Mmm, cupcakes! This is the second red velvet recipe that I have put in this blog - the first, for halloween, was very dense and cake-like (and delicious). So I wanted something a little lighter and fluffier, as cupcakes should be. Plus I wanted to make use of my new paste food colouring to make them really bright red. Only, for all the colour I put in them, they were still just a milk red colour. Which was disappointing. But the cream cheese frosting made up for it, and the cake sparkles. They were a big hit on a Monday morning when everybody needs a bit of a a sugar hit. And they make for a very pretty post to tweet about, because I am now on twitter! After a determined effort to avoid yet another variety of online social networking I decided to get on board the twitter bandwagon, for the sake of my blog and sharing the cupcake-love, however I put my foot down (for now) at making a facebook page. Isn't a blog page enough? Why does everything on the internet have to be repeated a million times? Besides, it looks to me like twitter is more popular. So now, on to the recipe! Oh, and please follow me on twitter...
Red Velvet Cupcakes
1/2 cup cooking oil
1/2 cup caster sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla essence
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
1 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon custard powder
1/3 cup buttermilk
Red food colouring
100 grams butter, softened
250 grams full-fat cream cheese
3-4 cups icing sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
For the cupcakes, preheat the oven to 180 degrees celsius and line a 12 hole muffin tray with paper liners.
In a large bowl beat together the oil, sugar and vanilla essence. Beat in the eggs one at a time, until everything is well combined.
Sift the dry ingredients into the bowl and beat well, then add the buttermilk and beat that in too. Then add the food colouring slowly, until you have a colour you like.
Spoon the mixture into the lined muffin tray, trying to only fill each hole up halfway, as these cupcakes rise quite a lot. Then bake the cupcakes for 20-25 minutes, until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.
While the cupcakes cook prepare the frosting. Beat the butter until it is creamy, then add the cream cheese and beat further. It is possible to make cream cheese frosting without butter, if you have good cream cheese, but on the chance that your cream cheese is a bit watery the butter will help the frosting to be thick and pipe-able.
Add the vanilla essence to the butter mixture, then begin to sift in the icing sugar a half cup at a time, beating after each addition until the frosting is thick enough to pipe. Then pipe a swirl of frosting onto each of the cold cupcakes and decorate with some sort of sprinkles.