Saturday, 2 June 2012

Velvet Cupcakes

This one is for all the Mum's, Mum's-to-be and those who love their Mum out there (Hi Mum - B & I love you!). B has entered the Mum's club and celebrated her first official Mother's Day this year. Soon B will experience all the beautiful little homemade cards and gifts that baby B will bring home from school hidden in the bottom of his school bag (well when he starts school that is) but for now I'm sure she enjoyed getting pampered and maybe having a sleep in. This could be a regular gig hey Mr B? (hint hint).

As everyone says, until you become a mother yourself, words can't explain the amount of love that you have for your little people and that protective instinct that kicks in from late in pregnancy. It's an amazing feeling and I now understand my own mum and the way she is always putting herself last on the list. She is a very strong woman and I hope to instill all the strengths and values she has taught me into my own children. Thanks Mum!

We usually gather at Mum's place on Mother's Day or we sometimes head out for a picnic depending on the weather and even though it's "OUR" day I still bake because we all know Mr M is not exactly skilled in this department. Lets just say a pair of tongs in his hand is better suited and as for Mr B, he can produce an edible dish now and then under instruction, but now that baby B has arrived, he will have duties of his own. I think I may have more hope with my own Mr 8 being able to master the kitchen and we will work on baby B from the moment he can hold his spoon!!

So the Mother's Day picnic usually requires making simple things to eat straight from the picnic basket and I always seem to be allocated a sweet thing, so I was desperate to try these Velvet Cakes that I had spotted in Jamie's America ages ago. I had never made a red velvet cake before and wanted to know what all the fuss was about. It certainly has a dramatic colour and is so soft and fluffy (I had to eat one before I even iced them) and there was the hint of chocolate with the cocoa.

You will need:  - makes 12 cupcakes
50g unsalted butter, at room temperature
150g caster sugar
1 large egg
sea salt
1 teaspoon good-quality vanilla extract
optional: 3 tablespoons natural red food colouring - I used normal red food colouring
2 heaped tablespoons cocoa powder
150g plain flour
125ml buttermilk
1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1 1/2 teaspoons white wine vinegar

For the frosting:
150g full-fat cream cheese
50g unsalted butter, at room temperature
100g icing sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
zest and juice of 1 lemon

Preheat oven to 180 degrees/350 F/gas 4 and line a 12 hole muffin tin with cupcake cases.

Using an electric mixer, or by hand, cream your butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.

Gently beat in the egg, a pinch of salt, the vanilla extract and, if using, the red food colouring.

In a separate bowl, mix together the cocoa and plain flour and fold half of it into your batter mix, followed by half of the buttermilk. Repeat with the remaining flour and buttermilk until you have a gorgeous smooth mixture.

In a small bowl mix your bicarbonate of soda and white wine vinegar together so it fizzes up, and stir this into your cake mix.

Divide the mixture between your cupcake cases and bake in the oven for 20 to 25 minutes.
I learnt a new trick when making cupcakes....if your like me and your cupcakes usually come out of the oven spilling over the edges, flat on some, not enough in others, well I found this very useful tip in one of my Donna Hay books. For a nice rounded cupcake spoon your mixture into 1/3 measuring cup for each patty case as this will ensure each cake will be nice and even.

To check they are cooked through, insert a skewer into the centre of a cake - if it comes out clean, they are perfect. Leave them cool for 5 minutes in the tin, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely while you make the frosting.

Put all your ingredients into a food processor (I just used my cake mixer for this) and whiz until smooth and creamy.

Once the cakes are cool they are ready for the frosting.

Yum! M x


  1. I was lucky enough to receive some of these cupcakes as a gift from M......they were absolutely delicious:-) xo

  2. Thank you Mrs C.....I'm glad you enjoyed them! x