Whether you’re working hard on that summer bod or haven’t quite started yet, now’s a great time to take a break and indulge—and make the world a better place while you’re at it.
For the month of July, Sprinkles Cupcakes is offering a gourmet red velvet cupcake adorned with an image of the actress-activist Elizabeth Taylor to benefit the Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation. The sweet treat is the second in their Summer Icon series, following last month’s Marilyn Monroe tribute.
Taylor was one of the first celebrities to use her stardom to speak out about the AIDS crisis—using her voice for those who didn’t have one. The Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation, which the star founded in 1991, along with another charity she co-founded, amfAr, have since raised over $270 million for people living with HIV/AIDS, as well as research into new treatments and preventative measures, especially for those in marginalized communities.
Now, there’s a new (and fun) way to contribute to the cause. All you have to do is grab an Elizabeth Taylor Red Velvet cupcake from Sprinkles and 10 percent of the proceeds will go the foundation.
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The best part is that every cent raised will go directly to people living with HIV/AIDS, their families and prevention education because the foundation’s operating costs are completely covered by Ms. Taylor’s trust.
If you would rather just have the fun of baking yourself, you can always make a batch of the cupcakes with the recipe below—but be sure to direct people here, where they can donate to the cause.
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Sprinkles’ Elizabeth Taylor Red Velvet Cupcakes
Makes: 1 dozen
1 ¾ cup all purpose flour
3 tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. fine sea salt
⅔ cup buttermilk, shaken
1 ½ tsp. white vinegar
½ tsp. pure vanilla extract
¾ tsp. red gel-paste food coloring
1 ½ sticks unsalted butter, slightly softened
¾ cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
Cream Cheese Frosting (recipe follows)
1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Line a 12-cup cupcake pan with paper liners.
2. In a medium bowl whisk the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. In a small bowl whisk the buttermilk, vanilla, vinegar, and food coloring. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, 2-3 minutes. Reduce speed to medium-low, add the eggs one at a time and beat until creamy, 1-2 minutes. Slowly add half the flour mixture, then the buttermilk mixture, then the remaining flour mixture, beating until just blended after each addition.
3. Divide the batter evenly among the liners and bake until the tops are just dry to the touch, 17-18 minutes. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and cool completely before frosting with Cream Cheese Frosting.
* To bake as a cake, butter two 9-inch round cake pans, line the bottoms with parchment and butter the parchment. Then, flour the pans, coating the bottom and sides of each pan, tapping to shake out the excess flour. Divide the batter among the 2 pans and bake approximately 17 minutes. Frost with Cream Cheese Frosting.
Cream Cheese Frosting
8 oz. (1 package) cream cheese, slightly softened
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, slightly softened
⅛ tsp. fine sea salt
3 ¾ cups (a 1-lb. box) confectioners’ sugar, sifted
½ tsp. pure vanilla extract
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment beat the cream cheese, butter, and salt on medium speed until light and fluffy, 2 minutes. Reduce the speed to low, gradually add the sugar, and beat until incorporated. Increase the speed to medium, add the vanilla and beat until fully blended, 1-2 minutes, making sure not to incorporate too much air into the frosting.