Friday, March 8, 2013

Red Velvet Cupcakes with Vanilla Vodka Buttercream: Rocking the Red Pump Project

These were actually made for a friend's birthday party last weekend. His favorite cupcake is the red velvet variety. I also knew I was going to Rock the Red Pump soon so I decided multi task my red post.

I have rarely time to plan posts this far ahead and was quite pleased with myself. Enough about me, here is the most important part of this post:

March 10th is National Women & Girls
HIV/AIDS Awareness Day

The Red Pump Project raises awareness about the impact of HIV/AIDS on women and girls. They use the red shoe as a symbol of empowerment to represent women affected directly and indirectly with HIV/AIDS.

Below are some key statistics about how HIV/AIDS affects us and those around us.

HIV/AIDS in the United States:
  • Every 9.5 minutes, someone in the US will be infected with HIV.
  • There are more than 1 million adults and adolescents in the United States living with HIV. Approximately one-fifth of them (21%) do not know that they have been infected.
Women and HIV/AIDS
  • In 2006, women made up 25% of the persons living with HIV in the United States. Women also represented 27% of new HIV infections in 2006.
  • High-risk heterosexual contact is the source of 80% of these newly diagnosed infections in women in the US.
  • From the beginning of the epidemic through 2005, almost 86,000 women have died of AIDS and AIDS-related complications.
  • The largest number of HIV/AIDS diagnoses during recent years was for women aged 15–39.
  • Seven of the 10 states with the highest case rates among women are in the South.
Minority Women and HIV/AIDS
  • HIV/AIDS disproportionately affects minority women in the United States. According to the 2005 census, Black and Latina women represent 24% of all US women combined, but accounted for 82% of the estimated total of AIDS diagnoses for women in 2005.
  • HIV is the leading cause of death for Black women (including Black women) aged 25–34 years. The only diseases causing more deaths of women are cancer and heart disease.
  • The rate of AIDS diagnosis for Black women was approximately 23 times the rate for white women and 4 times the rate for Latina women.
  • In 2006, teen girls represented 39% of AIDS cases reported among 13–19 year-olds. Black teens represented 69% of cases reported among 13–19 year-olds; Latino teens represented 19%.
Youth and HIV/AIDS
  • In 2006, the CDC estimates that almost 46,000 young people, ages 13-24, were living with HIV in the US. Women comprised 28% of these HIV/AIDS cases among 13-24 year-olds.
  • African-American young adults are disproportionately affected by HIV, accounting for 60% of HIV/AIDS diagnoses in 13-24 year olds in 2006.

I wanted to so do something a little different to traditional red velvet cupcakes so I boozed up the buttercream to make these more festive for the birthday boy. I should have made a double batch (this recipe made 15)  as I was barely out of the kitchen with the tray in my hand and in a flash there were three left. I had to stash one in the fridge for the birthday boy so he wouldn't miss out.

Red Velvet Cupcakes with 
Vanilla Vodka Buttercream

For the Red Velvet Cupcakes:

I used a red velvet cake recipe found at Spinach Tiger. Oh em gee was this a fantastic recipe. Can't recommend it enough. I just put the batter in these stand alone baking liners and it worked perfectly.  Also Angela has her own December AIDS initiative Cook Red To Remember. Check it out. Better yet, put it on your calendar to participate this year.

For the Vanilla Vodka Buttercream:

  • 1 stick butter - room temperature
  • 1/2 cup Vanilla flavored vodka(I used Absolute)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4-5 cups powdered sugar

  • Place butter vodka, vanilla and two cups of the powdered sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer and mix on low until everything is combined.
  • Add the rest of the powdered sugar one cup at a time.
  • Load the frosting into a disposable pastry bag with the tip of your choice (I didn't use one for the cupcakes pictured) and  frost the cupcakes.
  • Optional - crumble some red velvet crumbs on top of the frosting for decoration.


  1. The cupcakes look divine! And boozy buttercream? Gimme!


  2. Frosting makes the cupcakes! These are so gorgeous.

  3. You really know how to rock both the red pump and the red cupcake! These look wonderful. What a great cause!

  4. These are lovely cupcakes and I definitely love the vanilla vodka buttercream on top. :)

  5. Such sobering statistics. The cupcakes look yummy thou :)

  6. I love Angela's recipes and what a great cause that you've highlighted. I used to work for the HIV/AIDS information centre and clinic and it is such an impactful issue.

  7. The cupcakes look delicious. Could probably eat that frosting by the spoonful. Would have loved to have seen you in your red pumps, especially if they are anything as exciting as those boots you bought in Turkey. Great cause and a great post to promote it! Also, hope your friend had a fabulous birthday celebration.


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