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Red Velvet Cupcakes Recipe

Red Velvet Cupcakes Recipe

A few weeks ago, my dear good friend sent me a text from Malaysia asking if I would be free for a 'Tour of England' as she was coming over for a 'de-stressing 10-day break'. I was ecstatic, and my mind was already racing with baking ideas and my hostess' duties to make sure that her stay was as memorable as possible. Since we have been really close since college days, which now seems like a century ago (!), it is almost inevitable that I knew her tastes really well. She has always been a big fan of red velvet cupcakes; come to think again, who wouldn't? It makes perfect sense  then to welcome her with a fanciful tray of her favourite cuppies. These red velvets have surely cured her jetlag instantly. So much so that her actual belated birthday gift, a cashmere beret that I handknitted exclusively for her, came second in preference to the cupcakes!

I have baked these cuppies several times now, all came out exceptionally good. What better way to complement the flavour than the frosting itself, this cream cheese frosting is my favourite as yet. The tang from the cheese goes really well with the exquisite taste of the cupcake. Someone asked me once, what's the difference of red velvet than a normal chocolate cupcake, as both contains cocoa with the addition of red colouring in the other. Well, it taste completely different! You must try these to know the difference yourself.

This recipe is adapted from the original version that I got from The Hummingbird Bakery, which has been sacredly kept in my 'recipe folder'. Yes, I love paper notes better than bookmarked web pages. It's silly, it's old fashioned yet there's something magical about flicking through sallow pages of recipes and recreating them in one's own kitchen.  This recipe has not disappointed me so far, and has certainly brought lots of joy on my kitchen table and smiley faces on my guests and family. It's time to spread the cuppy love here.


  • makes around 12 cupcakes
  • 80g unsalted butter
  • 150g golden caster sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon cocoa powder
  • 2 tbsp red colouring ( I use Dr Oetker brand)
  • 120ml buttermilk
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 150g plain flour
  • 1/2 tsp bicarbonate soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp vinegar
  • Cream cheese frosting
  • 200g icing sugar
  • 50 g unsalted butter-kept at room temperature
  • 150g cream cheese-keep in the fridge until just before using


1. Preheat the oven at 170C.

2. With electric mixer, whisk the butter and caster sugar until pale and fluffy. Add in the egg and beat for few more minutes.

3. In a separate bowl, mix in the vanilla extract, red food colouring and cocoa powder until it becomes a thick paste. Add into the butter mix.

4. Turn off the mixer. Add in the buttermilk alternating with flour until all is well incorporated. Finally, mix in the salt, vinegar and bicarbonate soda.

5. Spoon the batter into cupcake cases until 2/3 full, bake for 20 minutes or until skewer  inserted in the centre of the cake comes out clean. DO NOT overbake the cuppies as the sponginess will lose.

6. Leave the cupcakes to cool before frosting them.

Preparing the frosting

To get a nice, soft peaked frosting, ensure the cream cheese is really cold, so keep it in the fridge until just before using. For best results, use an electric mixer, and beat the butter and icing sugar together on medium speed. Add in the cream cheese and beat on high speed until soft peaks are formed.

Pour the mix into a piping bag and frost the cooled cupcakes.

Decorate with fruits or chocolate swirls. 

Note: I used fresh cherries, dark chocolate swirls and lemon rinds in my cuppies, as seen in the pics above.