Saturday, 5 November 2011

Red Velvet Cupcakes

Eaten 2 mins after photo taken!
I bet you’ve all done it at some point.  Somebody asks you to do them a favour that they think is “a big ask” or an imposition.  You give a small sigh and agree to do it, while saying that they owe you BIG TIME.  Secretly you’re delighted to be asked to do the favour in the first place. 

On Wednesday my husband came home from work with a Congratulations card and a voucher for a really nice wine shop from his work colleagues as a present for having a new baby.  It was so nice of them all to think of us, so my husband asked if I wouldn’t mind baking something that he could bring in to work for everyone for their elevenses on Friday morning.  I gave the obligatory sigh and said something to the effect of “very busy......very little sleep.....tiny baby......will do my best........bla bla bla”.  Secretly I’m thinking “I have a reason to bake goodies, how cool is this!!”  What’s even better is that my lovely husband thinks he owes me one – it’s a win win for me (until he reads this post, of course!).
I decided on Red Velvet Cupcakes and Fudge Brownies rather than a cake – more practical for work.  The cupcakes are from Magnolia Cafe and the brownies are a recipe from one of the Avoca cookbooks.  I’ll (hopefully) add a post about the brownies over the next day or so.

Magnolia Bakery’s Red Velvet Cupcakes with Vanilla Buttercream Frosting
I halved this recipe and although the original recipe uses 3 eggs, I only used one egg when I halved the recipe.  The end result was lovely and light, no obvious side effects from using less egg than I should have.

Also, I didn’t have any cider vinegar and used lemon juice instead

Makes around 24 cupcakes

For the cakes
500g plain flour
165g unsalted butter, softened
500g sugar
3 large eggs at room temperature
6 tbsp red food colouring (yes, 6 tablespoons, although I used 4 tbsp with no ill effects)
3 tbsp cocoa powder
1½ tsp vanilla extract
1½ tsp salt
330ml buttermilk
1½ tsp cider vinegar
1 ½ tsp baking soda
Buttercream Icing
2 cups unsalted butter, very soft
8 cups icing sugar
3 tablespoons milk
1 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 180C/gas mark 4. In a small bowl, sift the plain flour. Set aside. In a large bowl, on the medium speed of an electric mixer, cream the butter until smooth. Add the sugar gradually and beat until fluffy, about three minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
Whisk together the red food colouring, cocoa powder and vanilla. Add to the batter and beat well.
Stir the salt in with the buttermilk and add to ­the batter in three parts, ­alternating with flour. With each addition, beat until the ingredients are fully ­incorporated, but make sure you do not overbeat.
In a small bowl, stir together the cider vinegar and baking soda and add to the batter and mix well.
Divide the mixture into cases, then bake each tray of cakes for 20 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the centre of the cake comes out clean.
Cool the cupcakes in the tins for 15 ­minutes. Remove from the tins and cool ­completely on a wire rack before mixing together the frosting ingredients and applying the icing.

For the icing
Using an electric mixer or a free standing mixer, mix all ingredients together for 5-6 minutes.  (Magnolia Bakery says you should mix the icing for longer than you think necessary so that it is light and creamy).


  1. Hi Claire, Just having a look around your blog :) Greig brought me home half of his cupcake that you sent in to the office, it was yummy! At the time I was wondering how you found time to bake with a newborn though!! I don't have the Magnolia Bakery Book YET but it might have to go on my Christmas list.... Adrienne

  2. Hi Adrienne, great to hear that we seem to have the same fixation. I really don't have time to bake but the more kids you have the better you are at doing things faster!! Hope to check out your site this morning. x