Last week I was travelling around New York and managed to try out quite a lot of amazing restaurants, cafes and bakeries in the four days that I was there. I stayed in The Waldorf Astoria over the weekend and while there I learned that Red Velvet cake was actually invented in The Waldorf Hotel! Of course I then had to try a slice there, where it was first created many years ago. And then when I went to my room later that night I was pleasantly surprise to find a little Red Velvet cupcake waiting for me! It was the perfect late night indulgence after an evening exploring New York.
My mum’s birthday was last weekend, and we threw her a surprise party and so I decided to make a few trays of Red Velvet cupcakes for dessert as I was curious to try them out. They’re actually very easy to make, and really delicious. I used the Hummingbird Cafe recipe, and it was perfect.
They taste delicious, are easy to make and look very impressive. They have a cocoa vanilla taste, and the buttermilk makes them really soft and moist… I don’t think I need to explain why the cream cheese icing tastes so good! This is definitely a recipe to try when you have guests calling.
Cake Ingredients (Makes 12):
60g unsalted butter at room temperature
150g caster sugar
20g cocoa powder
40ml red food colouring (I used 25 and make up the difference with more vanilla extract)
½ tsp vanilla extract
150g plain flour
½ tsp bicarbonate of soda/ bread soda
1½ tsp white vinegar
1 x 12-hole cupcake tray, lined with paper cases
For the frosting:
250g icing sugar, sifted
40g unsalted butter, at room temperature
125g cream cheese, cold (don’t use the light stuff.. full fat is the way to go)
1. Preheat the oven to 170°C. Beat together the butter and the sugar until light and fluffy and well mixed. Turn the mixer up to high speed, slowly add the egg and beat until everything is well incorporated.
2. In a separate bowl, mix together the cocoa powder, red food colouring and vanilla extract to make a very thick, dark paste. Add to the butter mixture and mix thoroughly until evenly combined and coloured. Turn the mixer down to slow speed and slowly pour in half the buttermilk.
3. Beat until well 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. Beat until you have a smooth, even mixture. Add the bicarbonate of soda and vinegar (they will fizz up which is kind of cool!). Beat until well mixed.
5. To make the frosting beat the icing sugar the remaining 40g of butter together until the mixture comes together and is well mixed. Add the cream cheese in one go and beat it until it is completely incorporated, light and fluffy. Be careful not to overbeat, as it can quickly become runny.
6. Spoon the mixture into the paper cases until two-thirds full and bake in the preheated oven for 20 to 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 completely before icing them. You can use a piping bag, but I just smeared the icing on with the back of a teaspoon. You can use crumbled crumbs of the cake mixture to sprinkle on top of the icing. Delicious!