A few years ago, while visiting a friend in London, I was taken to the Hummingbird Bakery for cupcakes. As this time, the cupcake phenomenon was very new in Australia and as you could imagine, I was incredibly excited about the idea of a shop that specialised in cupcakes! Now of course they are everywhere and have somewhat lost their appeal… especially since I am often disappointed in the cakes themselves. Anyway, back to my London experience – so I was taken to this fabulous little bakery in South Kensington and advised by my friend to try the Red Velvet cupcake. I had never had Red Velvet cake before, and in fact had only ever heard one reference to it – as the bachelor cake in the movie ‘Steel Magnolias’ (a great movie if you’ve never seen it) . For many the bright red colour of the cake can be of-putting, for me, on the other hand, it was particularly appealing! So, in 2007 I ate my first red velvet – a light, bright red, chocolate sponge topped with fluffy cream cheese icing – what is not to enjoy in that? Upon returning home I, of course, jumped onto the internet to find a recipe – and have, with some adaptations, ended up with this:
Red Velvet Cupcakes
40 min 20 min prep
12 Cupcakes (well, depends on size of patty cases…)
2½ cups plain flour
1 tsp salt
115g unsalted butter, softened
1½ cups caster sugar
2 tbsp cocoa powder
one bottle of pillar box red food colouring
water (use the food colouring bottle to measure the same amount as the colouring)
1 cup buttermilk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp white vinegar
1 tsp baking soda
Cream cheese frosting
1 (225g) package cream cheese, softened
115g cup unsalted butter, softened
1½ cups powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 180oC. Line tray with paper liners.
- Cream butter and sugar until fluffy.
- Add eggs and blend well.
- Make a paste of cocoa and food colouring and add to the butter mixture.
- Add flour and salt into this mixture.
- One at a time, add the following ingredients: buttermilk, vanilla, and water.
- In a small bowl, combine the vinegar and the baking soda. Fold it into the cake batter. Make sure it’s incorporated, but don’t beat it.
- Pour the batter into the cupcake cups (only fill each cupcake 2/3 full). Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until the cake springs back when touched.
- Remove from oven and let cool for about 10 minutes, then turn out of pan and onto a rack to finish cooling completely.
- Cream Cheese Frosting: Blend together the ingredients until smooth.