Apple Wood Smoked Red Velvet Cupcakes

Apple Wood Smoked Red Velvet Cupcakes

You can grill, smoke and roast on the kettle….and you can bake! This recipe will show how you can harness the live fire of a Weber grill (gas or charcoal) and make tasty treats everyone will love. This recipe has a great and unexpected twist with the addition of apple wood smoke. Surprise your family with the rich taste combination of sweet chocolate and smoke this Valentine’s Day. These Apple Wood Smoked Red Velvet Cupcakes will keep any griller’s sweetheart delighted.

Apple Wood Smoked Red Velvet Cupcakes
By Matt Jost

Makes: 15 cupcakes
Prep time: 25 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes

Special Equipment:
Muffin pan
Cupcake liners
Electric Mixer with whip

Ingredients:
1 ¾  cup all-purpose flour
¾ cup granulated sugar
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon kosher salt
1  tablespoon unsweetened coco powder
¾ cup vegetable oil
½ cup  buttermilk
2  whole eggs
4 teaspoons red food coloring
½ teaspoon white vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla paste (or extract)
1 handful apple wood chips, soaked in water (more or less as desired)

For frosting:
10 oz  good cream cheese, softened
2 tablespoons  powdered sugar
1 tablespoon buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla paste (or extract)

Directions:

1.       Combine the flour, sugar, baking soda, salt and coco powder in a mixing bowl and stir together with a whisk. Set aside.

2.       In a bowl with a whip attachment, whisk together the vegetable oil, buttermilk, eggs, red food color, vinegar and vanilla until smooth. (Be careful! The red food color will stain, whisk on medium speed).

3.       Once the liquids have been combined, add the mixed dry ingredients and whisk together. Scrape the sides and bottom and stir one more time to combine.

4.       Line the muffin pan with the cupcake liners and pour about 1/3 cup of the batter into each one. It should be about ½ inch below the top of the liner.

5.       Prepare the grill for medium-low, indirect direct heat (about 350F). If you are using charcoal prepare  1/2 chimney full of charcoal and spread about 25 lit coals on each side. For a gas grill, set the burners to medium indirect. 

6.       Place the cupcake tray in the center of the grill over indirect heat. 

7.       Place the apple wood chips on the coals (or in the smoke box on the gas grill) and close the lid.

8.       Bake the cupcakes for about 20-25 minutes. Don’t open the lid!

9.       While the cupcakes cook, mix together the cream cheese, sugar, buttermilk and vanilla until smooth. Keep at room temperature for easier frosting.

10.   Check the cupcakes after 20-25 minutes with a toothpick, if it comes out clean, they are ready. If it comes out dirty, cook another 5 minutes and check again.

11.   Once the cupcakes have been cooked, remove from the grill and cool at room temperature.

12.   Once cooled, remove the cupcakes and frost. Decorate as you like.

Keep the coals hot!

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