Sunday 20 November 2011 • 8 comments

Thanksgiving is not a tradition I'm familiar with but I'm feeling very grateful this week for all the people in my life and how lucky i am to have all i do. Sometimes its good to do something special for the ones you love so even if most of the people I'm thankful for can't actually taste these, I made these red velvet cupcakes with them in mind. I'm grateful to my parents for so much, i can't possibly write it all down, to my friends, old and new and my entire family. I'd like to share the recipe with you, whoever is reading this. I hope it goes better for you than it did for me.

red velvet cupcakes 

red velvet cupcakes recipe(from the hummingbird bakery cookbook)
60g unsalted butter, at room temperature
150g caster sugar
1 egg
10g cocoa powder
20ml red food coloring (preferably Dr. Oetker Red Food Colouring)
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
120ml buttermilk
150g plain flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1 1/2 teaspoons white wine vinegar
1 quantity Cream Cheese Frosting
a 12-hole cupcake tray lined with paper cases

Preheat the oven to 170 C (325 F) Gas 3.

Put the butter and the sugar in a freestanding electric mixer with a paddle attachment(or use a handheld electric whisk) and beat on medium speed until light and fluffy and well mixed. Turn the mixer up to high speed, slowly add egg and beat until everything is well incorporated.

In a separate bowl, mix together the cocoa powder, red food coloring and vanilla extract to make a thick, dark paste. Add to the butter mixture and mix thoroughly until evenly combined and colored (scrape any unmixed ingredients from the side of the bowl with a rubber spatula). Turn the mixer down to slow speed and slowly pour in half the buttermilk. Beat until mixed, then add half the flour, and beat until everything is well incorporated. Repeat this process until all the buttermilk and flour have been added. Scrape down the side of the bowl again. Turn the mixer up to high speed and beat until you have a smooth, even mixture. Turn the mixer down to low speed and add the salt, bicarbonate of soda and vinegar. Beat until well mixed, then turn up the speed again and beat for a couple more minutes.

Spoon the mixture into the paper cases until two-thirds full and bake in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes, or until the sponge bounces back when touched. A skewer inserted in the centre should come out clean. Leave the cupcakes to cool slightly in the tray before turning out onto a wire cooling rack to cool completely.

When the cupcakes are cold, spoon the Cream Cheese Frosting on top.

Cream cheese frosting recipe(from the hummingbird bakery cookbook)
300g icing sugar,sifted
50g unsalted butter, at room temperature
125g cream cheese, cold

Beat the icing sugar and butter together in a freestanding electric mixer withe a paddle attachment(or use a handheld electric whisk) on medium-slow speed until the mixture comes together and is well mixed. Add the cream cheese in one go and beat until it is completely incorporated. Turn the mixer up to medium-high speed. Continue beating until the frosting is light and fluffy, at least 5 minutes. Do not overbeat, as it can quickly become runny.

This recipe wasn't very successful. In fact it sucked. The only thing that went right was the cream cheese frosting. I had been warned that if the right red food colouring was not used the cupcakes will come out brown and even after spending hours going from store to store and finally finding the 'Dr. Oetker red food colouring' that was recommended by the cookbook, it still came out wrong. Making the cupcakes was like a chemistry exercise. Lots of ingredients I've never baked with before like buttermilk and white wine vinegar all meant to come together just right to create red cupcakes. When the mix was done i kind of already knew it was wrong because it was brown but i finished anyway. The colour paste was so thick and mixing it reminded me of making eba(only Nigerians will know what that is-lol). Also, the mix made more cupcakes than it was meant to so i was able to make crumbles to top them.

Dr. Oetker red food colouring
the colour paste

the mix

all done

If anyone tries to make these red velvet cupcakes or have made them before please leave a comment to let me know how they went and if you find the right red food colouring I'd love to know about it. There will definitely be a rematch with this recipe. I must get it right!


  1. They look delicious. Sorry they didn't turn out that well for you. I'm sure they'll be much better next time. Practice makes perfect!

  2. I bet they were -!YUMMMMMY!-anyway !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Well done on the attempt!

  3. lol " chem excercise!!..it still looks perfectly fine n yummy to me!..n it doesnt look brown when its baked (at least not frm ds picture)!..will find time 2 try it out n post bk!

  4. They were amazing! I loved the sponge :D N omg that pic of the cake mix!!! I wanna eat it XD

  5. Thankful (temitopeoluwa) for you and so very proud.....!try this cake again over xmas

  6. After i tried them, i can safely say that this was my favorite frosting so far!

  7. I still thought these were pretty good, I liked the frosting too, it was a bit to much for me, but as I have said before, I'm not a big fan of frosting. That being said I love red velvet cake... so keep trying, I'll test until you get it right!

  8. The best cupcakes I've tasted. Keep up the good work Temi!