Red velvet cupcakes

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Red velvet cupcakes/cakes has certainly become popular and what makes it so special – well the colour yes but what about taste? I am told they are meant to be like devils food cake, which is a heavy and moist chocolate cake. I am however always slightly disappointed when I taste red velvet cupcakes/cakes. What I like is the cream cheese frosting and the colour does look appealing but most importantly it needs to taste good. I have read and tried so many red velvet recipes and almost all of them seem to have the same vinegar, bicarb and buttermilk combination. By adding bicarb you will need to work quickly to get them into the oven as this raising agent works faster than baking powder.  After trying recipe after recipe I decided to start with a blank canvas so to speak and make up my own recipe. My recipe does not contain bicarb nor vinegar and uses yoghurt instead of buttermilk. Mine is also not as heavy as many red velvet cakes however it is a little heavier than usual cupcakes.

Store these cupcakes in the fridge and bring to room temperature before serving. They will keep for three days in the fridge. 

Important note regarding red food colouring – if the you do not get a deep red colour or even colour it could be due to the food colouring you are using. Try to avoid red food colouring made with paprika. I find that speciality baking shops or online have the only food colouring that works for me. I use Sugarflair Christmas red colouring paste.

Makes 12 cupcakes|Baking time 18-20 minutes|Good for entertaining

Red velvet cupcakes

1 cup (150 grams) flour
2 tablespoons cocoa
2 teaspoons baking powder
pinch of salt
60 grams unsalted butter
2/3 cup (150 grams) white castor sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup (125 grams) plain yoghurt (I use whole yoghurt)
1 teaspoon red food colouring paste OR 1 tablespoon red food colouring liquid

  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius
  2. Line a 12 hole muffin tin with paper muffin cases
  3. Sift flour, baking powder, cocoa and salt together and set aside
  4. Cream butter and sugar with electric beaters until pale and fluffy
  5. Add eggs one at a time to butter mixture and beat after each addition
  6. Beat in vanilla extract and yoghurt to egg mixture
  7. Add dry ingredients and mix on low speed for about 20 seconds and then mix with a wooden spoon until combined
  8. Add red food colouring and beat on low speed until completely combined. It is worth scraping the bowl down in between beating to ensure the colour is evenly dispersed
  9. Fill each muffin case to about half full and bake for 18-20 minutes until a cake tester comes out clean
  10. Tip – make a 13th cupcake that you can use for decoration (I usually have a little batter left after half filling 12 cases so I add the remaining batter to a ramekin tin or another cupcake case and bake after I have taken out my 12 cupcakes. This can then be broken up and sprinkled over each frosted cupcake for decoration).
  11.  Cool completely before frosting

Cream cheese frosting

1/2 cup (110 grams) white castor sugar
1/2 cup (125 mls) double cream (single cream can be used however double is preferable)
few drops of vanilla extract
300 grams cream cheese

  1. Heat cream and sugar over medium heat until sugar is dissolved
  2. Remove from heat and add vanilla and let cool completely
  3. Once cool beat in cream cheese and mix until smooth and combined
  4. Spoon or pipe frosting generously over each cupcake and top with red velvet cake crumbs if desired

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