet center, which can be either chocolate or cake-based. Next, you need to roll the truffle into a coating that compliments the inside. For the most part that’s either more chocolate, nuts, coconut, cocoa, or sprinkles. If you can manage to pair one of those things with the other, you can make any type of truffle you want! Don’t believe me? I proved it a few days ago with my Old Fashioned Sour Cream Donut Truffles and now I’m going to prove it again with these Red Velvet Cupcake Truffles!
This is the second time I’ve included a red velvet recipe into my holiday baking. The first recipe was the Red Velvet Crinkle Cookie recipe. I absolutely love red velvet! In fact, whenever I’m faced with a decision for cake, I can always narrow it down to either a red velvet cake or a carrot cake. I can’t get enough of those two! Maybe it’s not the cake; maybe it’s the cream cheese frosting! Nah, it’s the cake! Choosing carrot cake might make me seem old-fashioned, but it is what it is – I just love it!
I love the taste of red velvet, although it’s hard to explain the flavour, because there are so many variations of red velvet recipes. I also love the colour, specifically how the deep red colour contrasts with the white chocolate coating. Don’t you agree? Perfect for Christmas!
THEY SAY PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT!
I experimented quite a bit this year with truffles made from items one can find from any local bakery. You would that that if the ratios were right in the first attempt, I could apply the same logic to any bakery item. But, because there are so many differences in terms of texture and moisture in most baked items, it takes a little finessing. Even on my worst day – one where a truffle recipe wasn’t quite right – the mixture was still edible even if it wasn’t presentable! And, that’s not a total loss now, is it?
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – making truffles is so easy, which is probably why they are so popular. Their popularity only increases around Christmastime, when people start to indulge a little more, have more visitors dropping by, and less time to spending baking elaborate confections. That is why I’ve devoted an entire series to truffles. This is the 6th recipe in Lord Byron’s 12 Truffles of Christmas series! And, like some of the previous recipes in the series, I’m going to show you how to make them even easier! And, better!!!
WHERE DOES RED VELVET COME FROM?
What is red velvet anyway? Well, red velvet cake is thought to have originated in the Victorian era when they served velvet cakes as a fancy dessert. The term velvet was a description used to let consumers know the dessert was a soft and velvety crumb cake.
During that same time, devil’s food cake was introduced, which is how some believe that red velvet cake came about. The difference between the two cakes is that devil’s food cake uses chocolate and red velvet cake uses cocoa. Traditionally, red velvet cake is iced with a French-style butter roux icing. This icing is sometimes called Ermine Frosting. It’s very light and fluffy, but also very time consuming to make. Cream cheese frosting or buttercream are mostly used today.
HERE IS WHAT YOU WILL NEED FOR THIS RECIPE:
- Red Velvet Cupcakes – Store-bought or from your local bakery is perfect! This is exactly the type that I used. If you can’t find those, no worries, any brand will do!
- Coconut Oil – This helps to thin out the chocolate so that you can get a thinner layer onto the truffles when dipping them. If you prefer a thicker white chocolate coating, leave out the coconut oil
- White Chocolate – Use a brand that you trust. I’ve used no-name white chocolate before and it wouldn’t melt smoothly.
RED VELVET HISTORY – OR IT IS A FABLE?
Interestingly, here in Canada, the cake was a well-known dessert in the restaurants and bakeries of the Eaton’s department store chain in the 1940s and 1950s. It was promoted as an exclusive recipe. Employees who knew the ingredients were sworn to silence. Many believed it was the invention of the department store matriarch, Lady Eaton. This, however, was not the case.
Whoever invented it, we have to be thankful to them. Because, the love of red velvet has found itself spread through the food industry, but also in cosmetics and home accents and décor. There are endless red velvet-flavored products, including protein powder, tea, lattes, Pop-Tarts, waffles, and alcoholic beverages. The scent is used for candles and air fresheners as well.
As a consumer, I think I see red velvet products surface mostly a week or so before Valentine’s Day. They resurface again at Christmastime. It’s because the deep red colour is generally associated with those two particular times of the year. That is why, I’m including them in Lord Byron’s 12 Truffles of Christmas series!
MORE CHRISTMAS CONFECTIONS!
Maybe you don’t care much for truffles. Or, maybe you’re impatient and can’t wait to see what tomorrow’s recipe will be! If either one of those applies to you, I have a remedy. Last year, I published a series called Lord Byron’s 12 Biscotti of Christmas. The year before that, I published a series called Lord Byron’s 12 Bundt Cakes of Christmas. You can click on the image below and see the entire series on one page! Don’t worry, you won’t lose this page. It will open up a new webpage so that you can easily get back to these truffles!
HOW TO MAKE RED VELVET CUPCAKE TRUFFLES:
Red Velvet Cupcake Truffles are super easy to make and you only need three ingredients. The only part of this recipe that requires much attention is the deconstructing of the cupcakes. Deconstructing sounds fancy, doesn’t it? Basically, you’re separating the frosting from the cakey part of the cupcake. It isn’t hard to do at all, but it’s a little messy and it’s very hard to refrain from licking your fingers!. Once that’s out of the way, the rest is a breeze.
In a large bowl, beat the red velvet cupcake crumbs with the frosting. )If you’re reading this ahead of the recipe, scroll down to the recipe card to get the measurement amounts!) Beat until there’s no longer any white frosting visible and all you can see is a solid, deep red colour. Next, measure out one tablespoon of the donut mixture and roll into a ball. If it’s too soft to roll, refrigerate the mixture for 30 minutes. Place the ball on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Repeat until you have used up all of the donut mixture. Place the tray in the fridge for 1 hour. This will firm up the balls making them easier to dip into the white chocolate.
The next section will provide you with further clarification on how to deconstruct the cupcakes, just in case you’re unclear in any way. And, the section following that will walk you through how to coat the balls into melted white chocolate. There are a few tips and tricks in that section to help you make the most beautiful truffles possible.
If you clicked on the link above, you will note that the cupcakes I used came in a package of 4 which weighed in at 332 grams. For those of you in United States, the packaging would most likely have ounces rather than grams, so look for one as close to 12 ounces as you can find. Even that isn’t an exact science, because it’s the ratio of frosting to red velvet crumb that makes the truffles work.
Use a knife and lop the icing off of each cupcake. Keep the icing in one bowl and the base of the cupcake in another. Next, crumble the cupcakes. Crumbling cupcakes might not sound like much fun, especially if you’re crumbling 16 of them, but don’t be tempted to use your food processor. Doing so will result in a clumpy mixture. You want the crumbs to be light to start.
Measure 8 cups of the light and airy red velvet cupcake crumbs into a bowl. Add 1 cup of the frosting and use a hand-held mixer to beat the two together until well mixed. At this point, you should be able to roll the mixture into balls. If you cannot, cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes. This will firm up the mixture making it much easier to roll into balls.
THE BEST WAY TO COAT TRUFFLES IN CHOCOLATE!
I used to think that perfectly dipped chocolate truffles was witchcraft! Of course I’m kidding, but honestly, I could never master it. Either the chocolate was too thick, or not smooth enough. And, I was always left with a pool of chocolate at the bottom of the truffle that would harden. There’s nothing wrong with extra chocolate, but I so badly wanted to make my Red Velvet Cupcake Truffles look better.
I tried that fancy little tool for dipping things into chocolate. It’s like a two-tined fork with really long tines. Apparently, the truffle is supposed to balance on there, while the thin tines allow the excess chocolate to drip off. Lies! There is no fancy tool needed to get perfect chocolate dipped truffles. All you need is melted chocolate with a good consistency and two toothpicks. Here’s how I do it.
If you use melting chocolate right out of the bag, like candy melts or chocolate chips, for example, you will end up with very thick chocolate. The thicker the chocolate, the longer it will take to harden, which means more time for it to run. Thin your chocolate by adding a teaspoon of coconut oil or butter to the bowl before you start to melt it. This will thin it without any risk of your chocolate seizing or compromising the flavour.
DIP, LIFT, TAP AND TOOTHPICKS???
Working with chilled truffles, which I keep refrigerated until the chocolate is ready, I insert a toothpick about 1/3rd of an inch into the truffle. Dunk the truffle into the bowl of chocolate and gently move the toothpick in a circular motion so that the entire truffle is enrobed. Carefully lift the truffle out of the chocolate and slightly tap the toothpick on the rim of the bowl. The excess chocolate will fall back into the bowl.
I cannot stress enough the importance of using a chilled truffle center. The coldness will help to harden the chocolate right away. The rest is just semantics! With a second toothpick, run it very gently under the truffle to wipe away the excess chocolate. Do not press against the truffle; just wipe against the dripping chocolate.
Next, transfer the truffle to the prepared baking tray. You should still be holding the toothpick sticking out of the truffle and the truffle should be sitting on the parchment paper. Using the second toothpick, push it gently into the hole where the first toothpick is standing. Gently twist the first toothpick between your thumb and finger to loosen. Pull the toothpick up and out. Finally, remove the second toothpick, and use it to carefully smooth the still melted chocolate over the hole. Sprinkle over some of the remaining cupcake crumbs.
MORE CHRISTMAS RECIPES!
Did you know that I’ve been posting a 24 Cookies of Christmas series for a few years now? There are over 100 Christmas cookie recipes that you can find right here at Lord Byron’s Kitchen! To make it easier to find, I have created a page for each series. Just click on the image below and you’ll find the full series for that volume all one page!
WHEN ALL ELSE FAILS, GARNISH!
I had to practice quite a bit to get truffles looking their best. Even now, there are sometimes when I’ll run into a problem and they don’t turn out as nicely as I’d like them to! I learned a long time ago from watching re-runs of Julia Child’s cooking series that garnish can cover up little mishaps. There’s a running joke in my family that parsley is my best friend, because I love to garnish everything!
Even if you dipped the perfect truffle, it’s still nice to add something to the outside of it. As you can see in the photographs, I garnished the truffles with some of the leftover red velvet crumb mixture. Not only does it look better, it covers any holes left behind from the toothpick! Also, as you can see from the photos, I also drizzled some additional melted white chocolate over the top of some of the truffles. That’s also a great way to cover and flaws.
STORING, PACKAGING, AND FREEZING
When it comes to truffles of any kind, they taste best at room temperature, but they don’t hold up well to being left out on your countertop. Store them in a food-safe container in your fridge. When you want one, two, or half a dozen, take them out of the container and place them in a single layer on a plate. Let them sit at room temperature for 5 minutes and they’re ready!
If you plan to freeze these truffles, again, pile them into a food-safe, freezer-friendly container. You’ll want to ensure a very tight fitting lid too. (I use these quite often when freezing baked goods.) I like to place a sheet of plastic wrap over the top of the container before pushing the lid on. This helps to create a better seal. The goal is to keep all of that freshness locked in! You can freeze these for up to three months. Enjoy!
Red Velvet Cupcake Truffles
- 16 frosted red velvet cupcakes (see notes in post)
- 2 cups white chocolate chips
- 1 teaspoon coconut oil
- Start by deconstructing the cupcakes. Remove the frosting from the cake base of the cupcake. Keep the frosting in one bowl and the case base in another.
- Crumble the red velvet cake base by hand. Do not use a food processor! Crumbs should resemble sand and be light and airy.
- Add one cup of the reserved frosting to 8 cups of the crumbs. Beat with an hand-held mixer to combine.
- Measure out a tablespoon of the mixture. Roll into balls and place on a parchment-lined baking tray. Once all of the balls are rolled, place the baking tray in the fridge for 30 minutes to frim up. (If the mixture is too soft to roll into balls, refrigerate for 30 minutes and try once again.)
- Place the white chocolate chips and the coconut oil into a microwave-safe bowl. On medium power, microwave the chocolate for 30 seconds. Remove and stir. Continue to microwave in 15 second increments on half powder until chocolate is smooth. Stir between each increment.
- Working with chilled truffles, insert a toothpick about 1/3rd of an inch into the truffle. Dunk the truffle into the bowl of chocolate and gently move the toothpick in a circular motion so that the entire truffle is enrobed. Carefully lift the truffle out of the chocolate and slightly tap the toothpick on the rim of the bowl. The excess chocolate will fall back into the bowl.
- Next, transfer the truffle to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Top with a sprinkling of the remaining crumbs.
- Continue to coat all of the truffles in the melted white chocolate. Once done, transfer baking sheet to fridge until chocolate is firm.
- Transfer to food safe container. Keep refrigerated.