Recipe: Red Velvet Cupcakes


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It's been a while since I've done any baking so a couple of days ago I decided to dig out my Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook and have a look for something new to try. I eventually settled on Red Velvet Cupcakes which I'd heard were notoriously difficult to get right, but this recipe was really easy to follow and the cakes turned out perfectly.

For the cupcakes (approx 12):
60g butter
150g caster sugar
1 egg
10g cocoa powder
20ml artificial red food colouring (or gel colouring)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
120ml buttermilk (or normal milk)
150g plain flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1 1/2 teaspoons white wine vinegar
For the icing:
300g icing sugar
50g butter
125g cream cheese


1. Preheat the oven to 170°C. In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Once mixed, add the egg and beat until everything is incorporated.
2. In a small bowl, mix together the cocoa powder, red food colouring and vanilla extract to make a paste. For best results, use an artificial food colouring which will remain bright red after cooking. The recipe suggested Dr Oetker but I didn't have this - instead I used some gel food colouring and a tiny bit of water to make the paste.
3. Add the paste to the large bowl and mix until the colour is evenly combined. Pour in half of the buttermilk and beat until everything is well incorporated (I didn't have buttermilk so just used normal semi-skimmed milk instead). Add in half the flour and mix well again. Repeat this process until all of the milk and flour has been added.
4. Turn your mixer to a high speed and beat for a couple of minutes until you have a smooth, even mixture. Turn the mixer down, and add the salt, bicarbonate of soda and vinegar. Beat until well mixed.
5. Spoon the mixture into paper cases and bake for around 25 minutes, then remove from the oven and leave to cool.
6. Meanwhile, make the cream cheese frosting by beating together the icing sugar and butter until the mixture comes together. Then add the cream cheese and beat until well mixed, light and fluffy.
7. Top the cupcakes with the cream cheese frosting and decorate with sprinkles or whatever you like!

The cakes themselves were really easy to make, the only thing I was worried about was that they wouldn't stay red after baking. I think I added a bit more food colouring than I actually needed to, but they did stay nice and bright so it doesn't really matter! From what I've read, you need to use an artificial colouring as natural colourings will just turn brown once the cake is baking. I would definitely make these again, the cake is really moist and a little bit chocolatey without being too sickly, and I LOVE cream cheese icing.

Have you tried making red velvet cupcakes before?

Gillian x


  1. YES! I am SOOO making these! x

  2. These look amazing :) Last time I tried making these they didn't come out red :') x

  3. Mine always come out brown! I'll definitely try this YUMMM! xxx

  4. Oh my gosh they look amazing! I've never had them before and they need to be in my life (and tummy haha!). Thanks for sharing, I've bookmarked this page for future reference ;)

  5. Adding this to my list of "to-do's" for the weekend

  6. Yay! I was hoping you'd post this after seeing the pic you posted on twitter! Everytime I've made them before they've not come out red. Can't wait to try this recipe out as I can't get enough of cream cheese icing either! :) x

  7. These looks so good! I've never tried making them myself but think I'll give this a try :) x

  8. These look delicious! Red velvet is definitely my favourite cupcake flavour :) x

  9. Oh my god. They look amazing. xx

  10. these look so good, i love the gold star sprinkles! cream cheese frosting is the ultimate! probably why i love red velvet cake so much. i always use a TON of red food colouring when i make these xx

  11. I'm saving this post to my favorites, so I can do these next week! They look yummy!

    Sandra from The Puzzle of Sandra's Life

  12. These look so yummm! I love red velvet cupcakes, its the cream cheese icing that makes them! xxx

  13. These look amazing! I'll make them one day when it's cold and all I want to do is stay at home and eat :)x

  14. I am bookmarking this because I neeeeed to make these some day soon. Red velvet is something I've always wanted to try but never got round to baking, so now I have a fool-proof recipe I'll have to give it a go (: xx

  15. These look so good! My mum made me a red velvet cake for my birthday but these look better - more red coloured! And I have the hummingbird bakery book too but I rarely use it. I think i'll dig it out and take it back to uni with me, I need some treats there! Great post x

  16. I made red velvet cupcakes last Christmas for my bakesale and the recipe I got from the BBC Good Food recipe. It was a really good recipe and was proud of the results but it involved so many steps. I recently tried a recipe from one of my cookbooks and they turned out shit haha. So, yes they are really hard to get right haha.

    Morag x


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