As it's Red Nose Day, I felt inspired to make these Red Velvet Cupcakes, so called because of the deep, scarlet colour of the sponge. This recipe comes courtesy of one of my favourite cookery books, The Hummingbird Bakery. I added my own little wine gum noses.
red velvet cupcakes
for the cakes
150g caster sugar
1 egg, lightly beaten
10g cocoa powder
20ml red food colouring
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
150g plain flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 1/2 tsp white wine vinegar
for the cream cheese icing
300g icing sugar
125g cream cheese
Preheat the oven to 170C
1. Put the butter and sugar in a large bowl and beat with an electric whisk until light and fluffy.
2. Slowly add the beaten egg and continue to whisk until well combined.
3. In a separate bowl, mix together the cocoa powder, red food colouring and vanilla extract to make a thick, dark paste. Add this to the butter mixture and mix thoroughly until the whole mixture is coloured.
4. Pour in half of the buttermilk and half of the flour and beat well. Repeat this process with the rest of the buttermilk and flour.
5. Add the salt, bicarbonate of soda and white wine vinegar. Beat the mixture until well incorporated and continue beating for a couple more minutes.
6. Spoon the mixture into 12 cupcake cases, filling them two-thirds full. Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes.
7. Leave the cupcakes to cool. While they are cooling, make the icing. Beat the icing sugar and butter together with an electric whisk. Add the cream cheese and continue to beat until it is mixed well. Beat for at least 5 minutes to produce a light and fluffy icing.
8. When the cupcakes are cool, spoon the icing on top, or use an icing bag and nozzle to create a swirly effect.