Red velvet cupcakes

Sorry folks, haven’t had time to put together the bee tutorial yet – but here’s my adaptation of Magnolia Bakery’s red velvet cupcake recipe! It is very fiddly, as far as cupcake recipes go, but the end results give a cupcake that is unbelievably light, fluffy and moist – so it’s a winner for me!

Red Velvet Cupcakes
(adapted from ‘More from Magnolia‘ red velvet cake recipe)

520g plain cake flour (NOT self-raising), sifted twice
170g unsalted butter, softened
500g caster sugar
3 large eggs, at room temperature
4 tsp red food colouring gel
5 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
1 1/2 tsp cider vinegar
1 1/2 tsp baking soda

Frosting ingredients
400g block cream cheese (not the stuff in tubs), softened and cut into small pieces
80g unsalted butter, softened and cut into small pieces
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp lemon zest
5 cups sifted icing powder

HANDY TIP 1: I find that most frostings are FAR too sweet for my liking, so I actually like to replace my icing sugar with icing powder instead. The reason for this is because icing powder is a mixture of icing sugar & corn starch, and the latter helps to provide bulk and thicken the frosting without as much sweetness as using pure icing sugar would.

HANDY TIP 2: Try and hunt down some good quality food colouring pastes or gels. Wiltons are superb and the colours are so strong that you only need a small amount to dye cupcake batter. The red I use for these cupcakes is the Americolor vibrant red and, as you can see, it worked very well. The reason you should use a gel or paste rather than plain water dye is because it gives more intense colour and adds far less liquid to your batter which can affect the texture and flavour.

1. Preheat the oven to 175 degrees C and prepare your cupcake liners – you will need to spoon out ALL the batter as soon as its complete, rather than just doing it after the first batch have baked. Weigh out your butter and sugar and beat together till the butter is light and creamy in colour and texture.

2. Add the eggs, one at a time. Beat well after each addition, till the batter is very light and fluffy.

3. Measure out the cocoa powder, vanilla extract and red food colouring gel, then mix together and add to the batter (this is to try and reduce the amount of cocoa powder that will become airborne).ย  Add this to cupcake batter and beat till well mixed in and the batter has turned a lovely deep salmon colour. Add more food colouring gel at this stage if necessary – but bear in mind the batter will become a bit darker once baked.

4. Stir the salt into the buttermilk, then add it to the batter in three batches, alternating with the sifted cake flour. Make sure you do not overbeat as this will result in dry, tough cupcakes.

5. At this stage you should have a thick but still slightly fluid batter that holds soft peaks. Mix together the baking soda (aka bicarb soda) and the vinegar, then add to the batter, mixing it in quickly and lightly.

Be careful. If you undermix then you’ll end up with big air pockets in your cupcakes, but overbeating will mean denser cupcakes and not the light fluffy ones you’re meant to have.

6. As soon as the baking soda/vinegar mix is incorporated into the batter, you need to start dividing it between cupcake liners.

The reason for this is that as soon as the baking soda/vinegar mixture meets the rest of the cake batter, it begins chemical reactions which result in aerating the batter. The longer it sits and the more the cake batter is disturbed, the more air you will lose from your batter.

7. Bake the cupcakes for about 20 minutes each, or till a skewer comes out clean when inserted into the cupcakes.

Make up the frosting: Beat together the cream cheese, butter, vanilla extract and lemon zest till light and creamy. Slowly add the icing powder, 1 cup at a time and beating for about 5 minutes between each addition. REFRIGERATE the frosting for about 1 hour before using – this allows the frosting to thicken up enough so it can be piped without losing shape.

Once the cupcakes are baked, allow to cool completely on a wire rack, then ice with the rested cream cheese frosting. For another special touch, you could add some pastel sprinkles and a fondant heart!

Sorry there’s no fondant bee guide this week, folks, but I’ve been flat out! I’ll try for this time next week :) What have I been doing? Well, working, baking and taking photos of my gorgeous friends:

Sharing a sweet moment

Sweet pleasures


[tags]Magnolia Bakery, baking, cupcakes, red velvet cupcakes, recipe[/tags]


  1. Hmm lovely photos and lovely looking cakes! I only tried making red velvet once, I loved them but they were fiddly and my boyfriend wasn’t too fussed so since he is the main recipient of my baking I didn’t bother making them again! :(

  2. These cupcakes are so cute! thanks so much for your tip on using icing powder. I can’t wait to try it :smile:

  3. Cute cupcakes!

  4. Oh, I’ve looking all over for a recipe for Red Velvet cupcakes! I can’t wait to get baking! =)

  5. Your cupcakes are cute! Have you tried the red velvet recipe in “Baked”? It’s soo yum!

  6. What pretty little cupcakes. Great step by step instructions!

  7. LOVE red velvet, and you did a nice job with it. Fun pics :)

  8. Do you know what ratio of corn starch to powdered sugar is in icing powder? I have an almost-full box of cornstarch that will probably not get used anytime soon.

    Also, your cupcakes look absolutely delicious!!

  9. yum, one of my favorites!

  10. Those look so delicious!! I can’t wait to make them myself. :mrgreen:

  11. calabaza_azul says:

    ome ome ome ome! your cupcakes looks AMAZING! so pretty and yummi! and the pics.. lovely!

    can you please please please share your recipe for the icing powder? I mean.. the sugar/corn scratch proportion? :)

  12. @Helen – Aww, well maybe a special occasion will come up and give you a chance to make them again? You could always make them for your coworkers, I’m sure they would be appreciative :)

    @Junko – My pleasure :)

    @Asianmommy – Thanks sweetie :)

    @MingYi – I hope you like it :)

    @howtoeatacupcake – Nope! What’s ‘baked’?

    @Michelle – Thanks :)

    @RecipeGirl – Thanks honey :)

    @Lisa – Thanks honey :) I’m not sure, but I’ve just sent an email to the sugar company that manufactures it and have asked, so will let you know when they reply!

    @kat – Now one of my faves too :)

    @Jeannie – Thanks sweetie :)

    @calabaza_azul – Thanks honey :) I’m not sure, but I’ve asked the sugar company and will post whatever they say :)

  13. A classic, but oh so good. I love the little hearts you added to them.

  14. this post is so full of awesome, it’s almost unbelievable. you talented thing, you!

  15. darling, the cupcakes are beyond gorgeous! and so as your red finger nails ๐Ÿ˜€

  16. I love the way you decorated these. Just darling!

  17. Hi Ellie! I love these, you did a great job! I want to try them at home… I was curious though, you said (on livejournal?) that you changed the recipe a little from Magnolia’s original recipe–what were the changed ingredients? Did the original Magnolia recipe make cupcakes that weren’t good? Just wondering. Thanks a lot :)

  18. Oh! These look yummy. I love the heart on top. Cupcake going, going, gone. :)

  19. Holy moley, those look so gooooood!!

  20. Absolutely gorgeous! Wow, I’m in awe.

    Congrats on making it into @Jenius’s top Aussie food blogs too! :)

  21. Love your photos and the cupcakes look incredible!

  22. Veronica says:

    Those cupcakes where good and I’m stealing this recipie for valentines day next year!!!

    Those girls are mighty fine too. ๐Ÿ˜†

  23. @peabody – Thanks hon :)

    @gauri – Aww, thanks sweetie :)

    @gattina – Hehe, thank you darling :)

    @Val – Thanks!

    @Lexie – The original magnolia recipe was a bit dry and bland :(

    @raquel – LOL, all gone now :)

    @Anneli – Thanks hon :)

    @Christie @ fig&cherry – Aww, thanks babe :)

    @Maria – Thank you :)

    @Veronica – Those girls are SMOKING!

  24. Sydney Girl in Tokyo says:

    Looks yummy!!!
    BTW, roughly how many mini cupcakes does this recipe make? Need to make sure that I have enough muffin tins and patty cases to cook everything at once! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  25. @Sydney Girl in Tokyo – Oh god…mini cupcakes? Probably at least double, but I honestly have no clue! Also remember that mini cupcakes will bake much faster than regular sized cupcakes!

  26. heartswafflez says:

    i love the recipe, any tips on how to make those fondant hearts?? i really wanna use this recipe in a uni department baking comp, i tried last year with carrot muffins with a cream cheese frosting, but sadly it couldnt beat choco late

    • The fondant hearts are very easy – knead some fondant with a little gum trag and food colouring (wilton pastes are better than liquid ones). Once the colour is even, roll it out and cut out the shapes with a small cookie cutter and then allow to dry overnight :)

Speak Your Mind


Reply New

CommentLuv badge

Blog Widget by LinkWithin
%d bloggers like this: