Sunday, 3 March 2013

Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting

Okay, so I had a Lady MacBeth moment when I made these cupcakes. I've been thinking about making these for a while, but I knew as soon as I attempted them, I would end up with more red food colouring on me than in the cakes. You can call it a self-fulfilling prophecy, I call it clumsy and a case of knowing myself all too well. Long-story-short, the cute little red food dye bottle had a side-ways blow-out as I squeezed it. I looked at my hands and accepted the inevitability of it, then realised I didn't have 40ml of red dye left to put into my cakes. Result: my cupcakes aren't as red as they would have been with the full amount of colouring. On the other HAND, I look like I've been taken into custody and finger-printed.

Red Velvet Cupcakes
from Redonline
Makes 12

For the Cupcakes:
60g unsalted butter at room temperature
150g caster sugar
1 egg
20g cocoa powder
40ml red food colouring - see above (I think I ended up with about 20ml in the cupcakes and 20ml on my hands)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
125ml buttermilk
150g plain flour
1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
11/2 teaspoons white vinegar

For the Frosting:
300g icing sugar, sifted
50g unsalted butter, at room temperature
125g cream cheese,at room temperature
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Make the Cupcakes:
Preheat the oven to 170 degrees C.

Put the butter and the sugar in an electric mixer with a paddle attachment 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. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.

In a separate small bowl, mix together the cocoa powder, red food colouring and vanilla extract to make a very 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 bicarbonate of soda and vinegar. Beat until well mixed, then turn up the speed again and beat for a couple more minutes.

Make the Frosting:
Beat the icing sugar, the cinnamon and the remaining 20g of the unsalted butter together in a freestanding electric mixer with a paddle attachment on medium-slow speed until the mixture comes together and is well mixed. Add the cream cheese in one go and beat it until it is completely incorporated. Turn the mixer up to medium-high speed. Continue beating until the frosting is light and fluffy, at least five minutes. Do not overbeat, as it can quickly become runny.

Spoon the mixture into the paper cases until two-thirds full and bake in the preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the sponge bounces back when touched. A skewer inserted in the centre should come out clean. Leave the cupcakes to cool for 10 minutes in the tray before turning out onto a wire cooling rack to cool completely.

When the cupcakes are cold, pipe or spoon the cream cheese frosting on top and sprinkle with cinnamon.


  1. they look so delish!!!

  2. Oh no your hand!!! Aww damn red food colouring!! I hope your fingers are better now :) You know, red velvet cupcakes are my favorite. I love trying new recipes and I will have to try your recipe. Especially for the frosting. I'm craving for a cupcake right now!!

  3. Your cupcakes look so pretty! I once tried to bake with food colouring and it was a total disaster:) Hubby couldn't even eat my cake because he thought the colour was so awful. But after seeing yours maybe I will give it another try:)

  4. Hummm, very good, I like it a loot.

  5. Haha Gabrielle. My hands have returned to normal and all the cupcakes are gone - absolutely no evidence that they ever existed apart from this post.

  6. Hey Sara. I hardly ever use food colouring in my cooking, but if you're making Red Velvet Cake it's unavoidable. It sort of defeats the purpose if you leave the dye out. However, losing half of it was probably a blessing in disguise, the cakes were still red without being iridescent - that might appeal to your husband more than the full-on neon version. It certainly did for me.