Baking, Cupcakes, Icing, Valentine's Day

Red Velvet Cupcakes

With Valentine’s Day just around the corner I decided it’s time to make my delicious Red Velvet Cupakes again. Not very “in vogue” at the moment, but then I never seem to follow trends, I do as I please, and I feel very pleased while writing this enjoying one of these smoothly-velvety-textured chocolate yet red little cakes. Covered in a dollop of cream cheese icing.

Red Velvet Cupcakes

Even though there is a bit more work involved in this recipe, meaning that you will need to cream the butter until light in colour, thick and fluffy; then add the sugar and cream some more until the sugar crystals have broken down and the mixture is almost white, thicker and fluffier; and you need to be very careful when working with the red food colouring as it can be an extremely messy affair; it is well worth the effort when you finally get to take your first bite and I promise you, you’ll close your eyes to give the delightful harmony of the icing and cake the full attention it deserves!

Creaming of butter and sugar really does work best when the butter is at room temperature.

Make a batch for your special “other” or simply make a batch for yourself, either way, it is a very good use of your time and will be appreciated by all who get to savour them.

125 g butter, softened but not melted (room temperature)
1½ cups caster sugar
2 eggs (also at room temperature)
2½ cups flour
¼ cup cocoa
1½ tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup milk
1 Tbsp red food colouring (liquid works best)
2 tsp white vinegar
1 tsp vanilla essence

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C and line muffin pans with 20 paper cases. You can try to stretch it to 24, but they may end up being a little small instead of being level with the top of the paper case once baked.
  2. Cream the butter until light (in colour) and fluffy. Add the sugar and continue to beat with an electric beater until very pale in colour and thick and creamy.
  3. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each one.
  4. Sift the flour, cocoa, baking powder and soda into a separate bowl.
  5. Combine the milk, food colouring, vinegar and vanilla essence in a separate jug/bowl and mix carefully until combined. It may look like it curdles slightly but don’t worry, that’s the effect of the vinegar on the milk.
  6. Fold the dry and wet ingredients into the creamed mixture alternately in three or four batches.
  7. Share the mixture evenly between the cases, filling about half to two-thirds of the way.
  8. Bake for about 20 minutes or until a skewer/cake tester/toothpick inserted comes out clean.
  9. Cool in the tray for about 5 minutes, then remove the cakes to a cake rack to cool completely before icing with either chocolate ganache or cream cheese icing (as pictured).


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