Sweet Mandy B’s
As a Chicago resident, I’ve been hearing a lot about Sweet Mandy B’s cupcakes for years. The name Sweet Mandy B’s dominated just about every Chicago cupcake conversation I’ve ever had. People would tell me: “You’ve got to try them! They’re the best!” Well I finally made it out there (thanks to a friend who lives RIGHT next door!) and everyone is completely right. As soon as I smelled the sweetness of the air from my friend’s balcony next door, I knew I needed a cupcake, more specifically a red velvet one (for you non Chicagoans – you can try making this recipe at home!)
The place was filled with cupcakes and Halloween cookies and other amazing cookies like peanut butter and sugar and the best chocolate cookie I’ve ever had (I ordered one of those too). They even had mini tubs of their cupcake frosting to take home!
But even hours later, one bite of that red velvet cupcake as I was sold to Sweet Mandy B’s. The moist rich cake topped with a luscious cream cheese frosting could melt my heart and my tastebuds any day. I have now joined the bandwagon of fans.
1208 W Webster Ave,
To replicate this amazing cupcake, try:
This recipe is a variation on that old favorite flavor, red velvet cake. To spice the flavor up a bit, ground red pepper, cinnamon and pepper sauce increase the heat level, creating a new sensation.
Note: This (unfortunately) is not Sweet Mandy’s B’s Red Velvet Cupcake recipe.
* 3 eggs, room temperature
* 3/4 C. butter, room temperature
* 3 C. all-purpose flour
* 1 1/2 Tbs. unsweetened cocoa powder
* 1/2 tsp. ground red pepper
* 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
* 3/4 tsp. salt
* 2 1/4 C. sugar
* 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
* 1 Tbs. red food coloring
* 1 1/2 C. buttermilk
* 1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
* 1 1/2 tsp. vinegar
* 1/2 C. butter or margarine
* 6 Tbs. unsweetened cocoa powder
* 6 Tbs. buttermilk
* 4 1/2 C. sifted powdered sugar
* 1 tsp. vanilla
* 1/2-1 tsp. Chipotle-flavored or jalapeno-flavored pepper sauce
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 28 2-1/2-inch cupcake pans with paper liners; set aside. NOTE: If desired, use silicone heart-shaped cupcake liners placed on a rimmed baking sheet, or place regular paper liners in metal heart-shaped cupcake pan.
In medium bowl combine flour, cocoa powder, red pepper, cinnamon and salt; set aside. In large mixing bowl beat butter on medium-high 30 seconds. Add sugar and vanilla; beat until combined. One at a time, add eggs; beat on medium after each. Beat in food coloring on low.Alternately add flour mixture and buttermilk to egg mixture; beat on low to medium speed after each just until combined. Stir together baking soda and vinegar. Add to batter; beat just until combined. Spoon batter into prepared pans, filling each about 2/3 full. Bake 15-17 minutes. Cool in pan on wire rack for 5 minutes. Remove from pans. Cool completely before frosting cupcakes.
Frosting: In a medium saucepan stir together butter or margarine, unsweetened cocoa powder and buttermilk. Cook and stir until boiling; remove from heat. Beat in sifted powdered sugar, vanilla and pepper sauce to taste with an electric mixer on low speed until blended.
Decorating Note: You can melt white chocolate chips with a touch of red food coloring and drizzle a heart on top of each cupcake. For a more grown-up taste, you could replace one or two tablespoons of the buttermilk with orange-flavored liqueur or cinnamon schnapps in both the batter and frosting.