Recipe: Red Velvet Cupcakes
With their sumptuous, deep crimson colouring, and elegantly white frosting, nothing says “Valentine’s Day weekend” more eloquently than red velvet cupcakes.
Cooking time: 25 minutes
• 60g unsalted butter, at room temperature
• 150g caster sugar
• 1 egg
• 10g cocoa powder
• 20ml red food colouring
• ½tsp vanilla extract
• 120ml buttermilk
• 150g plain flour
• ½tsp salt
• ½tsp bicarbonate of soda
• 1½tsp white wine vinegar
Cream cheese frosting:
• 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. Beat the butter and the sugar together until light, fluffy, and well mixed.
3. Slowly add the egg and beat until everything is well incorporated.
4. In a separate bowl, mix together the cocoa powder, red food colouring and vanilla extract to make a thick, dark paste.
5. Add to the butter mixture and mix thoroughly until evenly combined and coloured.
6. Slowly pour in half of the buttermilk, beat until well mixed, then add half the flour, and beat until everything is well incorporated.
7. Repeat this process until all the buttermilk and flour have been added, and the mixture is smooth.
8. Finally, add the salt, bicarbonate of soda, and vinegar. Beat until well mixed.
9. Spoon the mixture into the paper cases sat in a 12-hole cupcake tray (to preserve the cupcakes’ shape) until two-thirds full and bake in the preheated oven for 20–25 minutes, or until the sponge bounces back when touched.
10. Leave the cupcakes to cool slightly in the tray before turning out onto a wire cooling rack to cool completely.
Cream cheese frosting:
11. Whilst your cupcakes are cooling, beat the icing sugar and butter together fully.
12. Add the cream cheese, and beat until fully incorporated, and the frosting is light and fluffy.
13. When the cupcakes are cold, spoon the cream cheese frosting on top of each cupcake.
• Should you need more cupcakes, or wish to make a red velvet cake instead, simply double the above-stated quantities.For the red velvet cake, divide the mixture between three 20cm round cake tins, and bake for 25 minutes. Double the frosting quantities, and use to both sandwich the cakes together, and ice the exterior.
• Should you not be able to find buttermilk, simply combine yoghurt and milk in a 2:1 ratio; alternatively, stir in one tablespoon of lemon juice into 250ml of milk and leave to stand for five minutes.