Red Velvet Cupcakes

4 June 2012

I planned to make these for the Jubilee a while ago. I spent hours on Pinterest looking at cupcakes for inspiration. I bought some themed cupcake cases, red white and blue sprinkles and Union Jack toppers. I bought all the ingredients. I planned to make them on the Sunday evening of the Jubilee weekend as I was making them for the Jubilee street party and my parents barbecue. I had everything prepared. Then guess what happened? My oven packed in. It wouldn't light! I. Was. Not. Happy. In fact the air was blue.

Fortunately, my wonderful Mum came to the rescue by lending me her kitchen. Phew! Disaster averted. I actually loved baking in my mums kitchen as mine is the tiniest kitchen in the world. And she has a telly in her kitchen!

So in the end, after all that planning {I don't do things by halves do I?} they turned out fantastic. The red colour of the sponge was brilliant, and the cream cheese frosting was a lovely pure white colour which really showed up the sprinkles.

My oven is officially dead so tomorrow we'll be shopping for a new one!

Red Velvet Cupcakes

Makes 10
Preparation time 30 minutes
Baking time 20-25 minutes

60g butter, softened
150g caster sugar
1 egg
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
2 tablespoons red food colouring
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
150g plain flour
120ml buttermilk
1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda/baking soda
1 & 1/2 teaspoons white vinegar

Cream Cheese Frosting
300g icing sugar
50g butter, softened
125g cream cheese, cold 

Preheat the oven to 170C {325F} Gas Mark 3. Make sure your shelp is in the middle of the oven. Line a 12 section bun tray with 10 paper cases. The recipe said it should make 12 but I always get 10 out of it.

Put the butter and sugar in a bowl and beat on a medium speed with an electric hand mixer  until light and fluffy. Turn the mixer up to high speed, slowly add the egg and beat everything until it is well incorporated.

In a separate small  bowl, mix together the cocoa, red food colouring and vanilla extract to make a thick 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 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 the mixture up to high speed and beat until it is a smooth even mixture. Turn the mixer down to slow and add the bicarb of soda and vinegar. Turn up the speed again and beat for another minute.

Spoon the mixture into the paper cases until two thirds full. Pop in the oven for 20-25 minutes or until the cake bounces back when touched. Insert a skewer into the centre and it should come out clean. Leave the cupcakes to cool slightly in the tray before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. 

To make the frosting, beat the icing sugar and butter in a large bowl with a hand held electric whisk on 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 speed and beat for a couple of minutes until the frosting is light and fluffy. Don't overbeat as it can quickly become runny.

Spoon or pipe the frosting on top of the cupcakes and finish with sprinkles of your choice.


  1. Replies
    1. Hi Steph. They were yummy and went down a treat at our street party today! xx

  2. Are these cupcakes meant to be very tangy ? I made these today and both the sponge and the frosting tasted very tangy. I know the buttermilk is slightly sour. Also what does the addition of the red food colouring in the sponge actually do? as my sponge was purely chocolate coloured with no hint of red. Thanks x

    1. Oh no, I'm sorry to hear they tasted tangy. I've made them loads of times and also made a cake with the same recipe and they tasted fine. I have searched online and people who say it tasted bitter or tangy put it down to the brand of food colouring they use (eg Wilton or Americolor). The buttermilk is just used to keep it really moist. Regarding the red colouring, using gel colouring is more concentrated so it gives the sponge a more intense colour. Hope this helps x

    2. Excellent thanks !! I had a suspicion it was the food colouring making it tangy as I added some to the frosting :) .. I will try the gel in future. x

    3. I hope you'll have another go at making them and they taste better this time! x


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