Red Velvet Cupcakes

Don’t get turned off by its shocking red. You gotta try at least one red velvet cupcake in your lifetime to understand why the Southerners love it so much.

Satisfied my curiosity over the red velvet cake frenzy. Have seen many rave how it’s their favorite cake. Though a little intimidated by the in-your-face red, am always game for an American classic try-out. With a hint of chocolate, this soft babycake will get you swooning away. The fluffy tangy cream cheese frosting complements the sweet cake really well. It’s a pretty apt treat to make for your Valentine.

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Red Velvet Cupcakes (adapted from The Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook)
(makes 12 cupcakes, 16 for me)

60g unsalted butter, at room temperature
150g caster sugar
1 egg
1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tbsps red food colouring (preferably Dr. Oetker’s)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
120ml buttermilk
150g plain flour
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 1/2 tsp white vinegar


1. Preheat the oven to 170°C.
2. 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.
3. In a separate bowl, mix together the cocoa powder, red food colouring and vanilla extract to make a thick, dark 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 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.
4. Spoon the mixture into the paper cases until two-thirds full and bake in the preheated oven for 20–25 mins, 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.
5. When cupcakes are cold, spoon cream cheese frosting on top and dust with red velvet cake crumbs.

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