Thursday, July 22, 2010

Red Velvet Cupcakes! :D

Made these for a tea party on saturday :D

I'd never made cupcakes successfully before, there would always be something that would spoil them... but this time i was determined to make deliciousness! :D My sister's been going on and on (and on and on ad nauseum) about the Hummingbird Bakery in London so I thought i'd try their recipe for Red Velvet Cupcakes, which is something I've wanted to make ever since seeing it on True blood (don't ask me which season or episode, but it was a while ago).

The lurid red colour of the cake, which is essentially a lightly chocolate flavoured vanilla cake appeals to me, makes it a little more "WOO" than a regular cupcake. I don't really have the patience for finicky decorations, so a cake that's a decoration in itself is ideal! ^_^

Found the recipe online and I'm seriously considering buying the book now - loved this recipe, and have heard that the carrot and other cupcakes from there are to die for! :)

Here goes :D

You Will Need

For cupcakes:
1 x muffin tray that holds 12 muffins (these are large cupcakes!)
Muffin paper cases x 12 (put one in each hole in the tray)
60g unsalted Butter at room temperature
150g Caster Sugar
1 Egg
10g Cocoa
20ml red Food Colouring (Dr. Oetker Red Food Colouring)
1/2 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
120mls Buttermilk (SEE NOTE BELOW!!)
150g plain Flour
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1/2 teaspoon Bicarbonate Of Soda
1.5 teaspoons white wine Vinegar

For Cream Cheese Frosting:
300g icing sugar, sifted
50g unsalted butter, at room temperature
125g cream cheese, cold

Preheat the oven to 170C (325F) Gas 3. (if fan-forced, put it on 150C)

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.

In a separate bowl, mix together the cocoa powder, red food colouring and vanilla extract to make a 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. 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 mixer up to high speed and beat until you have a smooth, even mixture. Turn the mixer down to low speed and add the salt, bicarbonate of soda and vinegar. Beat until well mixed, then turn up the speed again and beat for a couple more minutes.

Spoon the mixture into the paper cases until two-thirds full and bake in the preheated oven for 18-23 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.

**I baked them for 20 minutes and it was more than enough. Next time i'll do 18 minutes!
**when making the mixture the vinegar (in the substitute buttermilk and the extra added) makes the mixture look curdled. don't worry, it's meant to do that! just bake it as soon as it's done! :D

While cupcakes are baking, make the icing. If you're doing this in a warm country, i would advice chucking into the fridge for a while before icing the cupcakes as it needs to firm up a little.

Beat the icing sugar and 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 until it is completely incorporated. Turn the mixer up to medium-high speed. Continue beating until the frosting is light and fluffy- for at least 5 minutes. Do not overbeat, as it can quickly become runny.

When the cakes are completely cool, ice them with the frosting - be very generous, as they love icing these lovely little cupcakes :D

I made an additional decoration by throwing some caster sugar (a tablespoon or so) in a plastic bag, adding a few drops of colouring, and mixing around. Threw this red red sugar onto a saucepan and put it in the oven (which was off but still warm from cooking the cupcakes) till dry. then just before serving i sprinkled some onto the frosted cupcakes :)

N.B. BUTTERMILK!! If you can't find any (In Malta, i've found that i've started finding now, it's imported from Germany and is found with the yoghurt etc), just use one of the following substitutes:

1) Simply use regular runny plain yoghurt.  Not the greek stuff, just your regular yoghurt (i find the low fat one is the perfect consistency)
2) "Make" your own buttermilk; put 2 teaspoons of vinegar in a measuring jug, and fill the rest with regular milk to the 120ml line. leave to stand for 5 minutes before using (essentially i just made it just before chucking the butter and sugar into the kenwood to cream it).

Please note!!: I've marked these as vegetarian, as long as the red food colouring does not contain cochineal.  The cochineal beetle is used to make red food colouring.


  1. They were delish. I wish I took that last half that I was too full to eat at the party hehe

  2. Hummingbird bakery is my favourite tourist attraction in London :)
    Sal has the book too - EVERYTHING in it looks amazing!!! We've made a few things and all are off tap