Happy St. Patrick’s Day, friends! You’d think I would have something green-inspired on the blog today, but I’m going in another direction.

Yesterday my family held a benefit for my Aunt Mary who is battling Stage IV pancreatic cancer. We started the day before sunrise and by sunset had served up spaghetti dinners to over 300 people, raffled off more than 50 gift baskets, and sold bake goods that extended across six long tables. While the circumstances behind the event are heart breaking, it was amazing to see so many friends and family rally around my aunt. All things considered, it was wonderful day and a true privilege to honor and support my awesome Aunt Mary.

Since there was a bake sale, you know I had to get involved in the action and provide a few goodies from the IBC kitchen! Purple is the color of support for pancreatic cancer so I thought a twist on red velvet would be perfect.

Purple Velvet Cupcakes | Inspired by Charm

The twist: I used a standard white cake mix, added the red velvet flavoring, and then turned it purple. The resulting cupcakes were not only festive, but totally delicious. Paired with my go-to cream cheese frosting (tinted pale purple) and a few mini-flowers I picked up at Walmart, these cupcakes were adorable and loaded with flavor.

Purple Velvet Cupcakes | Inspired by Charm

Purple Velvet Cupcakes | Inspired by Charm

Like last week, when I adapted a box cake mix to make my Cinnamon and Sugar Cake, this recipe comes together very quickly. The small changes add richness and moisture to the cake. It’s actually hard to believe it’s a boxed mix. Let me show you how to put it together.

Purple Velvet Cupcakes | Inspired by Charm

Purple Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

Here's what you will need:

Cake:
1 box white cake mix
1 1/4 cups buttermilk
1/3 cup butter, melted
3 eggs
1 tablespoon unsweetened baking coca
2 teaspoons violet food coloring

Cream Cheese Frosting:
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
4 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 -3 tablespoons heavy cream
Drop of violet food coloring

For the cake begin by heating your oven to 325 degrees F. Prepare your cupcake pans by lining them with cupcake liners; then set aside.

In a large bowl combine the ingredients for the cake. With the mixer on low speed, beat for about 30 seconds; then on medium speed, beat for an additional two minutes.

Fill each cupcake liner about 3/4 of the way full. Bake 18 to 23 minute or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool about 10 minutes; then remove the cupcakes from the pan and allow them to cool completely.

In the meantime, whip up the frosting. With an electric mixer, fitted with the whisk attachment; beat the butter, cream cheese, and salt until smooth. Add 2 cups of the powdered sugar - one cup at a time, beating after each addition. Add vanilla and about 1 tablespoon of heavy cream and continue beating. Then, add the remaining 2 cups of powdered sugar, one at a time. Scrap down the sides of the bowl when necessary. Add an additional 1-2 tablespoons of heavy cream until desired consistency is achieved. Add a drop of violet food coloring and beat until the color is uniform.

Ice the cooled cupcakes with a spatula or a piping bag for a more finished look.

Print

Purple Velvet Cupcakes | Inspired by Charm

Perfectly purple cupcakes for one of my favorite people. I couldn’t think of anything sweeter. I love you Aunt Mary!

I hope you enjoyed this recipe and that your week is off to a great start!

Comments

  • Kristen @ LoveK Blog at

    Your cupcakes are beautiful! Thanks for sharing the recipe!

    I’m sorry to hear about your Aunt Mary. My Grandma passed away due to Pancreatic Cancer so I’m familiar with your heart ache. Sending thoughts to your family! xo

  • Lori at

    Thank you for sharing your story. I am going to adjust the recipe to reflect teal for Ovarian Cancer Awareness. My sweet sister has ovarian cancer.

  • Aimee @ ShugarySweets at

    I’m so sorry about your Aunt. My Aunt Sylvia passed away in January from pancreatic cancer. She fought for the long haul and was a brave woman! My thoughts and prayers are with your Aunt mary!!!

  • Andrea Miyata at

    These are so cute.

    I’m very sorry to hear about your aunt. Cancer is never easy to deal with. Lots of love to you & your family during this very trying time.

  • Meg at

    Hugs to your family and Aunt Mary — sending all good things to her.

    These cupcakes are great — I love turning food unconventional colors! I made blue velvet cupcakes for a friend’s baby shower, and they were a big hit. In hindsight, I really should have just used a white cake mix and tinted it blue . . . would have been much easier than the rigors I put myself through!

  • Teckie at

    I’m so sorry about your Aunt. When my grandmother passed away last week, your mom brought over the most amazing lemon pull-apart bread and we all fought over it! Thank you (both) for using your talents to bring happiness during not-so-happy times.

  • Sue at

    I’m very sorry about your aunt. What a loving support system she has in you and your family/ friends. It’s very touching how many people participated in the benefit. Your aunt is obviously a much-loved woman! Sending prayers your way….the cupcakes are beautiful!

  • Jason at

    Thoughts and Prayers for your Aunt and Family!

  • Heidi at

    Hello Michael, I just stumbled onto your site while Googling cupcake recipes. (These are gorgeous, by the way!) You have some amazing recipes and decorating ideas… I could easily lose several hours just looking around your site! Sending up prayers and good thoughts for your Aunt Mary.

  • Sarah at

    These look amazing. I can’t wait to make them. I noticed in the ingredient list there was nothing about the red velvet flavoring but I did notice it the paragraph within your blog. Can you let me know of you did put red velvet flavoring in the cake mix?

  • Anna the Flutist/Baker at

    I saw this recipe over at Sarah’s Great Day.

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