Red Velvet Cupcakes (Vanilla Cream Cheese frosting)

Friday, 13 June 2014

I've always wondered about the hype surrounding Red Velvet bakes. Seriously - aren't they just chocolate cakes with red colouring? Why then, are so many people intrigued by them?

When I first baked a red velvet cupcake, it turned out mediocre, at best, and I trashed the recipe I obtained online because it really wasn't even worth taking up space in my recipe file. My file is probably one of the things I'd grab in the event of a fire or any emergency situation, because it contained the results of hours and hours of sourcing and trying out recipes. The recipes in there are those which I've tried, tweaked and tested, and they yield bakes which will make me a strong contender for baker of the year (or the world's best baking Mum!) award. Not because I bake well - but because they simply work. For everyone, regardless whether you can bake, or the only thing which ever came out of your oven is (burnt) toast.

Then I came across this book.

...and stared at this picture for a long long time.

Image from book: One Bowl Baking by Yvonne Ruperti
Why not? I thought. It's a one bowl bake, and I happened to have some buttermilk which I needed to use before it expires. One bowl. I would be sold just on that promise alone. Cos we all love to bake, right? Cleaning batter off bowls - not so much.

Well then - I've made this 3x (yes, THREE times) since I made the first batch last Friday. I doubled the frosting amount the second time I baked it, because I now know what makes a Red Velvet cake a crowd pleaser. It's all in the frosting - and this vanilla cream cheese one is slightly tart with a hint of sweetness. There is no sugar overload or gritty aftertaste in this frosting... just be careful not to eat it by the spoonful before it goes on top of those cupcakes!

In a large bowl, cream the butter, sugar and salt until well combined.

Whisk in oil, egg, egg yolk, buttermilk and food colouring. Mix well.

Add the flour, baking soda and cocoa to the bowl, and mix gently until combined. Do not overmix the batter. Sift the cocoa in should it be overly lumpy.

Scoop batter into cupcake liners, about 2 tbs each. I used a large size ice cream scoop per cup.

Bake in a preheated oven at 180 deg C till just firm, for about 18 - 20 minutes, depending on your oven.
Cupcakes are done when the top lightly springs back to the touch.

Cool completely on a wire rack before frosting.

To make the frosting, whisk cream cheese, butter and icing sugar till combined.

Add in vanilla extract and whisk on high speed, till frosting turns light and fluffy, about 30 sec.

Frost generously.

Moist, velvety and light. These babies are so simple to make, but they're guaranteed to take your breath away from the very first bite. You will never buy another red velvet cupcake again, because those store bought ones, will never come close to this.

Printable recipe - click on image, right click to save.



  1. I like - try it when i get back next week :)

  2. Looks really nice~! I have a fav red velvet recipe as well!

  3. Looks good. I'm going to have to try it. I love Red Velvet Cake but never had the guts to try to make it.

  4. Wow man THESE PHOTOS! I am not a red velvet fan but this seriously is hard to look away from!

  5. I tried baking your red velvet on last Sat and it turned out to be very good, esp my girls like the frosting. I like the cake itself bec the texture is just right and not overly sweet. New bakers should give this recipe a try! Thanks for sharing your recipe.

    I have a question though: Many red velvet recipes put in vingar but yours didn't. If I would like to put in, how much should I put and at which portion should I put?

    Felicia ;o).

    1. Hi Felicia!

      Glad that it turned out well for you. I didn't put vinegar because I used buttermilk, which is basically milk with an addition of citric acid. Vinegar is used to give cakes that moist and velvety texture.

      If you'd like to use vinegar, use 1tsp, and fold in together with the flour and baking soda. Hope this helps!



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