These cupcakes taste amazing, but are definitely only for special occasions given how packed full of sugar they are. They can also be a bit of an effort to make as, unlike an easy all-in-one cake, you need to mix a lot of ingredients in separate bowls before combining everything. If you can, make sure you use a good quality food colouring - on this occasion we tried using a pink colour (for valentines day!) and although the batter looked amazing, the cakes didnt quite pack the punch of the traditional red velvet! They still tasted fab though - worth every effort!
For the cupcakes
300g caster sugar
30g cocoa powder
40ml red food colouring
2 tsp vanilla essence
300g self raising flour
pinch of salt
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp white wine vinegar
For the frosting:
200g cream cheese
500g icing sugar
Preheat the oven to 190C.
Cream the butter and caster sugar together until fluffy. Beat in both eggs - add one at a time and make sure the first is well mixed before adding the second.
In a small bowl, mix together the food colouring, vanilla essence and cocoa powder.
Gradually add this to the batter and mix until well combined.
In a jug, combine the milk and lemon juice and leave to settle for 5-10 mins. You can just use a 240ml tin of buttermilk if you have it, but a milk/lemon juice combination is a good substitute that we like to use.
Mix half the flour into the batter, then mix in the milk/lemon juice.
When well incorporated, add the white wine vinegar (you can use lemon juice as a substitute), a pinch of salt, and the rest of the flour.
Your mixutre should now be a beautiful colour and is ready to bake.
We found our mixture made about 16 cupcakes, but this will obviously vary depending on the size of your cases!
Line a bun tin with cases and spoon the mixture into each case until about 2/3 full.
Bake in the oven for around 20 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean.
When done, remove from the oven and leave to cool on a wire rack.
To make the frosting simply beat together the butter and icing sugar, and then gradually beat in the cream cheese. You can add more icing sugar if you prefer a thicker frosting.
Make sure the cakes are fully cool before frosting. You can use either a piping bag or a knife to swirl your frosting onto the cakes - we did a mixture of both.
Then decorate as you choose! We went for pink, valentine - themed decorations and had some fun with an edible gold spray we dug out of the baking cupboard!
We can't resist any cupcake with a cream cheese frosting!
Have fun baking!