Ever wonder how these cupcakes get their red?
I once had that thought and was wondering how the taste would be like. So I purchase one at a cupcake store, took a bite and was curious – it had a mild chocolatey taste. So, what cause the colour? And obviously, the answer lies in the red colouring that is added in the making of red velvet cupcakes.
If you look through the ingredients of cupcakes, you might find that the ones that red velvet cupcakes need are a tad different from the other common ones. For example, instead of baking powder, baking soda is used. Also, buttermilk and distilled white vinegar are used instead of whole milk. It is said that the reaction between cocoa powder and baking soda gives a tinge of red to the batter, but it is definitely insufficient to result in a good red. So, red food colouring has to be added. The recipe I followed calls for 2 tablespoon of it but I only used about a teaspoon of my wilton’s christmas red colouring gel. So, I guess it very much depends on how ‘powerful’ your colouring paste/gel is.
Recipes for red velvet cupcakes are more or less the same. For this batch, the recipe I used is from The Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook.
60g butter at room temperature
150g caster sugar
10ml red food colouring
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
150g plain flour
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp white wine vinegar
300g icing sugar, sifted
50g butter at room temperature
125g cream cheese, chilled
1. Preheat the oven to 180C.
2. Cream the butter, egg and sugar until light and fluffy.
3. In a separate bowl mix the cocoa powder, food colouring and vanilla extract. Once mixed add to the creamed mixture.
4. Mix carefully until combined and then add half the buttermilk, mix further and add half the flour and the baking powder. Mix thoroughly before adding the remainder of the buttermilk and flour and mixing further.
5. Add the white wine vinegar, bicarbonate of soda and salt and mix thoroughly for at least 5 mins.
6. Spoon the mixture into the muffin cases and bake in the preheated oven for 20-25 mins or until the cupcakes spring back slightly when touched.
7. Allow the cupcakes to cool slightly before turning out onto a wire cooling rack.
8. In the meantime, to make the frosting, cream the icing sugar and butter together until well mixed.
9. Add the cream cheese and mix until it is incorporated. Continue beating until the frosting is light and fluffy for at least 5 mins.
10. Use a spatula to layer the frosting on top of the cupcakes.