Red Velvet Cupcakes with Vanilla Buttercream Frosting, perfectly moist homemade cupcakes. This is such a simple recipe, and the cupcakes can be enjoyed either for Christmas or Valentine's Day, or, why not, all year round. Made from scratch with little prep and effort - what a treat!
These super easy red velvet cupcakes are such a treat no matter the occasion. And they certainly look pretty enough to to enjoyed at every party. Forget about the ready-made cupcakes which are full of dodgy ingredients, these cupcakes are absolutely amazing, and can be made from scratch in less than 30 minutes without buttermilk.
How to get the bright red colour for cakes
Most shops will have the low-price-even-lower quality red food colouring that, no matter how much you use, you end up with a some sort of very sad brown colour.
The liquid ones are the worst, as they can change the consistency of your batter too, which, in some cases, can be catastrophic. So, DO STAY AWAY FROM LIQUID FOOD COLOURING if you want some nice cupcakes.
The best food colouring for cakes is the thick paste one. One of my friends, who is an excellent baker, recommended me Sugarflair food colouring and I just love it.
You can purchase online different colours and the paste is so concentrated, that you only need to use a tiny little amount of it to get the gorgeous bright red. What a brilliant product, I am more than pleased with it. I am sure I will get to test in on different other desserts, so stay posted.
- butter - soft but not melted
- caster sugar - for granulated sugar
- eggs - at room temperature
- plain flour
- vanilla extract
- cocoa powder - it enhances the bright red colour, do not skip this step
- Sugarflair red food colouring (paste)
- icing sugar - well sifted, otherwise the frosting will not be smooth
- full-fat milk - to loosen up the buttercream
- sprinkles - optional
Step-by-step photos and instructions
There is absolutely no need for the boxed stuff that supermarkets sell us, if you have a red velvet food colouring, that's more than enough.
- cream together the sugar with the butter until you get a smooth cream
- add the eggs one by one, beating well after each addition
- sift in the flour and cocoa powder, add the vanilla extract, red food colouring and milk, and mix again to get a smooth paste
- line a muffin tin with paper cases, and divide the batter evenly
- bake in the preheated oven at 180 degrees Celsius (350 Fahrenheit) for 20 minutes
First of all, it is crucial that the butter is at room temperature. Make sure it is out of the fridge at least one hour before you start baking. If it's not soft enough (but not melted!!!), the buttercream will NOT be smooth.
Another problem with the butter not being soft enough is piping, that will be quite difficult, even if the buttercream is smooth, it has to be soft enough to be topped on the cupcakes.
The icing (confectionary's) sugar should ideally be sifted, again to ensure a smooth consistency of the buttercream. Add the vanilla extract and milk, a bit at a time, then mix well with a hand mixer or a kitchen aid. And that's the buttercream.
Pipe it before it hardens, you will achieve far better results like that. For a small batch of 6 cupcakes, just half all the ingredients. And that's how you get some pretty red velvet cupcakes to impress anyone!
Using cocoa powder enhances the bright red colour, so I would advise you use it. You can probably get a natural red colour by using beetroot, but I must say I have never tried it, so I can't say if that works for not. I wouldn't think you can get this bright colour anyway, most probably a different kind of red.
Still, even if you use food colouring, if it's a good quality one, you should not notice any different in taste. It will still taste like a normal chocolate cupcake, but just coloured red.
The best buttercream must be the vanilla one. It's delicious, rich, creamy, and it contrasts beautifully with the red colour. Thus making them a great choice for both Christmas and Valentine's Day.
Other cupcake recipes
If you’ve tried my MOIST RED VELVET CUPCAKES WITH BUTTERCREAM or any other recipe on the blog then don’t forget to rate the recipe and let me know how you got on in the comments below, I love hearing from you! You can also FOLLOW ME on FACEBOOK, and PINTEREST to see more delicious food and what I’m getting up to.
Red Velvet Cupcakes
For the cupcakes:
- 150 g butter
- 150 g caster sugar
- 3 eggs
- 150 g plain flour
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
- ⅛ teaspoon Sugarflair red food colouring (paste)
For the buttercream:
- 250 g icing sugar
- 125 g butter
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoon full-fat milk
- sprinkles (optional)
- To make the cupcakes, make sure the butter is nice and soft, so ideally you should leave it at room temperature at least an hour before you start.
- Use a hand mixer to beat the sugar and butter together until you get a smooth paste.
- Add the eggs one by one, beating well after each addition.
- Sift the flour and cocoa powder in, add the vanilla extract and red food colouring and mix well using a spatula.
- Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C. (350 Fahrenheit).
- Line a cupcake/muffin tray with 12 cupcake paper cases, and divide the mixture evenly.
- Bake for about 18 to 20 minutes until well risen and firm to the touch.
- Remove from the oven and set aside to cool completely.
- Meantime, you can make the vanilla buttercream.
- Sift the icing sugar and beat with well with the softened butter.
- Add the vanilla extract and milk, one tablespoon at a time, so you can get a lovely smooth cream.
- To decorate, use a piping bag with a nozzle of your choice.
- To see the measurements in cups and ounces, please click on the US CUSTOMARY link.
- The amount of ingredients listed can be adjusted depending on the number of servings you need, just click on the number next to SERVINGS.
- Using cocoa powder enhances the bright red colour, so I would advise you use it. You can probably get a natural red colour by using beetroot, but I must say I have never tried it, so I can't say if that works for not. I wouldn't think you can get this bright colour anyway, most probably a different kind of red.
- Still, even if you use food colouring, if it's a good quality one, you should not notice any different in taste. It will still taste like a normal chocolate cupcake, but just coloured red.