Thursday 18 January 2018

Christmassy Red Velvet Cupcakes with White Cream Cheese Frosting

Sophie Morris

It's not so much the taste of these cupcakes but the look of them that makes them so Christmassy. The gorgeous, deep red colour of the sponge alongside the snow white cream cheese icing makes the cupcakes seem luxurious, perfect little Christmas treats. Makes 12 cupcakes

YOU WILL NEED

For the cupcakes

65g butter, softened (preferably unsalted)

155g caster sugar

1 large egg

½ tsp vanilla extract

1 tbsp cocoa powder

2 tbsps red food colouring

120ml buttermilk, divided

150g plain flour

½ tsp baking powder

Pinch of salt

1 tsp white vinegar

½ tsp bread soda (bicarbonate of soda)

For the frosting

300g icing sugar, sieved

50g butter, softened (preferably unsalted)

120g cream cheese

METHOD

Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas mark 4. Meanwhile, line a muffin tin with 12 paper cases. Now cream the butter and caster sugar in a large bowl with an electric beater until pale and fluffy. Add the egg and vanilla extract and beat until combined.

In a small bowl, mix the cocoa powder with the food colouring to make a very thick paste. Add this thick paste to the butter-and-egg mixture and beat well to combine. Pour in half of the buttermilk and beat the mixture again until well combined.

Sift the flour, baking powder and the pinch of salt into another bowl. Pour half of this flour mix into the batter in the large bowl and beat well. Add the remaining buttermilk and beat again. Following that, add in the remaining flour mix and beat everything well for a few minutes.

Place the vinegar and the bread soda in a small bowl and stir the mixture to combine. Add this mixture to the cake batter and beat well for a few minutes.

Use a spoon to divide the cake batter evenly among the baking cases so that they are two-thirds full. Bake them for 20 minutes until springy to the touch and a skewer inserted comes out clean. Leave the cupcakes to cool on the tray for a few minutes before removing them to a wire rack.

Meanwhile, make the icing. Beat the icing sugar and butter in a medium bowl with an electric beater until combined. Add the cream cheese and beat again. Beat the mixture for about 5 minutes to get a really fluffy, pale icing.

When the cupcakes have fully cooled, dollop a spoonful of icing on top of each one. Spread the icing, but make sure you don't cover the cupcakes completely – the pretty red sponge must be visible.

You could also use a piping bag to put a swirl of icing on top of each cupcake. And to make them extra festive, you could sprinkle them with some edible red glitter.

Irish Independent

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