Parisian Red Velvet Cupcakes

Before I say anything else, I believe red velvet cupcakes are the world’s greatest invention. Ever. I. Love. Them. So. Much. I’m not sure exactly what it is, maybe the cream cheese frosting or the fact that the cake itself isn’t too sweet, or the combination of the two. Whatever it is, I love it!

It was my best friend’s birthday, and she loves all things Paris-y, so when I saw this kit with the cases and the little toothpicks, I knew exactly what I was going to use them for! I have tried a few red velvet recipes in my time, including the one for the giant cupcake, but I think this is the best one I have come across. It was delish-i-ohso.

Red Velvet Cupcakes: (by Martha Stewart):

  • 2 1/2 cups cake flour (if you don’t know what cake flour is, read this)
  • 2 tbs good-quality cocoa
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 cups caster sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable oil (yes, you read that right!)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 tsp Wilton’s red colouring gel
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract/vanilla bean paste
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp white vinegar

Preheat the oven to 175c (350F). Line two cupcake trays with cases. Place the flour, cocoa and salt together and mix, then set aside. With an electric whisk or a stand mixer, beat together the sugar and the oil until combined. Add eggs one at a time, beating until each is fully mixed in. Beat in vanilla and red food colouring gel.

Reduce the speed to low and add the flour mixture in 3 batches, and the buttermilk in 2 (3 dry, 2 wet additions – begin and end with dry). Whisk well after each addition. In a separate small bowl, combine the baking soda and vinegar – it will foam. Add mixture to the batter, and whisk all together for about 10 minutes. Fill each cupcake case about 3/4 of the way. Place in oven for 10 mins, then turn tray around and bake for another 10-12 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean. Cool in tins for 5 mins, then transfer to wire rack. Makes approx. 22 large cupcakes.

Cream Cheese Icing:(also from Martha Stewart):

  • 225g unsalted butter, chopped and softened
  • 340g cream cheese (I used Philadelphia), softened slightly
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract/vanilla bean paste
  • 2-3 cups icing sugar mixture (confectioner’s sugar)

Beat the butter and cream cheese together until pale and creamy, about 2-3 minutes. Gradually add the icing sugar to taste, I used just over 2 cups, but you might want more if you like it sweeter – it’s really upto you 🙂 Beat in the vanilla.

Fill  piping bag fitted with a round nozzle and pipe a swirl on each cupcake. Decorate however you like!

I was originally a little worried about the amount of oil in this recipe, because you could really taste it in the batter before it was cooked. However, these cakes were so fluffy and moist – seriously one of the best I’ve ever tried. If you’re a fan of red velvet, definitely give these a go…you will not be disappointed 🙂

Have a great weekend and happy baking! X

Cupcake Madness!

The vast majority of my time in the past week has been spent making over 100 cupcakes, and a heck of a lot of buttercream! 100 may not seem like much, but when you have never done that many before, it is certainly a challenge. But lots of fun too!

I had to make three different flavours for a 21st order – chocolate, vanilla bean and red velvet. The chocolate ones had the yellow buttercream, the red velvet ones had the bright orange buttercream and the vanilla bean ones had the bright red buttercream, and all cakes were sprinkled with gold glitter.

I was really happy with how all the cakes turned out, and the colours of the buttercream were really effective. The vanilla bean with the red icing was my favourite to look at because it was so bright and the gold  glitter looked great on it.

I’m not going to write out the recipes for this one, but here are the links for the Red Velvet and the Chocolate cupcakes. I used a different recipe for the vanilla bean, and I will post that up when I make them again soon 🙂

TIP –   when you want to make bright red buttercream, you need to use soooooooooo much colouring gel to make it intense. If you are doubling or tripling the recipe, colour it in batches and then mix them because it is a lot easier to control the colour that way. I tripled my recipe, and needed a good 3 1/2 tubs of Wilton’s gel (Rojo red I think it was). I was really unhappy with mine at first, but weirdly enough overnight in the fridge it brightened from a crimson red to an intense red! This is what it was like first:

 

And after:

And these were just some circusy-themed ones I made for my sister and her friends 🙂

 

Red Velvet Giant Cupcake

For ages I had wanted to try making one of these giant cupcakes, they just look so good! I am also a huge fan of red velvet cake with cream cheese icing – best flavour combo and the deep red colour of the cake is gorgeous, too. It was Mum’s birthday (I’m running out of brithdays!), so I thought why not give it a go – and I’m sooooo glad I did – it tasted amazing! I know the decorating isn’t quite perfect, the icing was a bit runnier than I would have liked but I got to use my cute little red roses with made a nice touch 🙂

I wasn’t sure at first because I could only seem to find a good red velvet cupcake recipe, and I was a bit freaked out about the measurements as the giant cupcake pan is so big! BUT I finally found a fellow blogger who had done this before – thank god! When I poured the mixture into the tins, I was a little worried that it wouldn’t be enough because the bottom of the top cake was a lot smaller than the top of the bottom cake…but it was ok, once it was iced it looked damn scrumptious.

 I also dragged out my Nanna’s stand mixer that she hadn’t used in decades (yes, I’ve always handmixed/whisked my delights). Talk about life being made easier, I now understand people’s undying love of the KitchenAid. WOW! I love this photo of the instruction booklet – so 50’s (I’ll keep my feminist views at bay!)

Red Velvet Giant Cupcake: (adapted from FoodBuzz)

  • 8 tbs butter, softened – not melted
  • 1 1/2 cups caster sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 tbs good quality cocoa
  • 4 tbs red food colouring (or 1 tsp Wilton’s colouring gel)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2 1/4 cups plain flour
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 3 tsp white vinegar

Preheat oven to 180c (170c fan forced). Grease and flour tins – don’t use too much flour like I did otherwise you’ll end up with cooked white blotches on the outside of  the cake 😦 In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, or in a large mixing bowl, combine butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time and whisk well to combine. You may need to scrape down the bowl of the stand mixer. In another bowl, combine the cocoa, vanilla and red food colouring (if you are using liquid colouring it may turn to paste, but if using gel it will be powdery – either way it is fine). Slowly add the cocoa mixture to the cake batter and mix until well combined and until all of the cake batter is coloured. Turn the mixer to low and slowly add half of the buttermilk. Add half of the flour and salt and until combined. Scrape down the bowl and repeat the process with the buttermilk and flour. Beat until smooth. Add baking soda and white vinegar, and beat for a few more minutes. Pour mixture into prepared tins and bake for 35-40 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean. The top of my cake took less time than the bottom, but it didn’t dry out at all. Let cakes cool in the tin for 20 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Cream Cheese Icing:

  • 250g block cream cheese
  • 2/3 cup butter, softened – not melted
  • 2 cups icing sugar mixture
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Beat together the cream cheese and butter, until cream. Mix in the vanilla, then gradually add the icing sugar.

To assemble cake, spread a thick layer of icing on the top of the bottom cake. Sandwich top cake over the bottom one and gently press down. To ice, use a round edged knife. For the outside of the bottom cake, I just melted a bit of chocolate and spread it with a round edged knife. It hid all my white blotches nicely!