Anyone who knows me will tell you that I only eat the icing off cupcakes. I generally don’t like the consistency or taste of a cupcake but red velvet cupcakes are the exception and Nigella Lawson’s recipe is my favourite.
You can cook them in the traditional way or try something fun like red velvet cupcakes in vintage jars.
READ: 5 SHORTCUTS TO UPDATING YOUR HOUSE FOR SUMMER!
- 250g plain flour
- 2 x 15ml tbsp cocoa powder, sifted
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 100g soft unsalted butter
- 200g caster sugar
- 1 x heaped 15ml tbsp Christmas-red paste food colouring
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 eggs
- 175ml buttermilk
- 1 tsp cider vinegar or other vinegar
- 2 x 12-bun muffin tins
For the icing:
- 500g icing sugar
- 250g soft unsalted butter
- 1 tsp lemon juice
Step 1. Preheat the oven to 170C and line the muffin tins with paper cases. Combine the flour, cocoa, baking powder and bicarb in a bowl. In another bowl, cream the butter and sugar, beating well, and when you have a soft, pale mixture mix in the food colouring and the vanilla.
Step 2. Into this vividly coloured mixture, still beating, add 1 spoonful 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.
Step 3. Finally, beat in the buttermilk and vinegar and divide this extraordinary batter between the 24 cases.
Step 4. Bake in the oven for about 20 minutes, by which time the redcurrant-sorbet-coloured batter will have morphed into a more sombre, but still juicily tinted, sponge.
Step 5. Leave them to cool on a wire rack and do not ice with the frosting until absolutely cold
For the frosting:
Step 1. Put the icing sugar into a processor and whiz to remove lumps. Add the butter and process. Of course you can do this all by hand by sifting the icing sugar and beating the butter by hand.
Step 2. Pour in the lemon juice and process again to make a smooth icing.
Step 3. Ice each cupcake and decorate!
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