Makes 24 cupcakes.
YOU WILL NEED
30g cocoa powder
3 tbsps red food colouring
1½ tsps vanilla extract
110g butter, softened
170g caster sugar
4 egg yolks
250g plain flour, sifted
1 tsp baking soda, sifted For the icing 175g butter
175g icing sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
Pre-heat the oven to 180°C/Gas Mark 4. Line two 12-hole cupcake tins with paper cases and set aside.
Put the cocoa, food colouring and vanilla extract in a small bowl and mix well.
Put the butter and sugar in a large bowl and use a hand-held mixer to beat them together. Add the yolks and beat for one more minute.
Add in the cocoa mixture and continue to mix for another minute. Slowly pour in the buttermilk, followed by the flour and baking soda.
Fill each paper case with three tablespoons of batter and bake for about 15 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean. Allow to cool in the tins on a wire rack for 15 minutes before icing.
Make the icing by beating together the butter, icing sugar and vanilla extract to give a thick, creamy consistency.
Either put the icing in a piping bag or dip a spoon in hot water and smear the icing on the cupcakes.
A clever little tip is to crumble one of your un-iced cupcakes into fine crumbs and sprinkle on top of the icing to make a pretty decoration.