Monday, June 13, 2011

Red Velvet Cupcakes

Red Velvet Cupcakes look pretty ordinary on the outside.....

Lately I have been watching parts of the latest MasterChef Australia. The parts I love are learning new recipes, "meeting" renowned chefs and being introduced to different foods and ingredients. One of the parts that annoy me is the harsh, unnecessary criticism "dished" out by the judges who then are surprised that their victim  is upset. Or the system of elimination which is not always very fair or just. The "reality" show is certainly not about finding the best untrained chef in Australia. But sometimes MasterChef Australia actually inspires me. I mean, who on earth would not want to devour one of those Red Velvet Cupcakes after watching Nigella take a bite. Nigella swoons over food as only Nigella can. Nigella enjoys food with no guilt whatsoever. So should we!

...but quite spectacular inside.

Red Velvet cakes have been enjoyed in the U.S. and Canada since the 1920's but does not have a long history in Australia. I have for a long time wanted to try Red Velvet cake though when reading through the recipe have really just thought "light chocolate cake" - nothing special. However, I have proved myself wrong. This cake benefits from the flavour of buttermilk and possibly a reaction of the bicarbonate of soda and the vinegar. The flavour is not chocolate and not vanilla but a flavour all of its own and the texture is deliciously velvety. I am truly impressed by this cake. ( My family love it, too! In fact, I will make another batch today!)

The uncooked mixture is gorgeous!

Red Velvet Cupcakes (adapted from Nigella's Kitchen)

Makes 12 muffin size cupcakes

250g plain flour
2 x 15ml tablespoons cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
100g soft butter
200g caster sugar
1 rounded teaspoon red powder colour dissolved in 2 teaspoons hot water
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 eggs
175ml buttermilk
1 teaspoon cider vinegar or other vinegar

Preheat the over 170C and line muffins tins with paper
Sift flour, cocoa, baking powder and bicarb into a bowl.
In another bowl, cream butter and sugar, beating well until pale and fluffy. Beat in the food colouring and vanilla.
Beat in a tablespoon of the dried ingredients then 1 egg, followed by some more dried ingredients, then the other egg, followed by the rest of the dried ingredients.
Finally beat in the buttermilk and vinegar and divide the mixture between the cases. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes. Leave to cool on a wire rack and ice only when completely cold.

Buttery Cream Cheese Frosting
(this was way to much frosting for my 12 cupcakes)

500g icing sugar, sifted
125g cream cheese
125g soft butter
1 teaspoon lemon juice
shaved chocolate to decorate

Beat butter and cream cheese until soft and fluffy. Add icing sugar. Beat to mix. Beat in lemon juice to make a smooth icing.
Ice each cupcake and sprinkle with chocolate shavings. 

There is not much left. I had better made more!


  1. Che bel colore, mi piacciono moltissimo.


  2. They are a gorgeous colour and I love the cupcake wrappers you used. This cake has only recently become really popular here, but I've shied away from it because of all the food colouring. I can just picture Nigella enjoying one to the fullest though! I wish I could see Masterchef Australia here--my friends were telling me all about it when they visited.

  3. Oh, these are truly stunning! Such beautiful icing and chocolate garnish...I will remember these lovelies when I bake my next batch!

    PS...I'm a new follower~

  4. Meravigliosi, complimenti!
    Un abbraccio!

  5. Beautiful cakes Marcellina. I saw the Nigella episode of Masterchef - she is just devine, isn't she. When I was just visiting Melbourne, I liked to stay at the Mercure in Little Bourke St - the location was good, the price was right, and it was nice without being too overpriced and fancy. Only gripe for me was the slow lifts. You might be able to get a good deal for it on or the like.

  6. I'm so gutted that I missed the Nigella episode (I haven't seen an episode this season) although I've heard all about it. Your cupcakes look adorable! :D

  7. Oh..I love red velvet cake so much. Cupcak, cake, whoppie pie..whatever! Cakeman Raven in NYC makes an amazing red velvet cake. Remember that if you come to NYC! Anyway..they look perfect,and may I say your Marquise on Meringue is absolutely gorgeous? I missed that one :( Now it's time for bed, and what an image to go to bed to. I'll be counting Marcellina's red velvet cupcakes!

  8. Your cupcakes are so beautiful! I love the wrappers! I've never made red velvet cake or anything similar, but NOW it's on my to-do list. It looks so yummy! I totally understand why 12 were not enough :D

  9. Your red velvet looks so wonderful! I have tried red velvet cake and cupcakes a couple times and have never gotten the depth of color that you have here! Looks delicious too, because the crumb on those cupcakes looks so moist!

  10. Your red velvet cupcakes look absolutely devine!! And I am so jealous you have Nigella on your Masterchef :)


Thank you for taking the time to comment and for letting me know what you think!