Sweet Treats, Yummy Recipes

Shamelessly Finding Any Excuse For Cake, Olympic Athletes Need Calories Right? : Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

The kidlets finished school on Friday and to celebrate I surprised them with Red Velvet Cupcakes (any excuse for cake, right?).  I might even make them again using the Olympic Opening Ceremony this Friday as an excuse (Go Team GB!).  Either way, they were yummo!  From scouring many recipes online I’ve gathered that they just aren’t some people’s cup of tea.  Mitch called them the best cupcakes he’s ever had (and he wasn’t even trying to get lucky, I swear!) and the kids gobbled them down like there’s no tomorrow.  I liked them a lot but maybe not as much as some of the other cupcakes I’ve made, maybe eating something blood-red just felt wrong to me?  Or maybe its just that they taste chocolatey but not as chocolatey as a moist chocolate cupcake?  I would definitely make them again, but probably only for special occasions.

I also noted that a lot of people have had issues getting their cupcakes to stay red once baked.  I think it all comes down to the food colouring you use.  Don’t use anything that’s deemed, “natural” (as much as it pains me to say that) and don’t skimp, use the full 2 Tablespoons of red dye (or the 2-3 teaspoons of concentrated gel/paste).  I probably could have added a little more gel colouring but I was happy with how red mine came out.

The recipe I used is from Joy The Baker and you can find it here, the only changes I made was to double the amount of vanilla and increase the amount of cream cheese in the frosting.

red velvet cupcake with cream cheese frosting recipe

red velvet cupcake with cream cheese frosting recipe ingredients


4 Tablespoons of Butter, softened

3/4 cup of Caster Sugar

1 Egg

3 Tablespoons of Unsweetened Cocoa Powder

2 Tablespoons of Red Food Colouring (Good Quality liquid food colouring from the grocery store OR 2-3 teaspoons of Concentrated Gel Colouring)

1 teaspoon of Vanilla Extract

1/2 cup of Buttermilk

1 Cup + 2 Tablespoons of All Purpose/Plain Flour

1/2 teaspoon of Salt

1/2 teaspoon of Baking Soda

1 + 1/2 teaspoons of White Wine Vinegar

For Cream Cheese Frosting:

2 + 1/3 cups of Icing/Confectioner’s Sugar

3 Tablespoons of Butter, softened

200g (about 7oz’s, BUT use a full 8oz package if you like, you can add more Confectioners sugar if it’s too runny) of Cream Cheese, at room temperature

Pre-heat your oven to 170C / 350F

Line your 12 hole muffin tin with cupcake papers

In a large bowl beat the butter and sugar with your electric mixer until light and fluffy.  Add the egg and beat until combined

In a small bowl combine the cocoa powder (sift it for a smoother batter), the red food colouring and the vanilla.  You should be able to mix into a paste if using normal food colouring.  I used a concentrated gel and there wasn’t enough liquid to make this into a paste so I just mixed well and was left with slightly wetter cocoa powder

Add the cocoa mixture to your butter mixture and beat until your mixture is combined and bright red!

red velvet cupcake with cream cheese frosting recipe

Beat on a low-speed and alternate between adding the buttermilk and the flour (1/4 cup of the buttermilk, combine.  Half the flour, combine. The final 1/4 cup of buttermilk, combine and then finish up with the remaining flour)…Mix until the batter is smooth

Finally add to your batter the salt, baking soda and white wine vinegar and mix through

red velvet cupcake with cream cheese frosting recipe

red velvet cupcake with cream cheese frosting recipe team gb

Fill the cupcake cases 2/3rd’s full or use an ice cream scoop to measure out the batter.  Fill them up a little higher if you’d like, filling with an ice cream scoop I managed to get 16 cup cakes out of the batter but make 12 bigger cupcakes if you’d prefer!

red velvet cupcake with cream cheese frosting recipe team gb

Bake in the centre of your oven for 20-25 minutes or until they bounce back when you press the tops

Cool on a wire rack

red velvet cupcake with cream cheese frosting recipe

red velvet cupcake with cream cheese frosting recipe

To make the Cream Cheese Frosting, place the butter in a large bowl and beat until smooth

Stir in the Confectioner’s/Icing Sugar.  I tried using my electric mixer and icing sugar exploded all over my kitchen (fun times), also it didn’t combine all that well.  I’d probably just try stirring through with a spoon next time

Add the cream cheese and mix through.  If you’d like it smoother use your electric mixer.  If yours is a little runny then add more icing/confectioner’s sugar until you’re happy with the consistency

Once your cupcakes are completely cooled, frost them and Enjoy!

* Little tip: If you’re notoriously messy like me you’ve probably dyed your palms and fingers red (no? just me?).  Lemon juice got most of mine off.  I just squeezed a half a lemon into a bowl and washed my hands in it, a nail brush wouldn’t hurt.  Apparently using a little vegetable oil with the lemon juice helps too.  Good Luck!

* Recipe is from here

4 thoughts on “Shamelessly Finding Any Excuse For Cake, Olympic Athletes Need Calories Right? : Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting”

  1. Bake a bunch and sell them at the Olympic stadium!
    Juuuuuuuuust kidding!
    I’ve never had red velvet cake! Can you believe that?
    Now I have a tried and true recipe! Thanks!
    Again, your pictures are superb! They are mouthwatering!


    1. Hehe, wouldn’t that be fun…I bet everything at the Olympic Stadium will be heavily overpriced (or maybe not? will have to wait and see) so I could probably flog them off for a huge profit. The security might have a problem with me setting up shop though…it’s not like half of the security are British Military or anything 😛 I could just flip ’em the bird and continue on my way…

      They were yummy 🙂 and I think if nothing else I’ll re-use the cream cheese frosting recipe and slather that deliciousness on other cakes!


  2. I’m not keen on the colour myself, like you said – a bit blood like, which makes me think that they would be good for halloween, maybe splitting the mixture and only colouring half of it read and then doing a marble cake effect in each cupcake with half normal mixture an half red so that it looks like the red is bleeding into the white. Muahahaaaa!!!


    1. That’s actually a brilliant idea for Halloween! The kids would be eating slightly less food colouring too and that’s always a bonus! I’m totally going to do it when Halloween rolls around 🙂


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