Thursday, 10 July 2014

Red Velvet Cupcakes

Readers, it’s been another week of experimenting.  This time, I tried making red velvet cupcakes for the first time.   The sponge was a bit more labour intensive than a standard cupcake but boy was it worth it.

I also learned just how much food colouring you need to use to get a proper red velvet colour (turns out a whole bottle) but do note, it definitely doesn’t affect the taste!

This week I also made a frosting incorporating cream cheese for the first time and it was solid enough to pipe.   The flavour was so delicious, I’m starting to wonder if it’s even better than a traditional buttercream…

Took these into the office for my colleagues to enjoy and they disappeared very quickly.  Hats off to the Hummingbird Bakery for such a great cake. 

I didn’t develop this recipe myself – it’s taken from a Hummingbird Bakery recipe found here.

I’ve noted the original recipe before for you as well.

Happy Baking!
Claire x

P.S. - I'm also entering this baking project to #recipe of the week over at A Mummy Too.

Link up your recipe of the week

Red Velvet Cupcakes

Taken from Red Online

Ingredients (makes 12 large cupcakes)
Red Velvet Cupcakes

60g unsalted butter softened
150g caster sugar
1 egg
20g cocoa powder
40ml red food colouring
½ tsp vanilla extract
120ml buttermilk
150g plain flour
½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
1½ tsp white vinegar
1 x 12-hole cupcake tray, lined with paper cases


300g icing sugar, sifted
50g unsalted butter, at room temperature
125g cream cheese, cold


1. Preheat the oven to 170°C/325°F/gas mark 3.

2. Put the butter and the sugar in a freestanding electric mixer with a paddle attachment (or use a handheld electric whisk) and beat on medium speed until light and fluffy and well mixed. Turn the mixer up to high speed, slowly add the egg and beat until everything is well incorporated.

3. In a separate bowl, mix together the cocoa powder, red food colouring and vanilla extract to make a very thick, dark paste. Add to the butter mixture and mix thoroughly until evenly combined and coloured (scrape any unmixed ingredients from the side of the bowl with a rubber spatula). Turn the mixer down to slow speed and slowly pour in half the buttermilk.
Adding the colouring and cocoa paste formula

4. Beat until well mixed, then add half the flour and beat until everything is well incorporated. Repeat this process until all the buttermilk and flour have been added. Scrape down the side of the bowl again. Turn the mixer up to high speed and beat until you have a smooth, even mixture. Turn the mixer down to low speed and add the bicarbonate of soda and vinegar. Beat until well mixed, then turn up the speed again and beat for a couple more minutes.
Finished cake batter 

5. Meanwhile, make the frosting by beating the icing sugar the remaining 20g of the unsalted butter together in a freestanding electric mixer with a paddle attachment (or use a handheld electric whisk) on medium-slow speed until the mixture comes together and is well mixed. Add the cream cheese in one go and beat it until it is completely incorporated. Turn the mixer up to medium-high speed. Continue beating until the frosting is light and fluffy, at least five minutes. Do not overbeat, as it can quickly become runny.

6. Spoon the mixture into the paper cases until two-thirds full and bake in the preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the sponge bounces back when touched. A skewer inserted in the centre should come out clean. Leave the cupcakes to cool slightly in the tray before turning out onto a wire cooling rack to cool completely.
Cakes cooling on the rack
When the cupcakes are cold, transfer the frosting to a piping bag and pipe swirls onto each cake. Finish with additional decorations if desired.

Store in an airtight container in the fridge for 2-3 days and allow to come to room temperature before serving. 


  1. They look fab! #recipeoftheweek

    1. Thank you... great fun to make #recipeoftheweek

  2. Those are very pretty. I wish I could get mine looking so fabulous. #recipeoftheweek
    Heather x

    1. Thanks Heather - lovely comment! Just takes lots of practice and a steady hand!

  3. Get yourself on ebay, or to your local cake decorating supplier and buy gel colours. They're a more expensive outlay, but you'd only need 1/2 a teaspoon to colour all those cakes :)
    They do look gorgeous - the decoration is lovely :)

    1. What a great idea - thanks for suggesting! I have used the gel colours before for icing but never thought to do the same for cake batter!

  4. These look delicious! Red velvet cupcakes were my baking nemesis for a while too but I've managed to crack them - and I too was shocked at the amount of food colour. I find that if you use a food gel, you'll need less. :) Check out my blog too - This Muslim Girl Bakes

    1. Thanks for your comment. Glad to hear that you have mastered red velvet cakes too. Will definitely have a look at your blog too. Happy baking!