Today I’m bringing you our extremely popular Red Velvet cupcake recipe, based on the very gorgeous Hummingbird Bakery. You could replace the vanilla butter icing with cream cheese frosting (300g icing sugar, 20g unsalted butter, 125g cream cheese) if you prefer. With the red food colouring don’t be tempted to use any that are “natural ingredients food colouring” as this would make the colour of the sponge brown, which wouldn’t be good! I always use Sugarflair extra red paste as this gives the best result.
Super-Scrummy Red Velvet Cupcakes:
- 60 g unsalted butter at room temperature
- 150 g caster sugar
- 1 egg
- 20 g cocoa powder
- ½ tsp extra red paste colour
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- 120 ml buttermilk
- 150 g plain flour
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 1½ tsp white vinegar
- 1 x 12-hole cupcake tray, lined with paper cases
- 300 g icing sugar, sifted
- 175 g unsalted butter, soft
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 170°C/325°F/gas mark 3.
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.
Add to the butter mixture the cocoa, vanilla extract and red food paste 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 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 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 (if you want to be really anal, you could weigh each one as you’re filling the cases!) 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.
Meanwhile, make the frosting by beating the icing sugar with the unsalted butter and vanilla extract 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. Turn the mixture up to high speed and continue beating until the frosting is light and fluffy, for at least five minutes.
When the cupcakes are cold, spoon or pipe the vanilla frosting on top and decorate with whatever you fancy and whatever matches your wedding theme!
You can double up the recipe and make a red velvet layer cake using the same method as above and dividing it into 3 x 20cms cake tins. I would do this twice to make 1 tier for a wedding cake.