Red Velvet Cupcakes: it’s hard work when you don’t have any gadgets

2 Feb

Over the last couple of weeks, I have made quite a few purchases for baking.  Cookbooks a plenty, cupcake liners, muffin tins, spatula, etc.  However, I believe that there are many more items that I need to fill the kitchen cupboards with and this was made quite clear while attempting my first batch of cupcakes.

When choosing which type of cupcakes to bake first, I had to go Red Velvet.  They feature in every cupcake cafe in London and I can never resist them.

The initial “red” paste was fun to make.  Being a cook for over a decade (as opposed to a baker), I’ve never created something that really looks like blood in the kitchen before.  It was a relatively childish amusement.

The tricky part, however was trying to beat ingredients until they’re fluffy and continuing for many, many, many minutes while adding all the other ingredients one by one…. by a hand held whisk.  Not an egg beater that you wind by hand, or even better an electronic egg beater, or better still a kitchenaid (every baker’s dream gadget, I’m beginning to learn), but something that I use to lightly whisk eggs for scrambled eggs.  I had to beg my boyfriend to help share the burden, 1 minute of whisking each.  In front of the TV, as it took AGES!  So my advice is to, beg, borrow or buy if you don’t already have an electric gadget to help you.  Unless of course, you really want to get rid of those bingo wings.

Red Velvet Cupcakes (makes 24)

2 1/2 cups sifted cake / plain flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
30 ml red food colouring
1/2 cup softened unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups buttermilk, at room temperature
1 teaspoon white vinegar
1 teaspoon baking soda (bicarb soda)

Preheat oven to 180 C (350 F).  Line two 12 cup muffin tins or silicone pans with cupcake liners.

Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt into a medium bowl and set aside.  In a smaller bowl, mix food colouring and cocoa powder to form a thin paste without lumps and set aside.

In a large bowl, using (NOT a hand whisk) a hand mixer or stand mixer, beat butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, about three minutes.  Beat in eggs, one at a time, then beat in vanilla and the red cocoa paste, scraping down the bowl with a spatula as you go.  Add one third of the flour mixture to the butter mixture, beat well, then beat in half of buttermilk.  Beat in another third of flour mixture, then second half of buttermilk.  End with the last third of the flour mixture, beat until well combined, making sure to scrape down the bowl with a spatula.

In a small bowl, mix vinegar and baking soda – it will fizz up.  Add this to the cake batter and stir well to combine.  Fill cupcake cups with cake batter until they’re 3/4 full.  Place muffin tins in your preheated oven.  Bake for approx 20 min.  They are cooked when you are able to pat the tops and the cake springs back.

Cool the cupcakes in their tins on a wire rack for 10 minutes then remove and allow to cool completely before frosting / icing.

Frosting ingredients

1 package light cream cheese, softened
4 tablespoons butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup icing (confectioners’) sugar

Mix all ingredients together and ice the cooled cupcakes.  Enjoy!


3 Responses to “Red Velvet Cupcakes: it’s hard work when you don’t have any gadgets”

  1. Jacob Estrin February 13, 2012 at 09:40 #

    Your red cupcakes look great!!

    Good stuff. A friend put me onto your blog and I have to say, I am enjoying your posts. Keep up the great work!

    • LearnToBake February 13, 2012 at 09:50 #

      Thanks so much for reading and the encouragement! Really appreciate it! cheers.


  1. Easy Chocolate Chip Cookies « Learn to Bake - March 1, 2012

    […] (I bought a new electric mixer as I didn’t want to make these by hand like I did with the cupcakes, and I’m in love, it’s the simple things…) 2 1/2 cups (375 gr) plain flour 1/2 […]

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