Thursday, September 10, 2009

Red velvet without the red

These are most definitely not your typical red velvet cupcakes. Firstly, they're not red. Second, buttermilk wasn't added, and lastly, there is no cocoa in them. All of which are common ingredients found in the cake.

I didn't have a bottle of red food colouring with me (only yellow, green and blue) so I decided to omit it. After all, red velvet is so-called because of its colour right? [Source: Wikipedia] However, red velvet cupcakes without the red makes a very dull cake. Besides the lack of colour, there isn't much flavour to these cupcakes. Nat and I had to experiment by adding cinnamon and edible pansies to decorate and improve its taste.

(Red) Velvet Cupcakes
(Recipe adapted from Joy the Baker)


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 10 tablespoons salted butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 tablespoon red food colouring (I didn't have this)

  1. Put a rack in the center of the oven and preheat oven to 180C. Line a muffin tin with cupcake liners and set aside.
  2. Sift together flour and baking powder into a bowl. Set aside.
  3. Beat together butter and sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer at medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in eggs one at a time, beating for 1 minute in between each addition. Beat in vanilla. Reduce speed to low and add flour mixture alternately with the milk and red dye in 3 batches, beginning and ending with the flour mixture and beating until just incorporated.
  4. Bake for 15-18 minutes, or until the cakes a pick inserted in the center of the cakes comes out clean. Let cool for 10 minutes then remove cupcakes from muffin tin and let cool on a wire rack.

Brown Sugar Cream Cheese Frosting


  • 150g salted butter, softened at room temperature
  • 125g cream cheese, softened at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed [to taste]
  • 1/2 cup icing sugar [to taste]
  • 2-4 tablespoons milk, depending on desired consistency

  1. Cream the cream cheese in an electric mixer for 1 minute. Add the butter, beating for 1-2 minutes, or until incorporated.
  2. Add the brown sugar and vanilla extract and beat until incorporated. Turn off mixer and add half of the icing sugar. With the mixer on a low speed, slowly add more sugar alternately with the milk until you reach your desired consistency.
Makes approx 20 cupcakes.

(Print-friendly recipe here)

Like the previous recipe, Nat found that the frosting and cupcakes tasted very similar. I wished they were different coloured. Next time a recipe asks for food colouring, I'll pull out my blue and green colours... They may appear strange but at least they would be more interesting-looking than this batch of colourless velvet cupcakes!

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