I received a lovely gift from my husband for our 3-year anniversary – a gift voucher for a cupcake decorating course! I booked the next class and spent the following Sunday assisting a professional in baking red velvet and vanilla cupcakes. We learnt how to use fondant, as well as some piping skills. The fondant that I was familiar with while growing up tasted awful, but these days it is much more edible. However, I am more interested in icing. I don’t like to spend too much time decorating something unless it’s for a special occasion.
My finished cupcakes looked pretty amazing, and tasted phenomenal.
The following weekend I decided to replicate the red velvet cupcakes that we’d made in class. I followed the recipe exactly as I remembered, but I think I over-mixed, over-cooked, and the finished products were nowhere near as delicious and beautiful as the ones I’d helped make in class. In fact, they were rather average. It is hard to know if they’re cooked because of their red colour so of course, the bottom was a very dried-out orange colour.
For Christmas, I was lucky enough to receive a stand-mixer (with free ice-cream maker attachment, but more about that another time). I decided I would keep trying to perfect the majestic cupcake that is the red velvet.
I decided to find a new recipe just in case I had written the recipe from class down incorrectly. My latest red velvet cupcakes, with a delicious cream cheese icing, were much more of a decadent success. My piping skills are getting better too. I just need to remember next time to cook them for the stated amount of time. Even if you leave them in the oven for a few minutes more, the bottoms will dry out and they won’t be so red and velvety any more.
Red velvet cupcakes with cream cheese icing
Adapted from Taste.com
Makes about 18
- 350g (2 1/3 cups) plain flour
- 2 tbsp cocoa
- 1 tsp bicarb soda
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 315g (1 1/2 cups) caster sugar
- 250ml (1 cup) buttermilk
- 185ml (3/4 cup) vegetable oil
- 2 eggs
- 3 tsp red food dye
- 2 tsp vinegar
- 250g (8.8oz) cream cheese, at room temperature
- 100g (3.5oz) butter, at room temperature
- 195g (1 1/4 cups) pure icing sugar, sifted
- 1 tsp vanilla
- Preheat oven to 180°C (355°F). Line 18 muffin pans with paper cases.
- Sift flour, cocoa, bicarb soda and baking powder in a bowl. Stir in sugar.
- Whisk buttermilk, eggs, oil, food dye and vinegar in a jug until combined.
- Make well in dry mixture and add the liquid mixture slowly and stir until just combined.
- Pour mixture into muffin pans until about halfway to three-quarters full. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean. Leave cupcakes on a rack to cool completely.
- Icing: Beat the cream cheese, butter, icing sugar and vanilla with an electric mixer until smooth.
- Pipe the icing onto cooled cupcakes and decorate if desired.