I thought it was about time that I wrote about something else that I love – cooking. Sometimes it feels like a bit of a chore, particularly if I am in the kitchen cooking dinner every night. But other times it really is a lot of fun. I recently took it upon myself to make my little sister’s birthday cake for her 21st. Being that it’s her 21st, I obviously wanted to make it a very special cake. A couple of years ago I purchased a giant cupcake tin from Wilton (google it, it’s pretty amazing) and I have never had the chance to use it – so what better occasion than this. I decided that I would make a giant red velvet cupcake, as you don’t really see them around much and the colour of them is just amazing. If you can get them right, they are well worth all the effort. Along with the giant cupcake, I am also going to make some regular size cupcakes so that there will be enough for everyone to eat. I’m still perfecting the recipe adjustments for the giant cupcake, but today I had my first go at making the little ones and they taste amazing. So here’s my recipe, follow it to the letter though, otherwise there’s no point in following it at all! Once I have the giant cupcake ready, I’ll put a photo of it on here. Also, I would recommend wearing an apron as no matter how hard you try, the red will go on something.
Makes 12 cupcakes, about 30 mins prep time + 20 mins cooking
- 1 ¼ cups plain flour
- ½teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder (you can add another tablespoon if this isn’t chocolatey enough)
- 30ml red food colouring
- 60g unsalted butter at room temperature
- 1 ¼ cups sugar
- 1 egg at room temperature
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ cup buttermilk at room temperature
- ½ teaspoon white vinegar
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
Cream cheese icing
- 375g cream cheese at room temperature
- 90g unsalted butter at room temperature
- 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups icing sugar, sifted
- pinch of salt
- Preheat oven to 160˚C (fanforced, 180˚C if using a conventional oven) and put your cupcake liners into your 12 hole cupcake tray.
- Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt into a medium bowl. Set aside
- In a small bowl, mix food colouring and cocoa powder. The consistency will depend on the amount of cocoa you put in, but it should be a smooth paste.
- In a large bowl, beat butter and sugar together with an electric mixer until light and fluffy.
- Beat in the egg, then add the vanilla and the red cocoa paste. Make sure you scrape the bowl down frequently with a spatula to make sure that everything is mixed in properly. Add one-third of the flour mixture, beat well and then beat in half the buttermilk.
- Beat in another third of the flour, then the rest of the buttermilk. End with the rest of the flour mixture and beat well until combined, making sure that you are still regularly scraping down the bowl.
- In a small bowl, mix vinegar and baking soda. Add it to the cake batter and stir well to combine.
- Then, divide the batter evenly between your cupcake liners. A good tip to remember is to put about 1/4 of batter in each liner. That way they will all turn out even and won’t rise up over the edge of the liner. Then pop them into your preheated oven and bake for about 20mins, or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean.
- Once cooked, let them stand in the tray for about 10mins, then put them on a wire cooling rack to cool completely.
- Icing. With an electric mixer, blend together cream cheese and butter until smooth.
- Reduce the speed to low and blend in icing sugar, salt and vanilla extract. Increase the speed to high and beat until light and fluffy.
To ice your cupcakes you can either use a spatula to smear it on, or use a piping bag (which is what I did). Just make sure that you don’t ice the cupcakes until they are completely cooled and try to work fast with the icing so that it doesn’t go too runny. Another thing, don’t be stingy with the icing, there is nothing worse than a cupcake with hardly any icing!! I also decorated mine with some Wilton cake sparkles.