Red Velvet Cupcakes

This post has been a long time coming. While I’ve made red velvet cupcakes and cakes before, I’ve never documented it. In my line of work, if it isn’t written down, it wasn’t said/done. So I set about finding another recipe to try out.

I think my icing technique needs some work

I have to say, these cupcakes are absolutely wonderful. They’re delicate but don’t fall apart (unless you eat them too soon) and have this wonderful texture. Perhaps like velvet, one could say.

While some people think a Red Velvet is simply a red cake, they’re actually not quite right. The ingredients and the way they’re put together mean the cakes & cupcakes have a slightly different texture.

You start with butter and sugar, beat them up. You want light and fluffy (bit more than the below).

Then you add your egg and mix it til you’ve got a lovely batter.

Making the paste is a cinch, cocoa, red food colouring and vanilla extract.

Be careful though, this stuff will mark your clothes.

Then you get to mix it in to the butter, sugar and egg mix.


Now it’s time to alternate your flour and milk and mixing it in.

Not long now! Add in your bicarb, salt and vinegar (this is what gives it the ‘velvet’ texture) & combine well. You should have a lovely airy batter.

Cook them up in the oven and while they’re baking away, make your icing. Butter and sugar, combined. Then add your cream cheese. Mix until it goes light in colour. Easy!

Frost your cupcakes anyway you like (I think I’m in serious need of some practice!)

Cut them open and admire your handy work. I love seeing people’s reaction when you don’t tell them they’re red velvets & they bite into them. It’s quite the shock.

Red Velvet Cupcakes

from: The Cake Mistress

Makes 12

  • 60 g unsalted butter, room temp
  • 150 g caster sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 10 g cocoa powder
  • 20 ml red food colouring (I used “Pillar Box Red”)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 120 ml buttermilk (remember the trick for this?)
  • 150 g plain flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp bicarb soda
  • 1 1/2 tsp vinegar
Cream Cheese Icing
  • 300 g icing sugar, sifted
  • 50 g unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 125 g cream cheese at room temperature

Makes 12

  1. Preheat the oven to 170c. Line your cupcake tin with the cases of your choosing.
  2. Beat butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.
  3. Add the egg and beat until well mixed.
  4. In a small bowl, mix the cocoa powder, food colouring and vanilla extract until it resembles a paste.
  5. Add the paste to the butter/sugar/egg mix and beat until the colour is evenly through the batter. The cupcake batter should be a deep red colour.
  6. On a low speed, add half the buttermilk and mix well, then add half of the flour and mix it well. Repeat this for the last half of the milk and flour and beat until it’s all combined and the batter looks smooth.
  7. Add the salt, bicarb and vinegar, and beat at a higher speed for a minute or so. The batter will look a little like mousse.
  8. A heaped tablespoon of batter per cupcake should be enough to fill them two-thirds, perfect for those lovely domed tops. If you have extra, just even them all out.
  9. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a skewer when inserted, comes out clean.
  10. Leave the cupcakes in the tin to cool for about 10-15 minutes, then remove and put on a cake rack to cool fully.

Cream Cheese Icing:

  1. Beat the butter and sugar together (sound familiar?) until light and fluffy.
  2. Add the cream cheese in chunks and beat until it’s all combined.
  3. Then, on a medium high speed, keep beating until the mixture is light and delicious looking.
  4. Pipe or spread the icing on the cupcakes once they’re cooled. If they are two warm, you could squash them while holding them (I speak from experience here).

4 thoughts on “Red Velvet Cupcakes

  1. I have been meaning to bake red velvet cupcakes for so long now, but am never prepared enough to buy buttermilk.

    I did not realise that you could just make your own.
    I’m very excited (well more excited than usual) for my weekend baking.

    I love your blog and your recipes.


  2. Pingback: Red velvet cupcakes « polka-dots & sparkles

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